iBooks Textbooks Was All Steve Jobs’ Vision, Terry McGraw Reveals

McGraw-Hill CEO wishes Jobs was here to see his dream fulfilled

In an interview with All Things D, publisher Terry McGraw confirms that everything Apple announced last Tuesday was Steve Jobs’ vision, as revealed in Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Apple co-founder.

"Sitting and listening to all of this, I wish Steve Jobs was here," McGraw told Peter Kafka after the iBooks 2 announcement.

iBooks 2 features Textbooks, which opens the door for truly interactive learning. And iBooks Author, a new Mac app, allows teachers and virtually anyone with a talent for writing, to create enhanced textbooks for everyone.

"I was with him in June this past year, and we were talking about some of the benchmarks, and some of the things that we were trying to do together...This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad," McGraw revealed.

Author Walter Isaacson, who wrote the Steve Jobs biography, reveals in his book that Jobs had "set his sights on textbooks," and that he believed textbooks were an $8-billion-a-year business that was "ripe for destruction."

“[Jobs’] "idea was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions, and make them a feature of the iPad," Isaacson wrote. "In addition, he held meetings with the major publishers such as Pearson Education, about partnering with Apple."

Asked why they decided to make this foray into digital textbooks now, rather than in 2010 when the first iPad came out, McGraw said “We’ve explored every possible way to be in this space, and to make it more accessible, and make it more of a learning platform, rather than just a textbook.”

“So with the textbook now, it’s growing up. Apple has really essentially turbocharged the process, and it’s just going to open up the world of learning to more people. Anything we can do to be a part of that, we’re going to do.”

“Steve Jobs and Apple, have done more, in terms of creating this personalized learning platform than anyone,” added McGraw.

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