Sunday, May 6, 2012

Connected Talks 2: Rethinking Textbooks in the 21st Century


Your Textbook is a Vinyl Record

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

Presented by Matt MacInnis, Founder and CEO, Inkling

Ah, the textbook. The very cornerstone of modern learning. Lesson plans, lectures, study sessions and exams often revolve around one - and not without good reason: it's critical that students have trustworthy, consistent information about the topics they're studying. Why, though, must the format be a book? It really oughtn't be. While local pundits rail on about the costs of textbooks, we might consider informing them that we really don't want a textbook at any price. Instead, we want something more effective. Something modular and flexible. Something interactive. Something that's cheaper and better. We wouldn't want vinyl records at a lower price if we could easily have an iPod. So why are we wasting time arguing about the price of something we don't want? In this brief presentation, Matt MacInnis will highlight a handful of constraints that we often inadvertently accept when we talk about "digital textbooks," exploring the opportunities afforded by the iPad that we often miss as a result of these bookish blind spots. The presentation will conclude by showing specific examples of how Inkling takes advantage of iPad in simple ways that make a huge difference to learning.

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OER, Connexions, and the Next Textbook

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

Presented by Sidney Burrus, Dean of Engineering, Rice University & Member of Connexions Board, Rice University

The current printed textbook is, without question, the primary technology used in education. Along with classroom lectures, homework, laboratory experiments, and examinations, a very mature system for almost all of education has evolved and has served us well for many years. Now, however, we have new digital technologies, which along with new cognitive learning theories, new open-access copyright licenses, new social-network-enabled communities of learners, and a shift of emphasis from teaching to learning, all of which are engendering significant improvements in education. This session will develop the ideas surrounding Open Educational Resources (OER) and will focus on a particular implementation, Connexions, as an example of this new approach in the educational world.

[snip]

Freeing the Textbook: Building a Sustainable 21st Century Publishing Model

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

Presented by Jeff Shelstad, Founder and CEO, Flatworld Knowedge

While the disruptive power of the Internet promises wider access to knowledge and new legal licensing structures open the door for enhanced sharing, old business models often stand in the way. How have we arrived at the era of the $200 textbook, with stakeholders so enmeshed in the status quo that they don't seem to question it - even though none of them are being particularly well served? And how can new business models bring disruptive innovation to educational publishing, building a sustainable, new, 21st-century publishing model, based on free and open textbooks, in the process? This paper will explore these questions, offering new perspectives on the future of academic publishing.

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Between Open Access and Commerce: A Case Study of a Freemium Business Model for Academic and Specialist eBooks

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

Presented by Martin Fröhlich and Felix Hofmann, Co-founders and Managing Directors, PaperC GmbH

How can we find a balance between Open Access and Commerce, offering free knowledge as well as the possibility of commercial profit for publishers and authors? The founders of PaperC believe that freemium business approaches will be the future of publishing. In this session, they will present a case study of how a freemium model could work to revolutionize the ebook market. One of the central problems of the eBook market is known as the "arrow information paradox": In the fields of information and knowledge, market mechanisms fail because potential customers want to know a product in order to make a purchasing decision. But if this product is itself information, the need for purchasing vanishes once customers know what it contains. Illegal filesharing, which poses a serious threat to publishers, can be considered one of the offsprings of this paradoxal situation. In collaboration with such publishers as O'Reilly, de Gruyter, OECD, and Pearson Education Germany, PaperC is forwarding a freemium model to circumvent this paradox. This model permits users to read full books online completely free of charge, with payments reserved for valuable premium functions: saving or printing pages, copying text with or without citation, highlighting and annotating text selections, and managing their research and books in a dedicated online library. Through granting customers the choice to decide what proportion of the product they want to purchase, PaperC and similar freemium models could help diminish illegal file-sharing and enhance access to knowledge.

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Source and Fulltext Available At 

[http://bit.ly/ezSC8X]

Podcasts Available At 

[http://itunes.apple.com/itunes-u/connected-talks-connected/id429049177]

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