It’s official: Apple has doubled down on education. In today’s announcement of its new iBooks 2 platform, the company also introduced iBooks Textbooks, iPad-based textbooks that it’s been developing, so far, in conjunction with textbook giants Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The collection of primers — which Apple is variously referring to as a “new textbook experience” and “the next chapter in learning” — leverages the interactive capabilities of the tablet and applies them to educational content.This is big news because it’s a big deal. In entering the textbook market, Apple is also transforming it.Textbooks have remained, depending on your perspective, either amazingly consistent or amazingly stagnant over the thousands of years they’ve been around. Whether codexes or scrolls, whether scrawled on papyrus or printed on paper, their purpose has remained the same: to contain and systematize the educational experience, making knowledge both portable and economical. Textbooks have been optimized to render the vagaries of circumstance irrelevant.