Jefferies & Co. believes that tablets are ideally suited to help children learn faster and more enjoyably.

The brokerage said research into early childhood education, educational techniques, and addressing disabilities has revealed a potential link between physical touch and learning.

Apple Inc.'s iPads have been used in schools to great effect. Educational apps let children trace, spell, and pronounce words. Speaking with educational officials, these same apps are being used to engage children with dyslexia and autism, which has led to outstanding success for some individuals, said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies.

Misek said the key seems to be the fact that children can physically touch something with their fingers rather than pushing a pen or pencil. This interaction then registers with the brain more aptly than traditional methods.

At the other end of the educational spectrum, Misek is beginning to hear about efforts by textbook publishers to transcribe and redo textbooks.

Misek said the lugging of large and numerous textbooks around in a knapsack has always been a bane of the college experience. Having to take only one iPad that weighs around a pound would be much more pleasant.

In addition, textbook publishers can incorporate interactive content from videos, models, audio clips, and real-time examples. Misek said he can envision a world where all students who require textbooks only take a tablet with them.