Jan 242012

Mathew Ingram comments on Apple's digital textbooks initiative.

"But the biggest criticism of Apple’s attempt to co-opt the educational system doesn’t have anything to do with costs: If its digital textbooks became the standard in schools, it would commit those institutions to a much broader — and theoretically much more dangerous — relationship with a technology provider than we have ever seen. Apple’s iMacs may have made their way into every school, but they didn’t control a key part of the curriculum. Every textbook would effectively have to be approved by Apple, and the software that controlled them would belong to Apple alone."

Apple’s new textbook offering and book-authoring software are attractive, and the idea of digital textbooks makes sense, but they are both locked to Apple’s walled-garden ecosystem. That may be fine f…

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