The Next Digital Frontier: Textbooks
Digital media delivered by ever-cheaper and more-powerful devices continues to rapidly destroy business models that were profitable for hundreds of years. It seems textbooks (and the businesses — like bookstores — that support them) are next. The market participants extend well past Apple.
Apple has announced its long-awaited move into the digital textbook market, unveiling a new bookstore for its iPad tablet computers and a free new publishing tool to help authors create interactive, video-rich instructional materials.
We believe we are just at the cusp of rethinking the traditional definitions of lectures and textbooks. They should be more integrated and accessible to each other or perhaps indistinguishable eventually. Wikipedia, YouTube, the finest lecturers, graphic artists, animators, filmmakers, writers, software designers, and others will all have a role to play, and the outcome could be a radically better and cheaper way to educate than the current system.