Commercial iBooks textbooks are a marketing head fake. They’re the equivalent of carbon fibre buggy whips. iTunes U is the game changer. Put iBooks Author and iTunes U into the hands of great teachers, put iPads in their students hands, put them all in a room together then step back and see what happens. That’s the ballgame.
Source: Fraser Speirs
Also, this from the Macworld piece:
Apple already revolutionized education when it invented the iPad. While iBooks textbooks are a bridge from the past to the future—and we do need a way to get to the future—they are not that future. If Henry Ford had been an educational publisher, his customers would have asked for electronic textbooks instead of faster horses.
I understand why Apple is pushing on this: the textbook is culturally and politically embedded in the American education system. It’s also an obvious and easily understood way to sell the benefits of the iPad to the people who control educational spending. Such people are often not ready to hear a pitch about teachers and pupils creating their own materials, using the Internet for learning, and communicating with peers and experts around the world.