Wednesday, January 18, 2012
What is a textbook?
Most prominent publishers will show up at work tomorrow in a business as usual fashion. Kodak acted in similar fashion when digital cameras were introduced. Remember Kodak, they made camera film. Or like Xerox, the struggling copier company that invented the Apple graphic user interface, but gave it away for free because they sold copiers not computers.
The textbook publishing companies have been feasting for years selling college textbooks that cost several hundred dollars. The colleges will also be effected because they have been revenue sharing in the soak the student textbook enterprise. With the iPad in service and new publishing tools in place, the colleges and the large publishers will be pushed into the digital world.
Every state simply does not need, can not afford, multiple colleges in a business that is scaler except for local politics. Venture capital saw the writing on the wall and they have invested heavily in this new field. Chegg has raised over $150 million and threatens to be the digital textbook publisher for all students. Watch out for names like Cramster, CourseRank and Notehall. Education is finally going to be hit with the disruptive bullet it deserves.
The next decade will be an exciting one for American education. I just hope our teachers can keep up with the students. Once courses become truly digital from textbooks to notes; perhaps one good teacher and a team of questioning/sharing/curious students accessing digital content from multiple data sources, instantly reformatted and repurposed in a media form that suits each students unique learning style is all the classroom needs.
The opportunities are staggering.