What's the Latest Development?

Just hours ago, Apple announced it is partnering with major textbook publishers as part of its initiative to digitize the industry, just as iTunes did for music. The announcement, held at New York's Guggenheim Museum, included mention of new e-book software that allows anyone to create an interactive, sharp-looking e-book. Geared mainly toward educational publishing, the software will cause the price of textbooks to fall off a cliff. High school textbooks will be introduced through an online store for under $15.

What's the Big Idea?

iTunes U, which allows students to download university lectures, will be retooled, too. Expect big changes in how education is disseminated. With Stanford and MIT leading the way in offering their courses online—and for free—education will become increasingly mobile, social and user-oriented. Diplomas will cease to be education's holy grail as certificates proliferate attesting to exposure to, rather than mastery of, a set of ideas. Look for a renaissance of great teaching, too, as colleges seek to extend their resources to a much wider audience.

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