It was bound to happen, I suppose. As tablet computers have started targeting school students (e.g. the low-cost Akash tablet that was launched in India some weeks ago), others have started entering the market by bundling content designed for their tablets.
Who best to do so than Apple? Sure enough, Apple has announced iBooks 2 for the iPad. The new iBooks 2 app can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
The intent is to make learning much more interactive and engaging than is ever going to be possible with paper based text books. Imagine 3D images and videos in vivid colours or animated diagrams with a voiceover that explains the circulation of blood in human bodies or how volcanoes erupt.
Students can take digital notes. They even get access to study cards and easy search capability for specific definitions. In time, perhaps even practice tests will become available.
All content is digital, which also means students no longer need to carry heavy backpacks stuffed with a variety of books. Apple has tied up with leading providers of education content, including companies like Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which means that top-notch textbooks will be available via iBooks 2.
For it to be effective, such content must be available to students at a reasonable price. With that in mind, Apple has priced each textbook at a competitive $15 (£10) or less. The real challenge for some, though, might well be the initial investment required to buy an iPad in the first place.