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Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 07:58 am PT (10:58 am ET)

Apple's education event will focus on textbooks for K-12 students - report

Apple on Thursday plans to push for broader educational materials on the iPad with a specific focus on students in grades kindergarten through 12, according to a new report.

Just a day ahead of Apple's scheduled event in New York City, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Apple Internet software chief Eddy Cue will unveil the K-12 focused software at the scheduled media event. It noted that the textbook industry is a $10 billion-per-year market where Apple plans to use its iPad "to shun costly tomes that weigh down backpacks in favor of less-expensive, interactive digital books that can be updated everywhere via the Web."

Citing anonymous sources familiar with Apple's plans, the report said that Apple plans to "announce a set of tools that make it easier to publish interactive books and other digital educational content." That's similar to one report from earlier this week which claimed that Apple will unveil a tool that is like "Garageband for e-books," though a later report contradicted that and said the event would focus on e-book distribution, not publication tools.

Bloomberg's sources, however, suggest that Apple will indeed unveil new software that aims to make it easier for publishers to make their titles digital and interactive. It said Apple's tools will allow a broad range of authors to publish their content digitally, while large publishers will be able to embed graphics and videos with their textbooks.

"Apple also wants to empower 'self-publishers' to create new kinds of teaching tools, said the people," authors Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano wrote. "Teachers could use it to design materials for that week's lesson. Scientists, historians and other authors could publish professional-looking content without a deal with a publisher."

Education


Earlier reports characterized Apple's plans for Thursday as "publishing industry-oriented" news. Major consumer-related announcements, including new hardware like the anticipated third-generation iPad, are not expected at Thursday's event.

Apple sent out invitations for its event last week, revealing that it had planned an "education announcement in the Big Apple." AppleInsider will have full live coverage of the briefing when it kicks off at 10 a.m. Eastern, 7 a.m. Pacific.