We brought you the information at the beginning of the new year that Apple were planning on holding a small scale event in New York, stepping away from their usual event home within San Francisco. At the time of writing there wasn’t a great deal of information available about the specifics of the event, other than it was rumored that Eddy Cue, the companies Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services would likely be in attendance.
We have moved seven days closer to the event, and Jim Dalrymple from The Loop is reporting that invitations from Apple have started to make their way to select media outlets for the event on January 19th. The invitation itself follows the familiar pattern of being visually simplistic and not giving away any specifics other than confirming the date and that it will be based around an educational announcement.
Now that the event data and topic has been confirmed, the speculation can begin about the actual specifics of the event and the nature of the announcement. In December of 2011, the Michigan Institute of Education (MIT) announced the launch of an online learning initiative which will offer a select portfolio of MIT courses through a web based platform. With the Cupertino companies long standing relationship with the learning establishment people are already talking about some form of partnership in the program which has been called MITx.
When news of the event in New York was first broken, it was thought that it could be related to the iBooks store and application which users can download free of charge onto iOS devices. The iBooks Store is one of the media units that comes under the remit of Eddy Cue, and with this being an educational announcement we could see learning text books being made available on iBooks.
The company has made no secret about the fact they believe their iPad could play an increasingly important role in the future of education. During numerous keynote speeches, the educational adoption of the tablet device has been brought up, along with various video presentations of the iPad being used in a learning environment. It seems as though January 19th could provide some insight into future plans to make the iPad an important learning tool.