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Several textbook publishers sign iPad deals

Back when the iPad was a rumor, many contended that a successful Apple tablet would provide an easy and cheap way to distribute textbooks. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that several publishers have come on board.

Specifically, publishers are in talks with ScrollMotion, the company behind, among other things, the very well-done Iceburg Reader for iPhone, to develop text-prep and other study guides for the iPad. McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, Pearson Education and the Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Inc. are named in the article.

John Lema, chief executive of ScrollMotion, called the iPad's introduction "...the beginning of handheld education."

Of course, the iPad's reception and performance in the education market is unknown, and the device faces competition from inexpensive netbooks, systems fully entrenched in an existing system, or networks and budgets that don't allow for new purchases.

Still, we imagine the average college student being able to purchase textbooks with an iPad, and carry only that device across campus. Plus, publishers would be able to dodge the resale of used books by campus bookstores -- which doesn't generate any money for them. Finally, we can imagine an app that allows professors to push notations or assignments to students' iPads or even individual books.

Keep your eye on the iPad in the education market. It could push the device over the edge.

[Via Macsimum News]

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