When you think of education, Electronic Arts probably isn't the first company to come to mind. But for the publisher Pearson, EA is exactly the kind of role model it's looking for in remodeling Pearson for a digitized age.
Speaking to GigaOm, chief product officer Luyen Chou revealed his intent for his company to become an "Electronic Arts for education." Chou enumerated, detailing the struggle to keep up with the times, and getting "high-quality, interactive digital learning experiences" into classrooms.
"Digital studios, animators, illustrators, producers, 3D artists – we need to build that capacity within instructional companies like Pearson and we need the whole end-to-end supply chain to the take that from the studio to the actual users,” Chou said. “The folks that have done that well are the EAs of the world, digital studios. That’s not a core competency for companies like Pearson.”
Pearson's lately been busy acquiring a massive amount in the way of pushing toward an interactive education company, spending $1.6 billion on acquisitions alone.
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Today Apple took the stage in New York City to unveil its education initiative, and at the heart of it all is the release of iBooks Textbooks. Textbooks require an iPad running iBooks 2, and Apple hopes this will open up a whole new world of learning to the masses. Bringing with them dynamic, interactive, and updateable content, textbooks on the iPad become instantly relevant and engaging. Apple also made sure to point out that an iPad is much lighter than a backpack full of heavy books. The video above demonstrates Apple's vision for the future of the textbook. iBooks 2 is available now, as are a handful of textbooks from publishers like DK, Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, focusing on the K-12 market for now. Textbooks are $14.99 or less, which is another breakthrough (although you won't be able to sell these back when you're done with them like you can an actual book.)