Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Google To Launch Play Textbooks In August, Partners With 5 Major Publishing Houses

At its Android and Chrome event in San Francisco today, Google announced that it is bringing textbooks to the Google Play store so students will be able to purchase and rent their textbooks for their Android devices and for reading on the web.
The company has partnered with five major textbook publishers to launch this service. These partners are Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning. Google says it will have a “comprehensive selection” of textbooks from these publishers in the store that will cover subjects like law, math and accounting, but it did not announce exact numbers.

The service will launch in August.

While Google focused on the fact that students can rent their textbooks on Google Play, though, it did not announce any prices yet. The only thing Google would say is that it expects books to rent and sell for an 80 percent discount compared to regular retail prices (which tend to be very high).

One thing that’s also not clear is how publishers will author books for this service and how much interactivity there will be.

What we do know is that the Android app for Play Textbooks will feature a night-reading mode and will allow you to create and sync bookmarks and highlighted passages between devices.



See Also

Google Begins Selling Textbooks Through Play Store


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Online and Campus College Students Like Using an Open Educational Resource Instead of a Traditional Textbook

Vol. 9, No. 1, March 2013
Brian L. Lindshield / Koushik Adhikari

There has been little research on student use and perception of open educational resources that are used to replace traditional textbooks/e-textbooks. The creation of the Kansas State University Human Nutrition Flexbook, and online and campus students' perceptions and usage of the flexbook, have been reported previously based survey results from a single semester. Results from multiple online and campus semesters are reported in this paper. Both online and campus students rated the flexbook favorably, but online students used the flexbook more frequently, liked the idea of the flexbook more, and rated it as being of higher quality. Online students also liked and used the animations, videos, and links more and liked the appearance and flexibility of the flexbook more than campus students. The majority of students used an electronic flexbook format and more than one flexbook format. The Portable Document Format version, followed by the Google Docs version, were the most commonly used primary formats. Overall, responses across multiple semesters confirm the authors' original findings that students like using the flexbook instead of a traditional textbook.

Keywords: digital textbook, e-textbook, e-book, flexbook, open access, open educational resource (OER), student perceptions

Source and Full Text Available At