Major textbook publishers have struck deals with software company ScrollMotion Inc. to adapt their textbooks for the electronic page, as the industry embraces a hope that digital devices such as Apple‘s iPad will transform the classroom, reports the Wall Street Journal. The publishers are tapping the know-how of ScrollMotion to develop textbook applications and test-prep and study guides for the iPad. “People have been talking about the impact of technology on education for 25 years. It feels like it is really going to happen in 2010,” said Rik Kranenburg, group president of higher education for the education unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. and one of the publishers involved in the project. Other publishers include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, Pearson PLC’s Pearson Education, and Washington Post Co.’s Kaplan Inc., known for its test-prep and study guides. Many developers and publishers are working on applications that will work on the iPad and other digital devices. Maureen McMahon, president of Kaplan Publishing, said a recent Kaplan study showed that students remain big fans of printed books but that they would be more receptive to e-textbooks on portable digital devices. Whether the iPad will be the digital device to transform the classroom remains to be seen. “Nobody knows what device will take off, or which ‘killer app’ will drive student adaptations. Today they aren’t reading e-textbooks on their laptops. But ahead we see all kinds of new instruction materials,” said Kranenburg…

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