Category Archives: Textbooks

Report on Content Workflow in Higher Ed

Blackboard and O’Donnell & Associates have released their final report, “Streamlining Content Adoption Workflows: A Report on Content Use in U.S. Higher Education.”  The report discusses the use of digital content in higher education focusing on the ease of access and challenges presented for distributors of content.  The full report is available online.

FlatWorld Knowledge Partners with B & N and NACS

I am reproducing this post from the teleread blog, thanks Paul!

Flat World, the publisher of commercial open source college textbooks, had partnered with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and NACS Media Solutions to distribute their textbooks to over 3,000 college bookstores for the fall semester.

These are pilot programs and will launch in August. The average cost of a Flat Word textbook is $29.95 which, they say, is 75% lower than most conventional textbooks. The bookstores will receive digital files and the college instructors can then remix, reorder and add content. The stores than will use POD to provide paper copies.

(sp) I saw a presentation from FlatWorld at the TOC conference and discussed them in my top 10 takeaways from the conference. They have an interesting business model, I’ll be anxious to see if they find success at the college bookstores.

Seton Hill to offer incoming students iPads and Macbooks

Seton Hill, a private Catholic University in PA,  has found an interesting way to recruit new students – a free iPad and MacBook for incoming first year students in Fall 2010.  Called the Griffin Technology Advantage, the program is designed to provide top notch technology to students for 24 hour learning opportunities in order to “think outside of the classroom.”   Students will be given a new laptop after 2 years, one they can keep after graduating.  Interesting that the announcement made no mention of eBooks or textbooks.  Hopefully they are part of the master plan!

New Articles of Interest

I’m way behind on posting links to articles I’ve bookmarked in delicious.  There’s been so much activity in the industry these last few weeks that I can’t keep up.  So, here is a long list of things I’ve found from the past month.

Amazon Ups the Anti in eBook Price Wars; Rumors Say Apple is Shaky on iPad Content for Launch

Focusing on WorldCat, OCLC Sells NetLibrary to EBSCO, Thins FirstSearch – 3/17/2010 – Library Journal

Another publisher discovers free e-books lead to greater sales

Results for Read an EBook Week 2010 by Rita Toews

Ebooks as a textbook saver: can it work for some students?

The Case for Textbooks | American Libraries Magazine Continue reading New Articles of Interest

College Bookstores to add Espresso Book Machines

Expect to find print on demand textbooks and other academic and trade titles available for POD in college bookstores very soon.  From a press release, “NACS Media Solutions (NMS), a
subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores (NACS) and On Demand Books LLC (ODB), the maker of the Espresso Book Machine® (EBM), have entered into a joint agreement
whereby NMS will market the EBM to the collegiate marketplace and permission academic content for distribution throughout the worldwide network of EBMs.”  No word on pricing.  Thanks to Teleread for the info.

10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians

Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time.  Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network   about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing.  While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries.  I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading 10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians

Tools of Change – Future of Digital Textbooks

Tools of Change Conference – Future of Digital Textbooks, Feb. 23 10:45- 11:30

Speakers:  John Warren (Moderator) , Eric Frank, Flatworld Knowledge; Frank Lyman, CourseSmart; Nicholas Smith, Agile Mind; and Neeru Khosle, CK12 Foundation

Questions:

New Articles of Interest

Wow, e-book talk has exploded.  There are so many good stories from the past week.  Have a look at some.

Tech Change: The library’s changing approach to ebooks and technology! By Tony Bandy

Some Thoughts on Free Textbooks

It Takes a Consortium to Support Open Textbooks

The eBook Wars: Agency & Winners

Two studies on e-library economics

Hurtling Toward the Finish Line: Should the Google Books Settlement Be Approved?: California Digital Library

E-Library Economics – Inside Higher Ed

Electronic Frontier Foundation discusses digital books and your rights

iPad for Kids Coming from Mattel

Apple to wrap digital books in FairPlay copy protection [Clarified]

2010 Horizon Report – eBooks top technology

For the last 7 years the New Media consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative have collaborated on the Horizon Report.  The report identifies key trends in higher education, critical challenges, and selects 6 technologies to watch.  Ebooks have made the top 6 technologies, in the mid-term horizon, which means 2 – 3 years for widespread adoption.   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.   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).

The report sites several examples of ebooks in practice including the Penn State SONY project, Darden’s KINDLE project, DeepDyve, and Sophie.

Rent your textbook

Interesting article in the NYT today about Barnes & Noble’s textbook rental program.  According to the article, textbooks can be rented from college bookstores for about 42% of the retail price.  B & N piloted the program last year in a few schools, it has now been expanded to 25 campuses.  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).  Cengage and Chegg.com are also options.   Are you allowed to highlight and write in the rented books I wonder?  If this takes off, how might this impact the regularity of new editions?  Unfortunately, it only offers an option to students, renting.  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.  It didn’t work out so well because the program has been canceled.  Students just aren’t ready to embrace the e-textbook, they want “a real book.”