Will iPad, or devices like it, transform the classroom? Will they reinvent books? Save newspapers? Some think so.
Textbook publishers are already making deals with software companies to digitize their texts. ScrollMotion is one example of a software company positioned to adapt books, create textbooks, texts and study guides for the tablet computer market.
According to Compass Intelligence, a market research firm, investment in technology is set to grow from $61.9 million in 2013, up from about $48 billion in 2008.
No one knows now whether the revolutionizing product, one that would be embraced by students and teachers, will be the Apple iPad or something else. Contenders in the sector are netbooks, very small laptop computers, and the Kindle, an electronic reader that lets users instantly and seamlessly download books from Amazon.com.
Also unknown are the applications that will dominate digital education.
ScrollMotion's chief executive John Lema is sure of one thing. "This is the beginning of handheld education," Lema told the Wall Street Journal.
The iPad's entry level price of $499 puts it well in range of investments for schools. But experts don't expect schools to adopt the device right away.
The iPad is expected to be available in March 2010. The Kindle is currently widely available as well as other readers