Could iBooks 2 be as important as the original iPod, the iPhone, or the iPad? According to Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at research firm Gartner, the announcement has the potential to be in the very same league. Why? Because he argues that “Apple has set the framework here for a major change in education.” By making textbooks more interactive, more engaging, and more affordable to the masses–and by putting the tools in educators’ hands to create their own textbooks, Gartenberg believes that iBooks 2 “can really dramatically change how education is done in the 21st century.”
Gartenberg, who has followed Apple for decades, recognizes that the company has several obstacles in front of it. For one, parent, students and teachers and administrators will have to get on the same page. He also noted that there’s a generation of teachers that’s not exactly tech savvy. “You’re going to have to teach people to create interactive material instead of static material.”
Nevertheless, Gartenberg believes that “this may be one of the most important announcements that Apple has ever made.” If the company is successful, the analyst says that you’ll see school districts not only adopt iBooks 2 but universities possibly require students to have an iPad. As for whether the iPad is too expensive for K-12 or college students, Gartenberg says Apple will likely keep the iPad 2 around once the iPad 3 debuts and lower the cost. Nevertheless, “adding the cost of an iPad into a four-year curriculum is absurdly cheap,” Gartenberg told us.
There’s no question that Apple is motivated to sell more iPads to students–and the earlier you get them as customers the more loyal they might be down the road. But helping the bottom line and doing good don’t have to be mutually exclusive. “This is a critical part of society that could definitely use some shaking up,” Gartenberg said.