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Scrollmotion, developer of the Iceberg reader app for the iPhone OS, has been in talks with major textbook companies to develop digital versions of their textbooks for use on devices such as the iPad. The Wall Street Journal reports that the publishers involved in the project include: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, which is a unit of Education Media & Publishing Group Ltd.; Pearson PLC's Pearson Education, and Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Inc., known for its test-prep and study guides.
Maureen McMahon, president of Kaplan Publishing was reported as saying, "Nobody knows what device will take off, or which 'killer app' will drive student adaptations. Today they aren't reading e-textbooks on their laptops. But ahead we see all kinds of new instruction materials."
According to the article, ScrollMotion would take files provided by publishers and adapt them to fit on the iPad platform - adding enhancements such as search, dictionaries, glossaries, interactive quizzes, and page numbers.
Expanded features could include video, highlightable text, lecture recording, and note taking.
"People have been talking about the impact of technology on education for 25 years. It feels like it is really going to happen in 2010," reportedly said Rik Kranenburg, group president of higher education for the education unit of McGraw-Hill.
While Apple's intentions for the education market were not made clear during the iPad's unveiling last week, the WSJ piece states that according to those familiar with the iPad's development the device's role in education was a major point of discussion at Apple.
Apple is not a stranger to the education sector, its popular iTunes U service offers both audio and video content from colleges and universities from around the world.
Apple's iBook application and iBookstore, introduced alongside the iPad last week, allows users to purchase and download books from a variety of publishers. Highlighted in the presentation were HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette Book Group.