By Ian Bush

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Apple has announced its aim to replace a high schooler’s backpack full of books with electronic textbooks on an iPad. But many students are still priced out of the market.

Teachers are there to help breathe life into words on a page, but when it’s time for engaging homework, Apple thinks there’s room for improvement.

“Interactive textbooks. These can include video, audio, and even 3D models that students and kids can interact with.”

CNET’s Wilson Tang says (via Skype) Apple is focusing on high schools for now with iBooks 2 and iPad — with major publishers’ titles like Chemistry, Algebra, and Biology. Think taking a three-dimensional ride through the structure of a cell.

With iBooks Author and iTunes U, Apple says educators can create their own books and lesson plans and even online courses.

“It kind of bridges the digital gap between the student and teacher.”

The textbooks are $15 or less, but there are no plans to make the $500 price tag on the base model iPad any easier for students or school districts to swallow.

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