Last month, McGraw Hill Education was announced as one of Apple's major publishing partners for iBooks 2, providing textbooks and other educational materials using the iPad. In an interview with Talking Points Memo, the company's senior vice president of new ventures Vineet Madan says that — despite the impressive specs of the new iPad launched last week — the heavy discounts that have been applied to the iPad 2 (with the 16GB model costing just $399) could be bigger news for education. This price point brings the iPad far closer to the $200-$300 mark, which Madan sees as the "tipping-point price" for tablets.

The company currently has more than 50 titles available via iBooks, either published directly or via partner firm Inkling. And although Madan says that the iPad 2 might offer a convincing value proposition to schools, he's excited by the potential for innovation the new tech packed into the new iPad. He envisions the Retina display being used to "enable completely mind-blowing experiences for students. Imagine zooming in again and again on a cell structure in biology, for example, and seeing every level with the same crispness and clarity." Madan's enthusiasm for the platform is obvious, but convincing schools to make such a significant investment might not be an easy task.