-- Access. The future of education.

NBC News launches interactive e-book publishing venture — from by Adario Strange


NBC News plans to launch NBC Publishing, a venture dedicated to releasing interactive e-books for tablets and e-readers.

How iBooks Author Stacks Up to the Competition [CHART] — from by Chelsea Stark

Author, Author! Apple, Apple! — from The Journal by Therese Mageau
Apple’s new interactive textbook authoring system might just revolutionize the way districts develop their own curriculum. 

iTunes U vs. Blackboard – A Look at Apple’s New Online System — from

Thanks to iPads and Kindles, E-Book Lending at Libraries Explodes — from by John Paul Titlow

Why textbooks of the future are not books — from by Erica Ogg

Apple Jumps Into Textbooks — from the WSJ
With More iPads in Classrooms, Education Push Would Help Fend Off Android-Device Competition

Apple’s iTunes U Morphs Into a Tool for Full Online Classes — from by Sarah Kessler

Reinventing Textbooks: A Hard Course — from the New York Times by David Streitfeld


Also see:


Donald Chan/Reuters
People flooded Foxconn Technology with résumés at a 2010 job fair in Henan Province, China.

Apple to announce tools, platform to “digitally destroy” textbook publishing– by Chris Foresman


GarageBand for e-books

At the same time, however, authoring standards-compliant e-books (despite some promises to the contrary) is not as simple as running a Word document of a manuscript through a filter. The current state of software tools continues to frustrate authors and publishers alike, with several authors telling Ars that they wish Apple or some other vendor would make a simple app that makes the process as easy as creating a song in GarageBand.

Our sources say Apple will announce such a tool on Thursday.


Some thoughts/reflections from DSC:

  • If the educational publishing industry doesn’t want to help students out by greatly lowering their prices…
    (But don’t relax people in higher ed…most likely, we are next.)
  • Another example of “the dangers of the status quo.
  • We constantly need to be actively reinventing ourselves and our businesses so that we are staying relevant.
    (And at prices running up to and over $200,000 for 4 years of college — as of January 2012 —  the assertion that higher ed is not a business just doesn’t hold any water for me anymore.)


Addendum later on 1/17/12:


AcademicPub adds 22 new publishers to its content library — from by Kirsten Winkler


AcademicPub is an online platform for college professors that enables them to create custom print or digital textbooks. This way professors can pick the content relevant to their course only which leads to much lower prices for the students when they purchase the books.

Launched in April 2011 by SharedBook Inc., AcademicPub started with less than 20 publishers but the platform quickly attracted new partners and now offers copyright-cleared material from over 100 publishers including…

Why tablet publishing is poised to revolutionize higher education — from by Trevor Bailey

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Richer than their print counterparts, digital textbooks include a number of interactive features. They are not limited to static pictures, but can integrate video, audio, animation, interactive simulations and even 360-degree rotations and panoramas. In addition, universities have the ability to create custom, institutionally branded viewers with unique displays and navigation options.

Digital publishing allows professors or subject matter experts to self-publish their own educational materials or research findings and distribute the information on tablet devices. Teachers can iterate content quickly, better keeping pace in a world where knowledge evolves every instant. On a smaller scale, they can post lesson documents online for students, versus relying on hard-copy materials.


From DSC:
…and we’ll see what Apple says about this topic later this month; 2012 should be an interesting year indeed. I would like to see more of our professors’ e-books/self-published materials up on the Chalkboard of the Future:


One part of the board could provide downloadable, discipline-specific templates




Teaching resources could be downloaded by faculty and by students -- compliements of the publishers


From Daniel Christian: The future chalkboard is connected to various other systems and devices -- wirelessly and via wired connections.


Blowing out the digital book as we know it– from MindShift by Tina Barseghian

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Inkling also produced the epic The Professional Chef by the Culinary Institute of America. The book in its entirety costs $50, but you can also purchase individual chapters for $3 a piece. The new model makes book buying much like buying music — choose only the pieces you like best.  MacInnis fluidly demonstrates how to float from one chapter to the next, launch videos, close in on images, tap on sidebars and recipe instructions. It’s like watching a magician performing sleight-of-hand tricks.

From DSC:
Books — and textbooks — will continue to be more cloud-based, interactive, multimedia-based, and will be able to be completely up-to-date as they move more towards becoming like apps (vs. hard copy books/textbooks). I see more experimentation in terms of the implementation of social media tools as well as in trying out different business models.  However, when all’s said and done (at least for this next phase), I hope that we can get to the iTunes-like purchasing model mentioned above. I think students, faculty, and staff at educational institutions would benefit greatly from this. 

From Daniel Christian -- November 2011 -- An important note to publishers of academic/educational materials!


From DSC:
We really need a much more granular approach — like an iTunes for academic content.


One iPad publishing platform to rule them all — from by Josh Koppel, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at ScrollMotion



App developer ScrollMotion has created tablet content for some of the world’s largest publishers. At the Mashable Media Summit last Friday, its co-founder and chief creative officer Josh Koppel showed off a single platform built to run the entire gamut of enterprise media publishing.

.Also see: -- solutions

Digital Publishing: Interlinking publishing’s future with jobs, books, social media, and English majors [11-2-11 presentation] — published with permission from Steven Chevalia [Steven is a senior at Calvin College and recently did an internship at Zondervan]

Agenda/topics covered:

  • What is Digital Media?
  • Legal Jargon (Sneak Peek)
  • e-Readers
  • Tablets vs. e-Readers
  • e-Reading Software
  • Books or Apps?
  • Publishing [publishers / self-publishing]

Addendums later on 11/9/11:

8 Colleges Collaborate on Open Courses — from Converge Magazine by Tanya Roscorla


Many students can’t pay hundreds of dollars each term for textbooks. So they choose not to buy any of them.

“They just try to take the class without the book, and boy, that’s hard,” said Marty Christofferson, dean of campus technology at Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York.

This year, eight colleges that primarily serve at-risk students are working together on Project Kaleidoscope. In California, New York and Nebraska, faculty members are collaborating on open general education courses that will cut student textbook costs to less than $30 per class.


From DSC:
For some archived examples of pooling resources — and the use of consortiums — see this page on my old website:

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