A Rising Tide: Apple’s K-12 Textbook Initiative

Today, Apple announced a K-12 textbook initiative and a desktop application for creating and publishing content for the iBooks app. Many of you have asked for Inkling’s take on it, and what it means to us, so here are some thoughts.

First, we think this is great for students. After more than a decade of digital textbook mediocrity, Apple is once again helping to move an entire industry forward. Although only a handful of titles were made available today, they’re exposing a broader audience to the possibilities than we could have by ourselves.

Second, we think it’s great for Inkling. Apple’s marketing machine will stimulate demand for better digital learning content across every segment, not just within K-12. That’s a rising tide that floats all boats. It helps people understand that the future of digital learning content isn’t a book on a screen, but an engaging multimedia experience. Finally, the notion of a flat “e-book” is dead.

Third, Inkling is solving for a problem left unresolved in today’s announcements. Although Apple introduced some beautiful content, there are miles to go before this industry scales itself around building products that are “born” digital. To do so will take sophisticated tools and a cross-platform, open infrastructure that has yet to materialize. We’ll have more to share on this topic in the coming months.

In the meantime, Inkling will continue to set the bar for learning content in higher education and beyond. Inkling titles incorporate sophisticated assessment, interactive media, modular content that you can buy by the chapter, and a meaningful social experience that connects students with instructors.

We were flattered to see what looked like many Inkling-inspired ideas on stage today. For our part, we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing: building the world’s greatest software for digital learning content.

It was an exciting start to the year for digital learning technologies–but that’s just the beginning, so stay tuned.