Friday, December 30, 2011

Presentation On Digital Textbooks ?

Depending on interest (and matching support) I am considering a potential roadtrip to Europe to present a state-of-the-art review on digital textbooks.

As you may be aware I have a blog devoted to digital textbooks named _DT > Digital Textbooks_

For the past several months my focus has been on populating a Mendeley database that currently contains several hundred major/minor cites/sites.

I am posting to ask if you and/or your library colleagues might have an interest in hosting and sponsoring such a presentation.

I can be available from mid-May to mid-August (or other dates).

Thanks for considering !


Friday, June 10, 2011

Library Mobile > 6 > Configuring The 'Future Textbook'

The Sixth >  New Column > Configuring The 'Future Textbook', Searcher v. 19 no. 4 (May 2011) p. 43-47.

In late May 2006, more than 50 educators and publishers, representing a wide range of specialties, gathered at the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.C., to participate in a 3-day National Science Foundation-funded workshop titled "Reconsidering the Textbook."

Through small- and large-group discussions, the attendees "examined the current state of the textbook and its relationship to the growing number of electronic tools that also serve as learning resources for today's students" and sought to envision the textbook of the future.

At the conclusion of the workshop there was general consensus that:

[T]he textbook of the future will be more than a static printed  volume. ... It will function as a guide, interweaving and coordinating a variety of different learning resources including animations, simulations, and interactive exercises. ... [It will] be easily searchable, and thus would be learner accessible with a flexible electronic interface.

The group envisioned the "Future Textbook" - whether printed or electronic - as "the organizing hub of an  integrated learning environment [that would] become increasingly adaptable, customizable, and responsive." They imagined it as a "Web-linked travel guide" that was modular by design, thus allowing an instructor to configure content to suit the goals of a particular course as well as the specific needs of individual students. In this view, access to networked resources would strongly promote higher-level thinking. The group also agreed that the Future Textbook would be integrated with course management systems.


Self-archived at  (10 June 2011)

Friday, April 22, 2011

CT > Blackboard and McGraw-Hill Go Live With Combined Course System

Campus Technology > Dian Schaffhauser > 04/19/11
Sooner than expected, a course system has been launched from Blackboard and McGraw-Hill Higher Education that blends course management from one company with content from the other. First publicly announced in January 2011, the new offering, which has no particular name, provides users with a single point of access for online courses, materials, and learning tools.
The integrated suite uses McGraw-Hill's content creation and assessment products, Connect and Create, within Blackboard Learn 9.1. Support for Learn 8.0 is planned for later in the year. By offering all course resources in a single environment, the solution is designed to improve faculty and student workflows with single sign-on and automatic synchronization of all grades for McGraw-Hill assignments with the Blackboard Learn gradebook.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Webinar > Spotlight On Innovation: Attacking High Text Costs While Improving Outcomes > Recording Now Available > April 11 2011

Spotlight On Innovation: Attacking High Text Costs While Improving Outcomes

Moderated by Eric Frank, President and Co-Founder of Flat World Knowledge, this esteemed panel (Darlene McCoy Associate Vice Chancellor of USO, Affordability and Efficiency; Dr. Steve Acker, Research Director, EText Ohio Project; Dr. Cable Green Project Director of eLearning and Open Education, WA State Board for Comm. and Tech. Colleges; Dr. Mirta Martin Dean, Reginald F. Lewis School of Business; and Dr. Andrew Feldstein Assistant Professor VSU) discusses three of the most exciting initiatives aimed at driving costs down while enhancing innovation and outcomes.

Available At




Tuesday, April 5, 2011

ELI Web Seminar > Textbook Affordability: Emerging Solutions in Ohio | April 4 2011

Over the past few years, we've seen a growing interest in electronic educational resources and a move toward digital textbooks as a way to help a financially distressed higher education. During this webinar, we'll discuss why textbook costs have skyrocketed; how textbook costs impact students, faculty, and institutions; and current initiatives by the University System of Ohio to address textbook affordability and learning outcomes. We'll also discuss what defines open educational resources and open textbooks and how they can reduce costs by up to 80 percent while increasing quality and accessibility.


Darlene McCoy / Associate Vice Chancellor > Division of Affordability and Efficiency > University System of Ohio
Steve Acker / Research Director > Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project
Eric Frank / President and Co-Founder > Flat World Knowledge
Shu Schiller / Assistant Professor of Information Systems  > Wright State University

Malcolm Brown, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative director, and Veronica Diaz, ELI associate director, will moderate this webinar.

Links To Source And PPTs And Recording Available At


Note:  Steve Acker presentation PPT "Digital Textbooks/Learning Materials The Ohio Strategic Summit" includes topics for the Digital Bookstore Summit | April 26 2011 | Columbus, Ohio |

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FREE TechU Ohio Webinar > Update on eTextbooks > March 24 2011 | 11 AM EDT

Update on eTextbooks

Date: March 24, 2011 / 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon EDT

Presenter: Steve Acker, OhioLINK

Summary: Ohio’s textbook affordability initiative focuses on improving learning outcomes as well as reducing the cost of textbooks. A major component of the plan is the Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project. 

In Year 1 of the Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project, five major publishers made their Introductory Psychology textbook available in digital form at a discount from print of 70%. In Year 2, the disciplines of Accounting, Biology, and Economics will be added and aggressive efforts to bring more librarians, instructional designers, and accessibility experts into the community will be undertaken. 

The three strands of the Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project’s "DNA" are (1) working with traditional textbook publishers, (2) engaging in open educational resources initiatives, and (3) supporting digital literacy workshops and programs for both faculty and students reaching toward “personalized learning environments.”  
Each of these strands is connected and will interoperate as the learning materials environment evolves over the next five years. Traditional publishers will adapt to the OER movement, which will continue to change as an alternative to current practices. Faculty and students will continue to develop “personalized learning environments” for collecting, packaging and using content to serve individualized learning needs. We will discuss all of this, and more, in this OLN webinar.


Free Registration Available At


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Digital Bookstore Summit | April 26 2011 | Columbus, Ohio |

Digital Bookstore Summit | April 26 2011 | Columbus, Ohio |

Location: Columbus State Community College Conference Center

Street: 315 Cleveland Avenue, 4th floor

Space is limited to the first 120 participants


8:00 -9:00 a.m. Registration and Morning Refreshments

9:00-9:15 a.m. Welcome and Overview - Darlene McCoy, Associate Vice Chancellor, Ohio Board of Regents

9:15-10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion – Ballroom

Brief statement by each panel member and discussion in response to this prompt: Five years from now, what will the market for learning materials be, what strategic proposals will drive your contribution to that market, and how can we work together for the cost and learning benefits of our students? Facilitated by Steve Acker.


Stacy Waymire, Executive Director, Independent College Bookstore Association

Charles Ginn, Ohio Faculty Innovator and Field Service Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Vineet Madan, Vice President Learning Ecosystems, McGraw Hill Education

Jeff Shelstad, Founder/CEO, Flat World Knowledge

John Magill, Executive Director, OhioLINK

Elizabeth Cates, President of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, University of Cincinnati

10:30-10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions

There will be 4 breakout sessions. Each group will engage in an action oriented dialogue around concrete strategies for
addressing more affordable textbooks and improved student learning over the next 2 years. [Room assignment listed on name badge.]

Room 402 Facilitator: Paula Compton, Associate Vice Chancellor, Ohio Board of Regents

Room 404 Facilitator: Charles Ginn, Field Service Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Room 409 Facilitator: Ann O’Beay, Ohio Board of Regents

Room 415 Facilitator: Julie Banks, University Retail Operations Manager, University of Dayton

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Box Lunch (working lunch)

1 – 2:00 p.m. Continue Breakout Sessions Prepare Outcomes for Sharing

2:00-2:15 p.m. Break (afternoon refreshments)

2:15-3:30 p.m. Report Out, General Discussion and Next Steps - Ballroom

3:30 p.m. Adjourn and thanks


Note: Steve Acker presentation PPT "Digital Textbooks/Learning Materials The Ohio Strategic Summit"  for ELI Web Seminar > Textbook Affordability: Emerging Solutions in Ohio | April 4 2011 [] includes topics for the Digital Bookstore Summit [04-07-11].

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Future of e-Textbooks: A Symposium On The Influence Of e-Textbooks On Academic Life

"The Future of E-textbooks" will consider various questions about teaching, learning, and technology, as well as the economics and future business models of the e-textbook market. Organizers say the arrival of Smart Boards, personal computers, and wireless printers has begun to change the way that students interact with faculty and academic content. In addition, the recent arrival of e-readers, tablet PCs, and smart phones may bring with it the end of printed textbooks.


The symposium will also feature a panel discussion with U-M faculty instructors doing innovative work with electronic course materials, and another with a group of U-M students who are participating in an e-textbook pilot project in one of their courses.




March 18 2011 / Friday / 9:00AM - 4:00PM
University of Michigan - Central Campus
Palmer Commons
917 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

>>> Refreshments and lunch provided by Elsevier >>>


Bryan Skib, Associate University Librarian for Collections, University of Michigan Library & Suzanne BeDell, Managing Director for Science & Technology Books, Elsevier: Welcome & Opening Remarks

Maria Bonn, Associate University Librarian for Publishing, University of Michigan Library: Responding to the Changing Textbook Terrain at the University of Michigan

Stephen Acker, Associate Professor, Ohio State University | Research Director, eTextOhio Project: Avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons: Creating new business models for digital textbook delivery that serve publisher, librarian, bookstore, faculty and student requirements

Natsuko Nicholls, Research Area Specialist Associate, MPublishing, University of Michigan Library: Michigan Textbook Study and Pilot: A Research Perspective

Ken Brooks, Senior Vice President, Global Production and Manufacturing Services, Cengage Learning: The New Textbook: Moving Beyond Paper

Rafael Sidi, Vice President, Product Management for ScienceDirect, Elsevier: There's an App for That!  Empowering the Community for Better Outcomes

Panel Discussions

University of Michigan Faculty/Instructor Panel

Moderated by Scott Dennis, Humanities Librarian and Coordinator, Core Electronic Resources at the University Library

Join us for a discussion with three instructors at UM doing innovative work with electronic course materials.  

Learn how they developed their own course textbooks, incorporate electronic texts into the curriculum and their vision for e-textbooks.

Tim McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics
Brenda Gunderson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics
Chris Gerben, Graduate Student Instructor / Graduate Teaching Consultant, Department of English Language and Literature

University of Michigan Student Panel

Moderated by Jennifer Green, Manager of SAND, Government Information & Maps at the University Library

Current UM students will talk about their use of e-textbooks for courses, including their likes and dislikes, as well as their perspective on what would make e-textbooks viable in the future.



FREE Registration


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Reference Tree > eTextbooks By The Chapter

Reference Tree launches exciting new content platform

Innovative new resource allows students to purchase eTextbooks by the chapter.

London, UK: New UK based eTextbook Aggregator, Reference Tree, today announced the launch of its new content platform to all UK higher education.


Innovative in approach, Reference Tree is an exciting new resource that delivers electronic textbooks by the chapter. Designed to address the changing dynamics of study and learning in today's digital climate, the service allows students to purchase just the portions of the textbook they require to efficiently complete their coursework. Not only are the most up-to-date sources of information available for learning and study, but the by-chapter approach enables students to spread the investment in course materials throughout the academic year. In addition, the service further enhances the learning experience with key features such as the ability to highlight and annotate text and, coming soon, the ability to collaborate with trusted peers through sharing of notes and comments.


Reference Tree is already supported by world renowned publishers such as Elsevier, Taylor + Francis, Sage, Hodder Education, McGraw Hill, Cambridge University Press and many others who will deliver content through the service. [snip].

About Reference Tree

Reference Tree is a new eTextbook Aggregator focussed on the UK Higher Education market. Launched in November 2010 with titles from leading academic Publishers, Reference Tree's per-chapter model enables students to spread their investment in their textbooks over the year and provides a new digital revenue model for Publishers.





Friday, February 4, 2011

Education World > E-readers Bring E-xcitement And E-ase to Reading

Education World / E-readers Bring E-xcitement And E-ase To Reading / Cara Bafile

"There are many advantages to using the Kindle," shares Kathy Parker. "When students come across a word they’re not familiar with, they automatically use the dictionary feature to look up what the word means. Using that feature has become second nature to our students."

As a librarian at Seneca (Illinois) Grade School, Parker helps coordinate her middle-school students' use of Amazon Kindle e-readers in language arts/literature classes and self-contained classrooms. Students primarily use the e-readers to read titles from their independent reading lists. [snip].

"The book Savvy by Ingrid Law was read together in a seventh-grade literature class at the beginning of the school year to acclimate students to using the Kindle," Parker explains. "Our eighth grade students will be reading Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl later this year when they begin their Holocaust unit and research papers."


"The ability to change font size has impacted many of our readers, especially those who struggle. Since they’re not seeing as many words on the screen at one time, they’re better able to comprehend what they’re reading," reports Parker.

Another plus of the Kindle is its "text to speech" feature. Students who are strong auditory learners can use the feature to listen to higher-level novels than are typically in their reading range. [snip].

"Many students find they’re reading books at a faster pace, which enables them to read more books in the same amount of time," Parker observed.[snip].

Will DeLamater, an expert and the creator of the online resource EduKindle, has been instrumental in the development of Parker’s program. And Parker and her colleagues report that, to date, they’ve encountered no issues with the e-readers. [snip].



"E-readers are the next logical step for schools to take in keeping up with educational technological advancements," explains Patrick Mish, CEO and founder of M-Edge. "Most young people spend the majority of their day using some kind of electronic device, whether it’s a gaming device, a laptop, or a cell phone. E-readers bring something familiar and make reading more accessible to these young people. They are a tool to get students excited about books, reading, and learning."


Grants are available to assist with implementation of e-reader technology in the classroom, Mish advises, and M-Edge is currently collaborating with eReadia to host webinars that will give teachers and administrators advice about establishing an e-reader program. Beyond convenience, Mish sees money-saving opportunities for schools that implement e-readers: fewer new hardcopy textbooks will need to be purchased on a yearly basis and fewer handouts will need to be printed.



Reasons To E-Read

As CEO of M-Edge, Patrick Mish believes there are several advantages to using e-reader technology in schools.

* Accessibility: Required reading materials can be loaded onto a single compact device. Many classic novels no longer under copyright are free and easy to download, giving teachers and students access to books in a matter of minutes.
* Customization: E-readers enable users to resize fonts, and offer a text-to-speech function that’s been shown to help children with learning disabilities, especially dyslexia, improve their reading skills and comprehension.
* Quality: On-the-fly updates to electronic content deliver a much more accurate educational experience to students.
* Excitement: Empirical data suggests students who read with an e-reader read more books and read them faster.



In Pennsylvania, librarians in the Chambersburg Area School District are introducing e-readers in an effort to boost interest in, and facilitate, reading. Initial data suggests the project is working.


E-readers -- Kindles, Nooks, and even iPads -- are popping up in Chambersburg's elementary, middle, and junior high schools as well. Students are permitted to download free samples of books to determine if they might like to read the selections in their entirety, but the kids are not allowed to make purchases. They must fill out a "request slip" and ask a librarian to obtain a desired e-book. [snip].


"Gaining more e-readers is very much in our plans," Hammond explained. "We currently have several grant applications submitted which, if funded, will provide Kindles for the English Language Learners throughout the district and will bring iPads to the middle school library department. Wi-Fi Kindles already have been purchased for use in some of our elementary libraries, and they will be utilized as soon as the special Wi-Fi networks are set up at those schools."

E-readers Worth A Look

Before making a purchase, Patrick Mish recommends investigating a variety of devices to find one that will work best for students and the classroom environment. Special consideration must be given to the interface, which should be easy to teach with and simple for students to use. [snip].




Thursday, February 3, 2011

Could iPads Or E-Readers Become The Future Of Education ... ?

SchoolSpring / February 2 2011

Anthony Jackson, Superintendent of the Henry County Public Schools, VA, said “From what I’ve seen, the iPad is going to be a transformational platform for textbooks”. Jackson said that the school system was so impressed when the first iPads arrive last summer that it used federal stimulus funds to expand the initial Pearson pilot program from 20 devices to 1,700. [snip]. (Dennis, 2011)

Just think about the millions of trees it takes to produce all the textbooks provided to students around the country. What if all those textbooks were on-line? Each student would only have to carry one small 8×10 lightweight ‘electronic textbook’ instead of up to 50 lbs of textbooks ... .

IPads are part of Pilot Programs in at least two areas of the country; Virginia and California.

“The iPads are part of an ambitious pilot program by the state of Virginia, targeted to a generation that has grown up surrounded by computer screens and digital gadgets. The devices offer a digital platform for longtime print textbook publishers like Pearson Education Inc., the British publishing firm with large divisions in Boston. [snip].

“Kathy Mickey, an analyst with Simba, said that the iPad has “a wow factor right now that’s attractive to everybody: students, teachers, and publishers. In addition, Mickey said, [snip].

Do you think the iPad program would work in your district?



CT > Blackboard And McGraw-Hill Test New Course System In 20 Pilots

Campus Technology / 01-27-11 / Dian Schaffhauser

A slew of schools are testing out a blend of course management functionality and textbook content that could make for a simpler transition for institutions to the use of more digital curriculum. Blackboard and McGraw-Hill Higher Education have put together an integrated digital course system that combines a single point of access, learning tools, and class content, along with multiple other features.

Currently, 20 colleges and universities are running pilots tests, and an additional 100 instructors are expected to participate. The offering combines the latest version of Blackboard Learn, a learning management system, with McGraw-Hill's Connect and Create. Connect is an application to help faculty create digital course content and assignments and do automatic grading; Create lets faculty compile textbooks that use their own materials as well as content from the company's publishing portfolio.

[snip]. Faculty can build their own textbooks by compiling chapters from the McGraw-Hill catalog and then selling them to students through a link on the course site. Other tools enable instructors to provide students with textual content and recorded lectures, also from within the course site.

The product is expected to be widely available in summer 2011 and will run on Blackboard Learn version 9.1.

"As instructors, we have limited time with our students in the classroom, and have found that digital programs allow us to continually engage with them on their schedule and in an online environment that they are comfortable in," said Kayla Christensen, a lecturer of accounting at Iowa State University, one of the schools that will pilot the new platform. "This solution will give us more time with our students and facilitate on-going learning and assessment through streamlined access to course materials.


Ray Henderson, Blackboard Learn president, believes the new offering will lead to "faster and deeper adoption of digital products" in higher education. "This is the industry's first solution that effectively pairs a top-flight learning platform with high quality, cloud-based publisher content and tools," he said. [snip].

The companies have provided a video that explains the integrated system online.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Converge > E-readers, E-books Represent Future For [Houston[ Community College [Southwest]

Converge Magazine / January 20 2011 / Tanya Roscorla

After piloting e-readers and e-books in the classroom, Houston Community College Southwest decided the digital tools were ready for prime time this semester. And in the future, they're the way to go for this campus.

"Faculty want these devices, students are intrigued by them and are using them, and generally the response is positive to the device," said Doug Rowlett, instructional design coordinator for the Southwest campus.

With the Chancellor's Innovation Grant, Rowlett placed more than 200 e-readers in students' hands. Between fall 2009 and 2010, faculty members and about 350 students tested the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad and enTourage eDGe. They also tested e-books to see how they would work in the classroom.


Faculty Members In Different Subject Areas Prefer Different e-Readers

In the humanities, faculty said the Kindle worked the best. In the sciences, iPads fit the bill. And in developmental classes, faculty preferred the eDGe.

Rowlett thought the English teachers would be all over the iPad, but they actually preferred the Kindle. In their classes, students primarily read books, and with the iPads, they didn't stay on task. [snip].

But science demands full color, interactivity and video to bring images and concepts to life. And that's where the iPad shines.

In developmental classes, instructors like the eDGe because it allows English language learners to improve their speaking by listening to audio files.They also use a stylus to take notes on the touchscreen, write a journal, watch movies, surf the web and read on the e-ink reading screen.


"None of the devices are perfect, but they all work well at what they’ve been designed to do. And so we’re finding that this is going to be the future as far as we’re concerned.”

E-books, e-Readers Represent The Future

But that future won't be device specific.

Rowlett submit[ted] a list of the devices that the college has tested and proven to work well in the classroom to the board. Then he'll leave it up to instructors to decide which devices they want students to use. As new devices come out, the college will test them and add them to the list if they work well.


Students Score Higher With e-Books, e-Readers

In the biology classes, students take standard entrance and exit exams, and the college compared classes that scored the same on the entrance exams. In the class with e-books and e-readers, students scored 15 to 17 points better than students in the traditional textbook class. And that's significant because those numbers could represent the difference between a C and B or a B and A.


E-readers Hold Up Over Time

During the study, the college also wanted to see whether the devices were robust enough to withstand use in the classroom. Out of the 200 devices, only five were damaged enough to be replaced, and that damage mostly came from being dropped. [snip].

E-books Save Students Money

One of the hurdles the college will have to overcome is getting financial aid to pay for the cost of the devices. This semester, faculty members signed up on waiting lists to check out sets of devices. [snip].

Rowlett encourages faculty members to use e-books and content freely available in the public domain as much as possible because of the traditional textbook prices. [snip].


If students bought a device the first semester, and their e-books cost 50 percent or less than the paper version, they would break even the first semester. The second semester, they would start saving money, and that's what students are excited about.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio > VitalSource® For Integrated e-Textbook Delivery

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is excited to announce our cutting edge e-book program using VitalSource, one of the most advanced e-book software systems in the world.

Beginning with the Fall 2010 semester, select courses will be “e-book classes,” where all students will only use e-books, resulting in a savings of money and paper.

Save Money. Use Your Financial Aid.

Using e-books instead of traditional NEW printed textbooks results in a savings of money and resources to both the student and the University. Students enrolled in courses using e-books will typically see a textbook cost savings of about 60% as compared to new textbooks. [snip].

Conveniently Green.

The e-book shelf, VitalSource, allows highlighting, note-taking, and note-sharing among you and your classmates. Professors can also make notes in the e-books and make them available by download to the class. Students will be able to download the e-book to two personal computers AND books are accessible online from any computer that has internet access ... .

[snip]. VitalSource also has apps for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch,, so the books go where you go.

Same Quality. More Options.

VitalSource allows for custom e-books built from multiple textbook publishers, so faculty pick and choose chapters from a base textbook and can even add chapters from another textbook, building a resource of unique classroom materials. Faculty can also add case studies and an assortment of other material available from the publisher, including interactive exercises, high quality videos, multimedia links and rich graphics.

Miss The Paper?

Students and faculty also have the option of printing the e-book through an agreement with a local printer. Students will pay about $0.02 per page for a printed e-book. This means that the typical printed price of the e-book will be about $10-$12, depending on the number of pages. [snip],


Student flyer and detailed information

Instructions on VitalSource integration within Blackboard

Spring 2011 printed e-book price list




Texas A&M University-San Antonio Chooses Ingram’s VitalSource® for Integrated e-Textbook Delivery


Monday, January 31, 2011

Sinclair Community College (Ohio) > e-Textbooks An Option For Students

The Clarion /  January 31, 2011 / Georgia Howard

There has been a recent push in Ohio colleges, including Sinclair Community College to promote e-textbooks over traditional textbooks. On Jan. 21, there was an e-textbook workshop that covered issues such as information about e-textbooks, the State of Ohio Digital Bookshelf initiative and an e-textbook exploratory pilot project.


A large advantage of having an e-textbook is the affordability of these books compared to regular textbooks, according to [Greg] Deye, [manager of Learning Technology Parent Support].  He said that an e-textbook can save you 40 to 60 percent off of the price of a regular textbook.


Deye said that one advantage of having e-textbooks on one device instead of carrying around several heavy books. [snip].

According to Deye, e-textbooks would be a great fit for distance learning students who are going to be online for their classes. He adds that e-textbooks can help students learn in a better way as long as the student is comfortable learning online.  He said that some students learn easier through e-texts because it makes it easier for them to take and access their notes.

“There maybe be multimedia in the textbook such as video and audio and animations built into the textbook."

And there are some that are pretty much a copy of whatever is on the paper version, what’s online. But even with the paper version that is online , you have the ability to highlight, annotate and put notes on the page. Whenever you access that page, you can access those notes at all time,” Deye said.

A disadvantage for many people is that most e-textbooks can only be used for the quarter or semester and you can’t keep a copy of it, according to Deye. [snip].


“The only thing I would say ultimately is that the e-textbook is certainly an option that I think everyone should look at but think about whether or not it meets your learning style. A lot of times we will put money in the forefront but if you are not able to learn from it then maybe that money saved isn’t really worth it. Keep the learning in front and follow it up with the money if at all possible,” he concludes.



ASU > New Initiative Puts iPads In Students’ Hands

The Herald / Arkansas State University / Updated: Monday, January 31, 2011 17:01 / Joshua Scott

President Barack Obama emphasized America's need to become innovative in the application of technology during his State of the Union address last Tuesday. ASU is one of a few universities testing those waters by implementing a new pilot program that provides iPads for students in two classes this semester.

Obama said, "It's about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor."

Students enrolled in American political thought and intergovernmental relations will get a chance to translate his words into actions. They will be introduced to what political science professor Jason Adams calls "paper-free learning." As part of the initiative, 45 of the tablet devices have been provided by the school for the students to keep in and out of class during the remainder of the semester.


While future developments depend on the success of the program in actually improving the educational experience, and on ASU budgeting, Henry Torres at ITTC talked about assisting more professors in the future with incorporating new technology and ideas in their curriculum.


Other schools, such as Duke University, have been experimenting with their own pilot programs that obtain iPads for educational purposes.


"I see myself using the iPad for e-textbooks as opposed to standard textbooks since the capability is there to annotate notes to myself on the pages without doing any damage to the file," said Kirk Lonidier, a political science major participating in the program. "It is very convenient to have a device that can replace several textbooks. This is my first time using an iPad, but there is little difference in the function of it as opposed to an iPhone or iPod Touch. The only difference is size."


Other students have already begun to put their iPads to use.

"The first day I received the iPad I downloaded, from Google Books and Kindle, four books for Dr. Tusalem's revolutions and foreign policy class and a book for Dr. Adams' class," said Steven Rockwell, another student in the pilot program. "Within the read highlighter tool, a dictionary, set bookmarks, post notes, write in the margins and search the entire book. I can also access my books from my desktop computer, the iPad or my iPhone, so I always have them with me, however, the iPad provides the best reading experience."


"I am both proud and appreciative of ASU for its progressive approach toward higher education," he said.

While there are still many things to figure out during the course of ASU's iPad experiment, Adams sees other ways the iPad will benefit students besides its e-book role.

"One thing I have them using on the iPad is an application called AudioNote, which can record lectures while you take notes, and I'm also going to have them use Keynote for presentations," he said. "We'll plug in the iPads into to the projector and then with an extended VGA cable, the student can have their presentation device with all their notes and everything right in front of them, while the relevant videos and images appear on the screen for the entire class."


Source > ... eTextbook Sales Boom At The University Of Michigan-Flint /  Flint Journal /  Updated January 30, 2011, 6:10 AM / Beata Mostafavi
FLINT, Michigan — Amir Baz didn’t lug a heavy textbook around for his college history class. He just read the chapters on his iPhone.

Fewer textbooks are being spotted on the University of Michigan-Flint campus as more students such as Baz “carry” books on laptops, iPads, Nooks, Kindles and even smart phones this semester. The demand for eTextbooks seems to be booming, with the UM-Flint bookstore seeing a tenfold increase in sales in the last year.

“As we become more high-tech, I think more students are going to get into the habit of getting textbooks online,” said Baz, 18, of Fenton. “I think eTextbooks will eventually take over regular textbooks.”


Baz said new editions seem to come out almost every year for textbooks that can be hundreds of pages long and cost a couple of hundred dollars each. Many times, the changes in the new edition seem small.

He said some students see eTextbooks that provide the full text of books in a digital format as a greener and sometimes — although not always — cheaper choice.

Publishers are homing in on the market, issuing newer and more sophisticated products to enhance the e-book experience.

iPads and e-readers such as the Nook or Kindle allow students to highlight text and take notes. Programs such as Nook study — recently launched at UM-Flint through the campus’s bookstore owner Barnes and Noble — also allow students to access study guides and other digital aids to enhance digital learning.


UM-Flint international business major Todd Ackerman tried his first eTextbook last semester for an accounting class.

He said most students already take laptops to class for note-taking. Now their computers can also allow access to their books.


But there were cons, too.

It was more tempting to get distracted by other online activities such as Facebook or YouTube while reading and studying online, he said.

The trend hasn’t hit every college, with campuses such as Baker College reporting that the majority of students still prefer hardbound copies. Some professors at local colleges also require textbooks that aren’t offered in a digital format yet.


But the numbers of students using eTextbooks continues to grow, with 1 in 10 students reporting the purchase of one, according to digital course materials supplier CourseSmart.

“Print books aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and publishers understand eTextbooks aren’t the right solution for everyone. Everyone has a choice,” said CourseSmart Spokeswoman Karen Marotta. “But eTextbooks are appealing to professors and students mainly because of accessibility and cost and this is definitely something analysts and companies are seeing as the future.”



Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Crowdsourcing' A Textbook: 120 Student Authors Writing On A Wiki > ELI 2011 Annual Meeting > February 15 2011

ELI 2011 Annual Meeting "Educating in the Open: Philosophies, Innovations, and Stories" / February 14–16 2011 / Washington, D.C. or Online

'Crowdsourcing' a Textbook: 120 Student Authors Writing on a Wiki / Tuesday / February 15 2011 / 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. / Georgetown


Edward F. Gehringer, Associate Professor, Computer Science, North Carolina State University


Many instructors have experimented with student-authored wiki textbooks. Advantages include reading and evaluating primary literature and facilitating constructivist learning. We manage the peer-review process using the Expertiza system, which allows reviewers and authors to communicate in double-blind fashion and sets deadlines for each step so that prerequisite chapters are written before chapters that depend on them. Students have given positive feedback on nearly every aspect of the process, especially on the care they put into their work and the insight they gained. Our efforts have scaled to a textbook with 40-plus sections written by a class of 120.

Learning Objectives

* Understand the benefits of student-written textbooks.
* Explore the reactions of students to writing textbook sections.
* Learn the importance of software support for the process of writing a textbook.
* Consider how various forms of peer review can provide formative feedback to authors.



EBN > Tablets vs. Textbooks: E-Text Use On The Rise



Saturday, January 29, 2011

FutureBook: A Digital Blog From Europe In Association With The Bookseller

FutureBook, A Manifesto In Five

Welcome to FutureBook (in association with The Bookseller), a website dedicated to discussing how the digital revolution will re-shape publishing in the 21st Century.


First, you should notice the text in parenthesis. We created FutureBook to run side by side next to our main site, as a bespoke area dedicated to digital. Though The Bookseller will continue to cover digital (and in all sorts of interesting new ways), we also want to be part of that conversation. We hope FutureBook will give us that space.

Second, we want the conversation to be as vibrant and broad as possible, and have therefore invited a number of collaborators and friends to share their thoughts online regularly. We have asked for unfiltered blogs: if you cannot contribute beyond the company line that is fine, but we feel the digital
conversation is too important to be left in the hands of corp comms. We don't necessarily need to know, for example, when Apple signs with Random House, but we do need to have the discussion on why the 'agency model' may not always be best.

Third, with so much digital thinking coming from the US, we want to create a counterpoint: a place where the UK and wider European book trade can meet to talk through their own needs and ideas. We are not anti-US (far from it), but the conversation that is already happening in the US also needs to find a home on this side of the Atlantic.

Fourth, we want to meet. The Bookseller already hosts an annual digital conference (it even provides the name for this blog), but we will also be arranging regular meet-ups for those who want to take the conversation offline.

Last, it should be enjoyable. The book is not dead, but the printed world is changing. There is a huge amount going on under the wire, from book videos to social networking sites just about books. There is nothing to suggest that the vibrancy and talent that has transformed publishing in the last
thirty years will not continue to underpin it for the next decades: and we want to reflect that.

So here we are, part community forum, part sounding board. It is a place where anyone from industry insiders to digital enthusiasts can report, learn, debate and investigate the future of the book.

Welcome to the conversation.



Open Access Textbooks Project

About the Open Access Textbooks Project - A FIPSE Grant Project

Many projects and websites provide access to open textbooks and other open content -- but the open content community is still forming. Numerous issues that impact open textbook implementation (such as creating sustainable review processes and institutional reward structures) have yet to be resolved. The ability to financially sustain a large scale open textbook effort is also in question.

The Open Access Textbooks Grant Project is working with others involved in open content to create a sustainable model for Florida and other states to discover, produce, and disseminate open textbooks.

This two-year initiative is funded by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).  The project will build on efforts in Florida and across the U. S. to create a sustainable open textbook model and a collaborative community to further implementation of open textbooks.

The model will suggest solutions to:
  • Difficulties involved in locating open textbooks
  • Uncertainties about the quality of open textbooks
  • Lack of a sustainable financial model for open textbooks
  • Issues related to tenure and promotion
  • Barriers to open textbook adoption



News / Upcoming Events / Who Are We? / Open Textbooks


Resources / Webinars / About Us / Contact





LJ > New Ebook Platforms Target The Scholarly Monograph

  Library Journal / January 28 2011 / Michael Kelley
A number of projects are nearing fruition whose goal is to ensure that scholarly books and university presses are not left behind by the ebook market, and academic librarians are watching the efforts with eagerness and interest.
The University Press E-Book Consortium (UPeC), Oxford's University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO), Books at JSTOR, and Project Muse Editions have all been separately exploring ways to create a new collaborative business model and ebook platform that would better fit the financial and research needs of academic libraries as well as keep struggling scholarly publishers in business, … .
"These efforts to establish a common platform for university presses are of great interest to academic libraries, since our users, students, and faculty, are increasingly expecting ebooks supplied from libraries," Carol Moore, the chief librarian at the University of Toronto and chair of the Reshaping Scholarly Communication Steering Committee of the Association of Research Libraries, told LJAN.
A More Friendly Model For Academic Libraries
The nonprofit University Press eBook Consortium (UPeC) started with a $125,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2009, and it drew inspiration from a 2007 ITHAKA report that delineated the challenges facing all these endeavors.
"We felt the current system is broken, and that if we could build a better system, then libraries would want to purchase our content," Steve Maikowski told LJAN. [snip].
Maikowski reports to Carol A. Mandel, the dean of the division of libraries at New York University and president of ARL's Board of Directors. She said that most models being devised for the market, with their emphasis on proprietary ereaders and heavy digital rights management [DRM], "do not fit the mission or realities of libraries."
Maikowski said that the project's goal was to present an extensive suite of peer-reviewed scholarship (possibly 3000 frontlist titles and 30,000 backlist titles) in a one-stop, multipress platform that would spread the cost for publishers and offer a fair price to libraries.
Moore said that university presses were extremely important to collection development and the dissemination of faculty research, but she said they had to keep pace with the changes in reading devices and in formats, such as ePub.
"For libraries to meet the demands/expectations of our clientele, we need ebook suppliers that offer products in formats that can be integrated with other electronic content and read on computers and mobile devices that our clients are using. Many users also want the ability to print or download reasonable portions of the book," she said.
Some Lessons For Public Libraries?
James G. Neal, VP for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia University, said he was eagerly watching the development of this and other projects since they can further the commitment to "a rich and robust scholarly communication system" and expand and enrich access to front and backlist scholarly monographs. He also noted potentially wider implications.
At the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in San Diego (January 7-11), JSTOR (a division of ITHAKA) announced the nonprofit Books at JSTOR, a project expected to be available in 2012 and which has essentially the same goal as UPeC of "overcoming limitations on use and offering flexible purchase models for libraries, while developing a sustainable model for publishers...," according to a company press release.
University presses from Chicago, Minnesota, North Carolina, Princeton, and Yale already have signed on to the project. The books will be integrated with the 1600 current and archival journals on JSTOR, and the platform also promises to embrace technology that would allow scholars to incorporate a variety of media (e.g., video, GIS technologies) into their work.
Casper Grathwohl, VP, digital publisher, at Oxford, sees a similar potential. "UPSO is really about unlocking the power of the academic monograph.... I believe it will make a significant contribution to the development of the monograph in its next phase of life," he said in a press release.
UPSO is launching a pilot program in March with Fordham University Press and, like UPeC, is targeting a full launch in the fall.
Digital preservation is a key consideration for libraries.
"Research libraries, such as University of Toronto, also require the ability to preserve the ebook content over time," Moore said. She urged suppliers to "to produce content using open standards that can be migrated to new technical formats in the future."

The State of Ohio's Digital Bookshelf Project > ELI 2011 Annual Meeting > February 14 2011

ELI 2011 Annual Meeting "Educating in the Open: Philosophies, Innovations, and Stories" / February 14–16 2011 / Washington, D.C. or Online

The State of Ohio's Digital Bookshelf Project / Monday / February 14 2011 / 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. / Jefferson

  • Stephen R. Acker, Emeritus Professor and Research Director, eTextOhio Project-OhioLINK, The Ohio State University
  • Brigitte Budion, Student, University of Cincinnati
  • Libby Cates, Student, University of Cincinnati
  • Charles W. Ginn, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
  • David J. Wright, Director of Curriculum Innovation and E-Learning, University of Dayton
For the 2010 academic year, 50,000 of Ohio's 70,000 Introductory Psychology students have had a low-cost digital option available for the textbook of their instructor's choice. Developed within a University System of Ohio Project framework in collaboration with five leading publishers of psychology textbooks, the Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project emerged from three years of research and within a social network established among faculty, librarians, technologists, and the accessibility community.
We'll present strategies for improving learning outcomes, textbook affordability, and more rapid diffusion of digital resources into the teaching and learning environment. Student members of our team will discuss learning outcomes.
Learning Objectives

* Know how to overcome obstacles to class, institutional, and system-level adoption of digital learning materials.
* Discuss effective teaching and assessment strategies to capture the learning value of digital materials.
* Explore techniques for building disciplinary communities committed to learning innovations.
* Understand how the "tragedy of the commons" (pursuing individual benefits at the cost of system-level returns) guarantees the escalating cost of textbooks and the requisite reformations (changed behaviors of publishers, bookstores, institutions, faculty, students) needed to escape the paradox and increase the affordability of learning materials.
* Learn about conversion and "born digital" approaches to assuring timely access to digital learning materials for students with print disabilities (addressing one of the key challenges in digital learning environments).



See Also

Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project


Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project

The Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project is a pilot project of Ohio Textbook HQ that aims to provide quality textbook options for faculty and better learning outcomes, while also saving students money.

Participating Institutions
  • University of Akron
  • Belmont Technical College
  • Central Ohio Technical College
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati State Technical & Community College
  • Clark State Community College
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • University of Dayton
  • Edison Community College
  • Kent State University
  • Lakeland Community College
  • Miami University
  • Northwest State Community College
  • Ohio University
  • Ohio University - Eastern
  • The Ohio State University
  • The Ohio State University - Mansfield
  • Rhodes State College
  • Shawnee State University
  • Stark State College of Technology
  • Wright State University
  • Zane State College

Links To > Forum / Members / Multimedia / Videos / [(Free) Registration Required] 

Access To 'Psychology' DT Publishers [?]



See Also

The State of Ohio's Digital Bookshelf Project > ELI 2011 Annual Meeting > February 14 2011


E-Books In Higher Education: What's On The Horizon? > ELI 2011 Annual Meeting > February 16 2011

ELI 2011 Annual Meeting "Educating in the Open: Philosophies, Innovations, and Stories" / February 14–16 2011 / Washington, D.C. or Online

E-Books in Higher Education: What's on the Horizon? / Wednesday / February 16 2011 / 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. / Lincoln East


Rob Kadel, Academic Trainer & Consultant, Pearson


Electronic textbooks and readers such as the iPad and Kindle have (once again) sparked the imagination of instructors, students, authors, and publishers as to the possibilities of interactive, go-anywhere, work-anytime content. Yet many challenges must still be overcome before e-books are widely adopted in higher education. This presentation will draw on current research and trends in e-book technology, as well as audience members' experiences and opinions, to address both the promises and the challenges that await users as they consider e-book adoption. Active audience participation is encouraged!

Learning Objectives

* Understand how e-books will have to present content differently and how the technology behind them presents a wide range of possibilities for content delivery.
* Discern the needs of end users (faculty, students) that must be addressed before the widespread adoption of e-books.
* Understand the current business models of distribution of e-books and e-reader devices and how these models both encourage and hinder the adoption of e-books (for example, proprietary file formats).