updated 01:20 pm EST, Fri January 20, 2012
CEO hints at possibility of Android textbooks
Prior to yesterday's textbook announcement, McGraw-Hill had been in talks with Apple since at least June, an AllThingsD interview reveals. "Sitting and listening to all of this, I wish Steve Jobs was here," says McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw. "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. He should be here. He probably is. This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad."
The Jobs comments reflect ones by biographer Walter Isaacson, who has said the Apple co-founder wanted to revolutionize three more fields: photography, textbooks, and TV. They also suggest that Jobs was continuing serious work on projects despite being on medical leave and just months away from dying of cancer. His last presentation at an Apple keynote was June 6th, when the company debuted iCloud.
In his interview, McGraw avoids directly answering the question of whether interactive textbooks could appear on Android devices or other platforms. "We’ll do whatever we can to make this the most meaningful space. And the person, or well -- Steve Jobs and Apple, have done more, in terms of creating this personalized learning platform than anyone," he remarks. "We are excited about it. I get questions that are more defensive. You know: 'Are you concerned about the fact that you could be replaced?' No. You can’t replace content and curriculum and pedagogy and all of that. We’ve got a different platform now, than a textbook, to do all of that. Everybody wins."