“College students will no longer be out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for print textbooks every year. Instead, they’ll read e-textbooks at much less cost — or no cost at all,” Sheila Riley reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“At least, that’s the scenario promoted by e-textbook advocates, a movement that’s flourishing. Sacramento, Calif., nonprofit Twenty Million Minds Foundation, which works to provide free and low-cost digital textbooks, is among those leading the charge,” Riley reports. “And companies such as Apple are pressing ahead in this market.”

“‘We’d like to see all community colleges and state colleges and universities use them,’ said former California State Sen. Dean Florez. The ex-legislator is CEO of 20MM, which refers to the 20 million students in U.S. higher education,” Riley reports. “The foundation is piloting free e-textbooks at three California community colleges.”

Riley reports, “Apple may be in the driver’s seat in this emerging field, says technology analyst Tim Bajarin, president of Silicon Valley-based consulting firm Creative Strategies. ‘At the moment, Apple’s iPad is the only tablet design that’s really optimized for electronic textbooks,’ Bajarin said. The consumer electronics giant, which has long targeted the education market in other areas, is making a play in this market. In January, the company announced iBooks textbooks, which it calls ‘an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive.’ Apple says textbook publishers such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill (MHP) and Pearson (PSO) are making such books available in Apple’s iBookstore, with most prices less than $15, it said.”

Read more in the full article here.