Friday, November 30, 2012

Hong Kong > Plan to Replace Expensive School Books Moves Forward

November 30, 2012 /  9:54am  /  Fan Feifei

A steering committee on the selection, quality assurance and review of the E-Textbook Market Development Scheme has approved 30 applications from organizations wishing to contribute to the development of e-textbooks. About HK$26 million has been allocated to assist the development, said Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim on Thursday.

Ng said the price of the e-textbooks to be developed will be at least 20 percent lower than the average for their printed counterparts, adding, the price of the approved geography e-textbook is as much as 63 percent lower than the average price of a printed text.

The applications to develop textbooks cover the main subjects of Chinese, English, Mathematics, as well as General Studies, Computer Literacy, and Physical Education. Twenty-one applications relate to primary education and nine are for junior secondary, Ng added.

The applications came from 13 applicants, including non-profit organizations, textbook publishing-related organizations, e-learning resources developers and tertiary institutions.

He added, these applications are expected to harness the benefits of e-features to enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching the subjects. It will also increase consumers’ choices, Ng said.

A total of 88 primary and secondary schools will be invited to try the e-textbooks and provide feedback so that developers can enhance design and content. It is expected that e-textbooks will be available for use in the 2014/15 school year.

The Education Bureau will conduct an interim review of the scheme in progress. Based on the outcome of the review, the steering committee will determine whether or not a second phase of e-textbook development is required.

Vice Chairman of Education Convergence Ho Hon-kuen said the government may underestimate the high production costs, since publishers need to invite experts to write e-textbooks and spend money on multimedia production. High inflation should also be calculated, he added. Ho said he feared that the production costs could not be reclaimed even after five or seven years.

He also cited an example from South Korea where an e-textbook plan failed after being promoted for three years. He said the program has already been abandoned owing to its high cost, adding he is not optimistic about the future of e-textbooks.

President of the Hong Kong Parents Association Lai Tsang-hing voiced concerns that e-textbooks may be harmful to students’ eyesight, and open the door to time being wasted playing games online.

In early May, the government proposed to earmark HK$50 million for the textbook development scheme. The money was to help non-profit making organizations to develop at least 12 e-textbooks sets.

The e-textbook could diversify the market and address the current textbook-market monopoly, said former secretary for education Michael Suen at that time, adding e-textbooks could be a desirable alternative to highly priced printed textbooks as the cost should be 20 percent to 50 percent lower.



Hong Kong > E-Textbook Market Development Scheme

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Steering Committee (Steering Committee) on Selection, Quality Assurance and Review of E-Textbook Market Development Scheme (EMADS) has approved a total of 30 applications for the development of e-textbooks.

The 30 successful applications cover the main subjects of Chinese Language (7 applications), English Language (5 applications) and Mathematics (6 applications), and other subjects including General Studies (4 applications), Computer Literacy (2 applications), Putonghua (2 applications), Geography (1 application), Life and Society (1 application) and Physical Education (2 applications). Twenty-one applications cover primary education and nine cover junior secondary.

The successful applications came from 13 applicants. Of these, 12 were submitted by five non-profit making (NPM) organisations, while the other 18 applications were submitted by eight other organisations.

Among the 13 applicants, at least three are textbook publishing-related organisations, two are e-learning resources developers and two are tertiary institutions.

In addition to fulfilling the quality criteria of printed textbooks, the successful applications are expected to harness the benefits of e-features to enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching of the subject. Compared with the prices of their printed counterparts on the same subject, these e-textbooks to be developed under EMADS are generally priced lower. In the case of Geography, the price of the approved e-textbook is lower than the average price of its printed counterpart by as much as 63 per cent.

Apart from countering the continued rise in printed textbook prices, the release of EMADS textbooks will also increase consumers' choice.

For NPM developers, the Government will provide a seeding grant on a 50:50 matching basis, subject to a cap of $4 million per e-textbook set or 50 per cent of the development cost of the e-textbook set, whichever is less. The approved grant may be less than the amount requested if the Steering Committee considers that any of the projected expenses do not fall within the scope of funding or should be of a lesser amount.

Both the NPM applicants and other applicants will enter into an agreement with the Government, which requires them to commit to the sales price of the e-textbooks produced under EMADS for four years and two years respectively.

To field-test the e-textbooks developed under the EMADS in schools, the Education Bureau (EDB) has also launched a Partner Schools Scheme (PSS) to invite aspiring schools to try-out the e-textbooks and provide feedback, so that the developers can enhance the design and contents of the e-textbooks.

Based on their school type, readiness in information technology as well as in curriculum development, a total of 88 applicant schools from the primary and secondary school sectors have been selected to match with the 30 successful EMADS applications. These schools will soon be notified of their participation in the PSS.

To facilitate the development of the e-textbook and e-learning resources market, Hong Kong Education City has launched the EdConnect Directory Service which allows schools, teachers and students to use a single sign-on to access e-textbooks and e-learning resources from different service providers. This will provide a single platform for the developers to manage their resources more effectively for the development of e-textbooks and enhance communication among the concerned parties.

Having undergone the field tests and the quality assurance mechanism under EMADS, the completed e-textbooks developed by successful applicants will be automatically recognised for inclusion in the Recommended Textbook List for e-textbooks in 2014/15.

It is expected that e-textbooks developed under EMADS will be available for use in the 2014/15 school year.

The EDB will conduct an interim review of EMADS. Based on the outcome of the review, the Steering Committee will determine whether or not a second phase for EMADS is desirable and if so, when to implement it.

The Steering Committee, chaired by the Deputy Secretary for Education (Curriculum and Quality Assurance), includes experienced school principals, teachers, representatives from the business and information technology sectors, parents as well as representatives of the Consumer Council, Hong Kong Education City Limited and the Education



Growing the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ELI 2013 > E-Texts/E-Content Leadership Seminar > February 5-6 2013

What Is the Leadership Seminar?

The Leadership Seminar is a designed as a deeper learning experience threaded throughout the meeting program. The goals for this learning opportunity are to:

1.Provide an immersive leadership experience related to the exploration and implementation of an e-texts/e-content initiative
2.Enable participants to meet and network with peers and leaders also interested in working with e-texts/e-content
3.Collect ideas and tools to provide support and leadership for their institution on an e-text initiative

Participants will meet, share with, and learn from a cohort of peers from a wide range of positions supporting teaching and learning from different types of higher education institutions. Both new and experienced participants will benefit from peer interaction and the opportunity to network and engage with leaders in this area during small-group discussions and one-on-one networking.

Separate registration is required and includes all sessions listed below and a hosted seminar lunch on Tuesday, February 5. To register for the Leadership Seminar, you must also register for the ELI Annual Meeting in Denver.

Participation is limited to the first 50 registrants.


Thursday, January 24 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)—Online Information Session

Join us in the ELI Adobe Connect Room for this live 30-minute online information session designed to provide a general overview of the program. Open-to-all, this session will cover details of the schedule, activities, and goals. The co-directors will also discuss suggested readings to be completed prior to attending the seminar in Denver and answer any questions about the program.

Monday, February 4, 2013, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. (MT)

Participants will be provided with goals for the Leadership Seminar and an overview of e-texts/e-content. They will begin to explore some of the broader leadership issues that inform campus change efforts and discuss strategies for adoption and implementation on campus.

Monday’s agenda will include exploring:

1.A framework for change leadership at the institutional level
2.How to take technology opportunities and build institutional consensus and direction to lead or explore them
3.Approaches for leading an e-text project
4.An overview of e-texts/e-content (e.g., student data, platforms, working with publishers, and more)
5.Connections between data, use of digital materials, and student learning

Tuesday, February 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (MT)

After discussing the potential of e-texts/e-content, participants will explore how they might best be implemented at their institutions. Participants will have an opportunity to hear multiple institutional perspectives on e-text projects and will also meet with several of the presenters over lunch to discuss potential strategies for exploring and possibly implementing e-texts/e-content locally.

Tuesday’s agenda will include:

1.Panel discussion on how to initiate or lead institutional projects with e-text presenters
2.Project discussions at tables during lunch with panelists
Participants will also be encouraged to begin outlining strategies for taking action on their own campuses.

Wednesday, February 6, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (MT)

During the closing session, Leadership Seminar participants will have the opportunity to share their ideas, concerns, and potential action steps for strategic implementation of e-texts/e-content at their institutions.

1.A reflection component will allow participants to discuss their ideas for moving forward in the topic area
2.Takeaways and continuing challenges: reflection/synthesis

Seminar Resources

A selected list of e-text and leadership-related readings and resources will be shared to help you prepare for the seminar and to serve as recommendations for your personal library.

Source and Links Available At 

The Coming ePublishing Revolution in Higher Education

This interactive eTextbook predicts a revolution in higher education with respect to the publishing of academic articles, books and, especially, textbooks. As we transition from the print era to the digital era, three things will drive the way this revolution manifests itself in higher education: dissatisfaction with the status quo, the near universal accessibility of easily employed but powerful digital publishing tools and the competition amongst colleges and universities to reduce the cost and debt that students are asked to bear. How exactly will this play out? Who will win? Who will loose? What factors will predict the outcome? Contents include 67 pages, 20 graphics, 28 media files, 25 video files and 5 interactive widgets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gutenberg Technology Wants to Revolutionize E-Textbook Production, Distribution With MyEbookFactory

November 26, 2012 | DBW |

New software from French publishing technology company Gutenberg Technology promises to greatly simplify e-textbook production and distribution.

After years of testing and early programs with major educational publishers such as Hachette in France, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Gutenberg will announce tomorrow the launch of MyEbookFactory, a software that helps publishers seamlessly create e-textbooks for iOS, Android, Kindle, Windows 8 and other formats.

Working with a PDF, MyEbookFactory creates XML content and stores it in a database where the publisher can add custom enhancements and interactivity before exporting it to multiple device formats at once. Through the database of textbook content, for which Gutenberg has a patent, publishers can update their editions remotely.

The scale and ability to simultaneously create products for multiple platforms is what makes this technology different from others currently available for making interactive textbooks — like Inkling’s Habitat and iBooks Author.


“In two-to-four years, everyone will be using digital in the classrooms and it’s 50% less expensive to produce textbooks online,” said Francois-Xavier Hussherr, the CEO of Gutenberg Technology.

For a company like Pearson, which may have hundreds of textbooks that it wants to convert to interactive e-textbooks, the cost may not be so onerous. Currently, MyEbookFactory can handle several hundred books a month. That number will increase to over 10,000 a month in 2014.


Source and Full Text Available At 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

7 Things You Should Know About Open Textbook Publishing

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who’s doing it?
  4. Why is it signifi cant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for teaching and  learning?

The open educational resources model, including textbooks, has emerged as a response to rising text prices, a need for greater access to high-quality learning materials, the proliferation of e-reader devices, and a trend in publishing toward electronic media. Many contend that educational resources should be open and that instructional models increasingly depend on open content. Open textbooks can be offered by commercial publishers or found in open repositories. Open resources can promote active learning through student interaction with the text, particularly when they contribute to authorship. Although open textbooks face questions about the accuracy and reliability of their content, they allow higher education instructors to design content for their courses on an as-needed basis, choosing from an array of books, articles, videos, audio recordings, and readings.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.


Source and Full Text Available At 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

'CCCOER Webinar: OER Research on Student Impact and Faculty Feedback' on College Open Textbooks Community!

 Come hear the most recent OER Research findings from college projects! 

Time: December 4, 2012 from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Organized By: Una Daly

Event Description:

Please join us Tuesday, December 4, 1:00 pm Eastern for a webinar on OER Research findings on student outcomes and faculty and student feedback. The Kaleidoscope project, a collaboration between six community colleges and two 4-year colleges, developed OER for eight General Education courses and will report on student learning outcomes and faculty satisfaction. Florida Virtual Campus has been administering surveys to both faculty and students using open textbooks and open educational resources at their college and university campuses through their Open Access Textbook project and will share their findings from the last three years. Another Next Generation Learning Grant funded project Bridge-2-Success has worked with non-traditional students transitioning back to college or entering for the first time to improve college success. Working with Open University UK adapted open educational resources (OER) and online data gathering, they will share student outcome data from Anne Arundel and their 20 pilot colleges.

Dr. Robin Donaldson, Director of Open Access Textbooks and Project Manager of Orange Grove, Florida Virtual Campus.Robin will give us an overview of the student and faculty survey feedback from 2010 and 2011 and will compare how data has changed over time.

Dr. Nassim Ebrahimi, Ann Arundel Community College. Nassim will report on student learning outcomes finding from the Bridge-2-Success project at Ann Arundel and the 20 pilot community colleges that participated.

Kim Thanos, Lumen Learning. Kim will share differences in how students performed in classrooms using OER compared to those who continued to use publisher materials. She will also report on satisfaction among faculty participants.


No pre-registration necessary. On the day of the webinar, ... click [on the link] to login and then press the Connect button.

Source and Links Available At


Friday, November 23, 2012

Connexions Technical Overview

ConneXions: Create Globally, Educate Locally

Rethinking How & Where Digital Knowledge is Stored, Shared, Tagged and Licensed in the 21st Century: New Role for Librarians ?

Finding, Selecting, and Adopting Open Textbooks and OER

Boston Business Journal > Boundless Learning Publishes a Free Replacement for the College Textbook

With the new college year soon to begin, Boston startup Boundless Learning has just released its first products — free online materials aimed at serving as substitutes for college textbooks — out of beta to the public.

Boundless Learning online textbook screen shot

The company says it has worked with academic experts to craft "online experiences" that aim to convey the information you'd find in a typical textbook, but in a more engaging manner.

Boundless Learning has released materials in seven subjects — biology, economics, psychology, sociology, anatomy & physiology, history and writing. The materials are particularly optimized for use on tablet computers such as the iPad, said CEO and co-founder Ariel Diaz.

The materials use openly licensed educational content, created and posted online by faculty members over the past two decades, and curated by Boundless Learning's domain experts, Diaz has said.

Boundless Learning has had students at more than 1,000 universities try out the products during the beta over the past year, Diaz said, though the number of students that have used the product isn't being disclosed.

The company is focused on offering a free product, but does plan to test some premium features during the semester, Diaz said.


Source and Full Text Available At


edudemic > The Future Of Textbooks Is Free … And It’s Now Available

How It Works

  • Boundless taps into the world of free & open access information and turns it into a beautiful yet functional digital textbook.
  • It’s iPad-friendly, works on laptops, and is simple enough for teachers of any aptitude to use.
  • The system generates digital resources for you based on the textbook you would normally have used in the course.
  • You can still use the printed textbook and use Boundless as a free digital supplement.
  • There’s an instant search feature built into the new Boundless UI.
  • You can digitally highlight and add notes to all of the content. I could see this being a big help to anyone nervous about deploying technology that could replace printed textbooks.
  • Boundless has a fun new feature called SmartNotes Premium which boils down all the content into easily digested factoids, summaries, and roundups. It’s like having a customized ‘Top 10′ list for each topic you’re reading about. This feature is $20/course just FYI.
  • The digital textbooks have no expiration date. They’re not rentals or anything that would cost you money since it’s all open source.

Source and Full Text Available At 

PC Magazine > Boundless Brings Free, Digital Textbook Service Out of Beta

By Stephanie Mlot August 9, 2012 05:16pm EST

Boundless, the textbook-free option for students, started the next chapter of its service this week by coming out of private beta and opening its online doors to the world.


After a year of working with students at more than 1,000 schools, the Boston-based company's expansive content library is now open to any student who signed up for Boundless. The service connects students with openly licensed, and free educational content content on the Web, with the goal of helping students save money on textbook costs. Boundless covers topics like biology, psychology, and economics, as well as newly added options like sociology, American history, writing, and physiology.

Despite all of its good will toward the education world, Boundless hasn't launched without at least a few roadblocks.

In late March, the company was sued by three of the world's largest publishing companies for alleged copyright infringement. With $8 million in funding just raised, Boundless fought back against its competitors, which it blamed for the high costs of education.

"Don't worry – we won't let the fact that someone slipped a lawsuit in the punchbowl ruin our good time," the company said in an April blog post. "Boundless is committed to bringing educational content into the 21st century, and we remain focused on our mission."

That mission is moving forward, bringing Open educational Resources (OER) from WikiBooks, OCW Consortium, MIT Open Courseware, Creative Commons, and others to its Web and mobile platforms. The new Boundless includes improved navigation, highlights and notes, and full HTML5 and iPad capabilities.


Source and Full Text Available At 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

eTernity: European Textbooks Reusability Networking & Interoperability Project


eTernity - a new initiative of CEN WS-LT

The eTernity project is a new initiative from CEN Workshop on Learning Technologies and actors in the textbook marked together with stakeholders from education. eTernity is about bringing European stakeholders in education together: developing a common vision, frameworks and specifications for e-textbooks for educational purposes. The idea is to fulfill educational requirements for e-textbooks as a channel for creating interactive, adaptable, personlizable resources to improve learning, education and training.

eTernity will provide a common reference framework to support public policy makers, private stakeholders and academic bodies that want to work together to reshape the digital marketplace for educational resources in Europe.

The goal of the eTernity initiative is to provide neutral guidance based on an agreed framework allowing us to move away from the many closed and vertical solutions flourishing in today’s digital content markets. Creation, inter-mediation (also called “curation”), distribution and use of digital textbooks need to be based on open architectural and technical standards that will make the marketplace more interoperable and scalable, in an ecosystem of multiple players and actors.

In a nutshell, this initiative wants to move the European textbook market from a world based on siloed and closed proprietary marketplaces to a future ecosystem where smart, responsive and adaptable textbooks can interoperate across different distribution channels and devices, adapting to the learner’s skills and competencies, delivering the right learning experience where and when the learner needs it. This will affect many providers, producers, consumers and curators of learning textbooks.

Source and Links To FAQ and Resources Available At

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Open Textbook Challenge [Infographic]

Spotlight on Open Access Books at COASP 2012

Guest Blog: Janneke Adema, Directory of Open Access Books

For the first time, 2012 saw the 4th Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP) feature an afternoon of sessions entirely dedicated to Open Access books. In his introduction, OAPEN’s Eelco Ferwerda highlighted that with this year’s milestones – the launch of the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), PKP’s Open Monograph Press, and Springer’s announcement of SpringerOpen books – the time for Open Access monograph publishing has arrived, culminating in Open Access books being made part of the program at COASP.

Things are speeding up for books, Ferwerda remarked. However, there are still a lot of unknowns: What will be the main business model for Open Access books? Under what license should they be published? What do the stakeholders in scholarly communication—the authors, libraries, funders and publishers—think about Open Access monographs? The afternoon thus set out to explore emerging business and publishing models for Open Access books, and current research on user and stakeholder needs.


Source and Full Text Available At 

Directory of Open Access Books User Needs Report Released

November 14 2012

This final evaluation and recommendation report is based on the user experiences, needs, and expectations as they emerged from the data collected as part of the DOAB User Needs Analysis. This report aims to advise in the establishment of procedures, criteria and standards concerning the set-up and functioning of the DOAB platform and service and to devise guidelines and recommendations for admissions to DOAB and for its further development, sustainability and implementation.

The report gives an overview of the main aims and objectives of the user needs analysis, which are summarised in two main research questions:

What are the functional requirements, or needs, which different users have with respect to the platform, the protocols and the procedures that DOAB wants to establish?

What kind of recommendations can we extract from the users’ experiences with the beta-platform and their expectations of a future DOAB service?

The research design has been structured around defining user (librarians, academics, publishers and funders) needs, experiences and expectations with respect to the DOAB platform and system as it is currently set up, paying special attention to users perceptions and needs with respect to Open Access, Open Access books, and a directory of Open Access books; quality and peer review procedures; copyright policies; platform usability; and potential business and funding models both for Open Access books and for DOAB. This study has used a variety of qualitative data collection tools (surveys, online discussion platform and panel discussion) to capture these needs, experiences and expectations.

The findings are divided into 5 themes:

  • Perceptions concerning Open Access and Books
  • Quality and peer review
  • Copyright
  • Platform Usability
  • Business models

Source and Links To Full Text and Report Available At 


A/V Available > Developing a Digital Textbook Strategy for Your Campus > February 8 2012

The Florida Distance Learning Consortium held a one-day symposium on institution and state level digital textbook initiatives, examining national trends and prevailing models for both publisher digital textbooks and open textbooks. Faculty, policymakers, and experts from across the country described their digital textbook programs, policies, results, and best practices. Two panel discussion followed the presentations. The first, the Publisher Voice panel, included digital textbook providers and an open textbook provider. The second, Comparing Pathways, included the speakers from state systems and institutions that have established digital textbook programs.


Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project
The Ohio Digital Bookshelf: State-Level Strategies

Miklós Bóna, Professor of Mathematics, University of Florida
The Online Calculus Initiative at the University of Florida

Tom Caswell, Open Education Policy Associate, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Open Policy in Washington State: How We Got to the Open Course Library and Where We Go From Here

Rhonda M. Epper, Assistant Provost for the Colorado Community College System
Colorado Community College System Digital Textbook Program

Ben Graydon, Assistant Professor of English, Daytona State College
Digital Textbooks: An English Faculty Perspective

Diane Harley, Senior Researcher - Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley
Keynote Speaker
Open and Affordable Textbooks: Incentives and Barriers to Their Use and Creation by Faculty

Nik Osborne, J.D. , eTexts Faculty Liaison, Indiana University
The eTexts Experience @ IU

Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, Indiana University
eTexts @ IU: Co-Creating the Path to Digital (+print)

Publisher Voice: Digital Course Materials – The Licensing of e-Textbooks and Open Textbooks 
Panel Video


  • Meredith Babb, Director, University Press of Florida
  • Tim Baldwin, Vice President, Cengage
  • Sean Devine, CEO, CourseSmart
  • Dan Bartell, Vice President, Pearson
  • Michael (Mickey) Levitan, CEO, Courseload
  • Tom Malek, Vice President, McGraw-Hill

Panel Moderator: Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, Indiana University

Panelists representing commercial publishers, value added textbook distributors, and a university press discussed the various licensing agreements they have implemented or considered. Enrollment models—in which every student in a class pays a fee—offer vendors assurance of greater volume and consequently lower prices for new textbooks, whereas optional models allow students to rent or buy used books. The panel explored innovative approaches to supplying content, including open content, and models for institution and statewide licensing arrangements with publishers and vendors for the purchase of textbooks.

Comparing Pathways: Support and Sustainability of Models

Panel Video Part 1; Panel Video Part 2


  • Stephen R. Acker, Research Director, Ohio Digital Bookshelf Project 
  • Tom Caswell, Open Education Policy Associate, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges 
  • Rhonda Epper, Assistant Provost for the Colorado Community College System 
  • Diane Harley, Senior Researcher, Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley 
  • Brad Wheeler, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO, Indiana University 

Panel Moderator: Tom Cavanaugh, Assistant Vice President, University of Central Florida

Developing and implementing a successful digital or open textbook strategy can provide enormous benefit for students. However, implementation is not always easy and involves many issues. Digital and open textbooks can successfully support teaching and learning while reducing costs if best practices are applied to the process. The panel of educators involved in open and digital textbook initiatives discussed techniques that facilitate the adoption of digital and open textbooks in practice.

This symposium was funded through the Open Access Textbooks Project, a project funded through a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE),  Grant No. P116Y090040.

Source, Full Text, and A/V and Documents Available At 

Monday, November 19, 2012

MIT Tech Review > Free Textbooks Spell Disruption for College Publishers

Startup companies offering knockoff textbooks are attracting students, and lawsuits.


Diaz, who still resents how much he'd paid for textbooks in college and graduate school, realized he'd hit on his next business idea. In 2011, he started Boundless Learning, a Boston company that has begun giving away free electronic textbooks covering college subjects like American history, anatomy and physiology, economics, and psychology.

What's controversial is how Boundless creates these texts. The company trawls for public material on sites like Wikipedia and then crafts it into online books whose chapters track closely to those of top-selling college titles. In April, Boundless was sued by several large publishers who accused the startup of engaging in "the business model of theft."


Source and Full Text Available At 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

McGraw-Hill Education Launches E-Book Program for Higher Ed

11/06/12 ; Leila Meyer

McGraw-Hill Education has announced its new Digital Learning Partnership Program, an e-book program for colleges and and universities, which will launch this week at the Educause 2012 conference in Denver.

The new program is the result of a pilot program that McGraw-Hill Education developed with Indiana University and several other institutions, and which was recently expanded to more than 25 educational institutions across the country.

The Digital Learning Partnership Program enables instructors at participating institutions to provide their students with e-books from McGraw-Hill Education or any of its partners: CourseSmart, Courseload, and Vital Source, but they are not locked into the program and retain the academic freedom to choose other textbooks.

The McGraw-Hill Education e-books contain tools for searching, sharing content, annotating, and highlighting. Students who prefer not to use e-books also have the freedom to order a print-on-demand copy of the e-book.

In addition to e-books, the Partnership Program enables instructors to use other McGraw-Hill Education digital solutions, including the McGraw-Hill Connect teaching and learning platform, the LearnSmart adaptive study tool, the Tegrity Campus lecture capture system, and the ALEKS adaptive math program.

The e-books and digital solutions available through the Partnership Program can integrate with any learning management system, and they are accessible through laptops or mobile devices.


The McGraw-Hill Education Digital Learning Partnership Program is open to colleges and universities now for implementation in fall 2013.

Source and Full Text Available 


The Future of eReaders

Pearson Project Blue Sky

Blue Sky Video

Project Blue Sky allows instructors to search, select, and seamlessly integrate Open Educational Resources with Pearson learning materials. Using text, video, simulations, Power Point and more, instructors can create the digital course materials that are just right for their courses and their students. Pearson’s Project Blue Sky is powered by Gooru Learning, a search engine for learning materials.

Source and Additional Information Available At 

Monday, November 5, 2012

DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books

Purpose of DOAB

The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers are invited to provide metadata of their Open Access books to DOAB. Metadata will be harvestable in order to maximize dissemination, visibility and impact. Aggregators can integrate the records in their commercial services and libraries can integrate the directory into their online catalogues, helping scholars and students to discover the books. The directory will be open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards.

Source and Directory Available At 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

CourseSmart Launches Pilot With Iowa Community College Online Consortium

SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- CourseSmart®, a leading Educational Services Platform and the world's largest provider of digital course materials, today announced a new pilot program with the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC) to integrate digital course materials within their Pearson eCollege Learning Management System (LMS). The pilot, which will be offered to more than 200 students across multiple disciplines, will be available on all seven of ICCOC's campuses during the Spring 2013 semester.


Through CourseSmart's platform, ICCOC students will have access to textbooks and digital tools that will enhance their learning experience and encourage further engagement. These benefits include:

  • Access to the world's largest selection of eTextbooks and other digital course materials, including more than 30,000 titles from 40 publishers
  • eTextbooks and eResources that are accessible online and offline to all students, including those with print related disabilities
  • Easy navigation with note taking, search, copy/paste and highlight features
  • CourseSmart eTextbooks are device agnostic, supported by any web-enabled device
  • CourseSmart offers the ability for students to print any pages they need from their eTextbooks


Source and Full Text Available At