That’s the result shown in an excellent graphic in the Mercury News.  It’s part of an article called Will Apple create the all-iPad classroom?

According to the graphic, for 32 students over a period of 6 years, the cost of an iPad textbook will run $36,000.  This includes the initial cost of the iPad and replacement costs during the 6 year period.  By way of contrast, the cost of a regular textbook over that period will be $11,328, including replacement costs.  That’s a big difference!

The article goes on to say:

Many schools are forging ahead with iPads, even without the iBook 2 textbook service. With local bond money, the tiny Emery school district in Alameda County plans to eventually buy an iPad for every student in grades seven to 12. Already, it has issued tablets to 180 students in grades seven, nine and 10 and traded in its algebra and geometry textbooks for electronic ones. It plans to do the same for all core subjects by the 2013-14 school year.

“It’s time for the education industry to catch up with the students,” said John Perry, district director of information technology. He thinks the students will take care of the iPads and expects a damage and loss rate of less than 7 percent, because students don’t want to lose access to the devices and tend to take care of them as a result.

Online texts are not limited to Apple’s iBooks, of course. Nearly all hardcover textbooks come with electronic editions. The Acalanes Union High School District in Lafayette pioneered an interactive Algebra I book, the HMH Fuse, which publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt marketed on a traditional model: It’s $49 per book for a six-year license.

It may be that those models, or open-source textbooks that cost districts nothing, will emerge as the alternative to the iBook classroom.

Thanks to Michael von Glahn for the link.