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Posts tagged textbooks

Bookshare introduces new products for disabled readers
February 11, 2013 | 10:00 am

BookshareBookshare has developed two new digital products to help those with disabilities. Bookshare’s Web Reader and Bookshelf were announced at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference, held January 30 through February 2 in Orlando, Fla. The products were created to help those with impairments such as learning disabilities, physical disabilities or low vision. The Web Reader will allow Bookshare members to open books, including NIMAC textbooks, in a browser without the need of any downloads or separate software. The Web Reader is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 9 and above. Web Reader allows individuals to adjust font size, colors and display format....

McGraw-Hill: We don’t need no education publishers
November 30, 2012 | 12:21 pm

  By Andy Richardson, CEO of Influential Software It’s a case of another week, another publishing takeover. This week, McGraw-Hill announced that it was offloading its education publishing business, though this time not to another publisher. The private equity arm of investment firm Apollo Global Management will take control of the textbook publisher, which has undershot its revenue targets in seven of the last eight quarters and has been on the market for a year. Apollo’s decision to invest nearly $2.5 billion in the company is a signal that the money men believe there’s still a lot of profit to be made from educational publishing. What’s less clear, however, is...

Where to Look for Textbook Alternatives
November 29, 2012 | 2:46 pm

I've seen a lot of articles lately about the high cost of textbooks. This one was about site licenses and how they penalize smaller schools. This one is about the use of e-readers in developing countries. This one is an infographic that looks at the issue from a variety of angles. It strikes me as a somewhat American obsession, this textbook habit. When I did my teacher training in New Zealand back in 2005, nobody used textbooks there. There were some resource packets produced by the government for certain curriculum areas, but other than that, you were on your own—it was your job,...

Morning Roundup — Stories you may have missed
November 13, 2012 | 9:16 am

15 Must-Have Collaboration Tools for Journalists (Media Shift) 3M Expands Collaboration with Penguin (Good E-Reader) The Kind of Journalism we Need is Changing but Can Journalists Make the Transition? (GigaOM) Digital Textbook Study Shows Interactive Features Were Used More than Embedded Videos (The Digital Reader) Kindle Daily Deal: Lit by Mary Karr {and} The Elephant's Child by Rudyard Kipling * * * Follow us @TeleRead  Join us on Facebook...

Morning Roundup — Stories you may have missed
November 7, 2012 | 9:12 am

The Templeton Twins Have an IdeaWhy I'm Not Sold on the iPad Mini (Good E-Reader) Will Disney Block Star Wars Fan-Made Content? (Techdirt) Content Hackathons: The Future of Textbooks (GigaOM) Readability Adds New Grid Reading View (The Digital Reader) Kindle Daily Deal: Sly Fox by Jeanine Pirro {and} The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Jeremy Holmes & Ellis Weiner * * * Follow us @TeleRead  Join us on Facebook ...

Report says 57.8% of U.S. students prefer digital textbooks
September 18, 2012 | 12:19 pm

Back in mid-June, we posted a press release that introduced you to BookBoon.com, a London-based online publisher that offers free open-access textbooks for students. We heard from BookBoon again this morning; apparently the company recently asked roughly 10,000 students about their preferences between digital textbooks and printed textbooks. According to BookBoon, 2,164 respondents were students based in the U.S. Even more interesting: BookBoon transformed the survey's results into a few different blog-friendly infographics; the results of the U.S.-based students responses are illustrated in the graphic below. Directly beneath that is a second infographic that displays the results of the UK-based students who responded...

Textbooks: A race to the bottom?
September 13, 2012 | 9:41 pm

From The Textbook Guru comes this interesting op-ed on the price of textbooks. We've all heard about how Amazon, the secondhand market, textbook rentals and so on are taking a bite of Big Pub, but what this article points out is that the average price per title is falling across all markets, not just the 'new textbooks from Big Pub' one. And not only that, but sales are holding steady, not increasing, as prices fall. So, why hasn't the Brave New Marketplace opened up the market? The article suggests that the real fulcrum in the market is rental services. Their prices...

Inkling expands beyond iOS with HTML5 web-based e-textbook reading app
May 31, 2012 | 12:07 am

isolated laptopWe previously reported that Inkling was launching a free e-book publishing platform in competition to Apple’s more restricted iBook Author, and that it was partnering with Follett in an e-textbook program. Up to this point, the utility of Inkling has been a bit limited in that access to its textbooks was restricted to its iOS app, meaning students had to have iPads to make use of the content and couldn’t use it in anything else. But now TechCrunch reports that Inkling has just unveiled an HTML 5.0 web application that can allow any Inkling e-textbook to be viewed on...

Digital content alone may not reduce textbook prices
May 11, 2012 | 12:34 am

Caroline Vanderlip, CEO of SharedBook, has an opinion piece on Inside Higher Ed stating that “going digital” is not a panacea that will automatically bring about lower prices for textbooks. Much as publishers of mass market fiction have been saying, if the costs of producing the material remain the same, the price of the textbook will stay about the same whether the distribution method is digital or electronic. And OER (open educational resources” material will not necessarily change this either, at least for a while—there just isn’t very much of it yet. Vanderlip writes that the best way of...

Changing the ending retroactively: Mass Effect’s new DLC and implications for e-books
April 7, 2012 | 7:01 pm

Might one of the as-yet-untapped benefits of e-books be the ability to revise? After the ending of Mass Effect 3 sent fans into an uproar, BioWare and Electronic Arts have announced that a free downloadable content pack will be released this summer including additional cinematic sequences that will “give fans seeking further clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3 deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes.” Make no mistake, fans were extremely upset at the ending of the game. Instead of the expected multitude of different endings depending on the choices characters had made, there were...

Cengage Learning pulls textbooks from Kno; Kno sues
February 16, 2012 | 1:05 pm

All may not be coming up roses in e-textbook land. Sarah Kessler reports on Mashable that one of Kno’s largest-selling textbook publishers, Cengage Learning, is attempting to pull its material from Kno’s store—and Kno is suing for breach of license agreement. Though Kno deals with about 40 publishers, Cengage’s content has historically made up 25% of its overall sales. However, Cengage doesn’t like the way Kno allows users to copy and paste passages from textbooks into a separate journal view, considering it an unauthorized derivative work. The publisher gave Kno 30 days to correct the issue, then terminated the...

Expense of iPads could make Apple’s tablet-based learning future problematic for high schoolers
January 22, 2012 | 11:15 pm

On TechCrunch, MG Siegler looks at the new education programs launched by Apple and what they really mean for high schoolers. In Siegler’s opinion, not much. While they might give college students incentive to get iPads, he finds it doubtful that most high school students will be able to get their own, in keeping with Apple’s stated goal that students should be able to buy e-textbooks and keep them forever. The program will be great for college students, Siegler points out. The idea of textbook prices capped at $15 makes the sting of not being able to “sell them...

Apple rumored to announce ‘GarageBand for e-books’, e-textbooks for iPad at event tomorrow
January 18, 2012 | 9:15 am

Ars Technica has a roundup of expectations for tomorrow’s special Apple event. Sources are suggesting a number of interesting possibilities, such as Apple producing a “GarageBand for e-books”—an inexpensive app that simplifies e-book creation and publication as GarageBand has for music. But Apple may have more up its sleeve than just an e-book creation application. It may be planning announcements having to do with digital textbooks, especially considering that the iPad has a great big screen and multimedia capabilities that the company hasn’t really tapped yet for textbook applications. [Inkling CEO Matt] MacInnis...

Kno adds analytical and flashcard features to its e-textbooks
January 17, 2012 | 11:51 pm

E-textbook provider Kno has not let getting out of the tablet business slow it down. (Indeed, given the lackluster performance of any tablet not made by Apple or Amazon lately, it was probably the wisest move it could have made.) CNet has a report from CES on some new features Kno has been adding to its e-textbooks. The features include metrics built into the textbooks that will track things like the time students spend reading, notes they’ve taken, and study habits. It will let them compare their own study habits to those of others, and let professors see how...

Bookstep offers a la carte model for e-textbooks
December 23, 2011 | 4:15 pm

Bookstep-Logo-300x225I’m sure everyone who went to college has had the experience of having to buy a whole book when their professor only turned out to need a few chapters from it. One of the obvious benefits of digital media is that it is more easily segmented than a printed and bound book; in theory, students ought to be able to buy just the parts they need. That’s the idea behind e-textbook site Bookstep.com. This startup allows students to buy just the portions of books and materials their professors need for their classes. Founder Mike Basaraba tells Publishing Perspectives: ...

Steve Jobs planned to go after e-textbooks next, biographer says
October 23, 2011 | 1:15 pm

Steve Jobs has been dead for a few weeks, and so it’s time for everyone to start prognosticating what Jobs really wanted, what he really thought about things, and what he had in mind for the future. Easy to do that when the man isn’t around to speak for himself. Much of this comes from Jobs’s authorized biography, which has been released to newsmedia in advance of its actual publication. Most of it isn’t really on topic for discussion here, but the New York Times mentions that Jobs was planning to hire textbook writers to create digital versions of...

E-textbook problems limit adoption
August 26, 2011 | 6:47 pm

Wired’s Gadget Lab blog reports on the state of digital textbooks, and despite the optimism of some e-textbook manufacturers it isn’t really good. E-textbooks aren’t making much of a dent in the textbook market because most of the time buying and reselling used textbooks is still a better deal. Even though the current generation of students are more dependent on digital technology and mobile devices than ever, most aren’t buying e-textbooks because they are pricier and more heavily restricted than paper books—locked down so students have only limited use of them, and sometimes even expiring after six months....

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