Wow, e-book talk has exploded.Â There are so many good stories from the past week.Â Have a look at some.
For the last 7 years the New Media consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative have collaborated on the Horizon Report.Â The report identifies key trends in higher education, critical challenges, and selects 6 technologies to watch.Â Ebooks have made the top 6 technologies, in the mid-term horizon, which means 2 – 3 years for widespread adoption.Â Â The study indicates that 3 obstacles to ebook adoption in higher education are now falling away – availability of titles, capability of readers, and problematic publishing models.Â Â According to the report, more publishers are releasing textbook content electronically, ebook readers now have the ability to display graphics, bookmark, annotate, and more, and business models are changing to allow the purchase of the e without the p (and e is simultaneously being released with p).
Interesting article in the NYT today about Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program.Â According to the article, textbooks can be rented from college bookstores for about 42% of the retail price.Â B & N piloted the program last year in a few schools, it has now been expanded to 25 campuses.Â Renting textbooks isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s picked up in popularity due to federal grants for bookstores to start rental programs (to combat the high cost of textbooks).Â Cengage and Chegg.com are also options.Â Â Are you allowed to highlight and write in the rented books I wonder?Â If this takes off, how might this impact the regularity of new editions?Â Unfortunately, it only offers an option to students, renting.Â It doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, which is the high cost of the book.
Here in Ohio we experimented with leasing e-textbooks from CourseSmart.Â It didn’t work out so well because the program has been canceled.Â Students just aren’t ready to embrace the e-textbook, they want “a real book.”
I sat in on the EDUCAUSE webinar today on the eTextbook pilot project at NW Missouri State University.Â Some background:
NWMS University has been purchasing textbooks for their students for the last 100 years!Â They also provide notebook PC’s to students for a rather small fee.Â Testing the eTextbook plan with the SONY Reader was the logical next step.Â The pilot was last Fall.Â The campus library is a separate function on campus, they were not involved in this project.Â The presenters will be speaking at the EDUCAUSE conference in Denver this fall. Continue reading Notebooks preferred to Readers for eTextbooks, highlights of the EDUCAUSE webinar on eTextbooks at NWMSU
Short notice, but this one looks good and it’s FREE – EDUCAUSE E-Readers and E- Textbooks: Current Reality and Future Possibilities.Â Speakers include Jon T. Rickman and Roger Von Holzen from Northwest Missouri State University. Hopefully they will go into more detail on their pilot program, which was in an EduCause article earlier this year.
Abstract:Â This seminar will initially address the current state of e-reader devices and their functionality as platforms for the delivery of e-textbooks, as experienced by Northwest Missouri State University in its 2008â€“2009 pilot study. The presenters will then explore the full capabilities of e-textbooks for online, blended, and face-to-face classes, along with key practical considerations with respect to costs, infrastructure, and academic issues.
Great article in the EduCause Quarterly “A Campus-Wide E-textbook Initiative.”Â Authors,Â Jon T. Rickman, Roger Von Holzen, Paul G. Klute, and Teri Tobin describes the process that Northwest Missouri State University followed to transition from a textbook rental program to an eTextbook rental program.Â eBook Readers, Laptops, and the NMSU implementation plan are discussed in detail. Continue reading eTextbook Article from EduCause Quarterly
From TelereadÂ Â By David Rothman
6 Lessons One Campus Learned about E-Textbooks is the headline over Jeffrey R. Youngâ€™s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. But perhaps it should read instead, â€œE-textbooks not ready for college students yet, at least in many cases.â€
Northwestern Missouri State University used the Sony Reader in a pilot study and, according to Young, found that students demanded printed books instead because of navigation problems with E.
Mind you, this wasnâ€™t with the new PRS-700, which lets you use a stylus to move around. So maybe the results would have been different. Continue reading E-textbooks not ready for college students yet?
The Chronicle of Higher Education featured an article on the Kindle and use of it for textbooks.Â Two interesting points were made.Â First, many students already carry around a device that can read eBooks, their laptops.Â Second, publishers want to end the used textbook market, which cuts off their profits.Â By making textbooks in eBook form with licensing limiting resale, they capture the market again…..at least until students figure out a way to share them!
An abledbody news article last week discusses the new Kindle DX and it’s text-to-speech program that will read a book aloud.Â According to the abledbody article, the Kindle does not go far enough to provide an accessible player to persons with disabilities.Â The eBook menus and controls are not audio accessible, limiting access to those with visual disabilities. Â I’m not certain Kindle had persons with disabilities in mind when they created this new text-to-speech feature since it is not limited to those with disabilities. Kindle will work with Pearson, Cengage Learning, Wiley and 75 other University Presses to provide textbooks on the Kindle this year.Â Additionally, 3 newspapers have given Amazon the rights to text-to-speech content, NYT, Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.Â Sounds to me like the much broader market, with a potential to listen to books in the car, while walking, doing housework, or any other multitude of activities is what got Amazon tickled pink about text-to-speech.Â Just in case you didn’t hear, Kindle will begin a text book pilot program with 6 Universities this fall.
CWRU Chemistry and Computer Science students will use the new Kindle to access textbooks in Fall ’09.Â Â See the full article in either the Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 6, 2009 or The WSJ, May 5, 2009. Amazon has worked a deal with publishers to load the textbook content on the Kindle, which will be “supplied” to students.Â Nothing in the articles about costs…
The other universities are:Â Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State.