Tag Archives: Textbooks

Patent granted to encourage purchase of digital textbooks

“In a newly-approved patent, an economics professor hopes to bring to the academic publishing world what seems to be forthcoming in the video game industry—new restrictions that would seemingly eliminate a secondary market for digital goods and prevent legal borrowing. Last week, the 2006 patent for a “Web-based system and method to capture and distribute royalties for access to copyrighted academic texts by preventing unauthorized access to discussion boards associated with copyrighted academic works” was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent was granted to Joseph Henry Vogel, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.

via Ars Technica

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Reading With Pictures: The Graphic Textbook

Wired – “I’m going to assume you’ve already heard the argument that comics are a great way to teach literacy, and not re-hash that here. Comics are also a pretty good way to teach other things as well: it’s a very blurry line between comics and instructional diagrams, for instance. The combination of words and pictures is something that just clicks for many readers, particularly when it’s done well. Reading With Pictures is a non-profit organization that aims to “get comics into schools and get schools into comics.” Tom Stillwell wrote about their first anthology last year, which covered a variety of subjects as their proof of concept, and was very well-received. Now, RWP is seeking funding on Kickstarter for The Graphic Textbook, a 144-page comics anthology covering Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, Science — all drawn from a list of common core standards. Their hope is to weave comics-based learning into virtually every subject by producing a book that can actually be used as a textbook, and not simply a literacy aid.”

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College Faculty Continue Their Love Affair with Print Textbooks, says New BISG Study

BISG Press Release – “A first ever survey of college faculty perceptions toward classroom materials found that professors continue to equate their own and their students’ successes in the classroom to the use of materials such as textbooks and most prefer print formats. Faculty Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, led by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and powered by Bowker Market Research, reveals that 93 percent of faculty feel students who use required course materials receive higher grades in class. An even higher percentage feel the use of these materials by students enables professors to be more effective teachers.”

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FCC Pushes E-Textbooks on U.S. Schools Facing Budget Crunch

Bloomberg – “A Federal Communications Commission effort to bring digital textbooks to U.S. students faces resistance from schools with limited budgets for buying devices such as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad tablet computer. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced plans yesterday to get all U.S. students from kindergarten through the 12th grade using electronic titles within five years. The initiative, which doesn’t involve any additional U.S. government funding, is meant to speed adoption of e-textbooks. The U.S. spends $7 billion a year on textbooks, and digital versions are the exception, rather than the rule, Genachowski said.”

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Back To School: Should An E-Reader Be On Your List?

Wired – “E-readers have been in the news quite a bit lately —new models are reaching the feature to price point ratio where sales have been skyrocketing, leaving even tablets in the dust in terms of adoption rates. The coming holiday gift-giving season combined with the pending release of Harry Potter e-books (finally!), increased investment in e-book versions of college textbooks and Amazon’s expected release of a tablet-based Kindle device have whipped up speculation that we are looking at the perfect storm for e-reader sales this Fall. Many parents of elementary and high school kids are wondering if now might be the time to invest in an e-reader as part of their back to school expenditures.”

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More and more, college students go buy the e-books

Boston Globe – “Digital textbooks are a no-brainer for many, and sales are up this year.”

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Amazon announces textbook rentals for the Kindle platform

Teleread – “Amazon just issued a press release announcing the opening of their Kindle Textbooks store. Titles will be available to rent for periods from 30 days to 360 days, and students can increase the rental period in increments as small as one day, or purchase (license) the book outright at any point. The other compelling feature is that any notes or highlights will remain stored on Amazon’s servers under the customer’s Kindle account, just like other notes and highlights, so that they’ll remain accessible even after the rental expires.”

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A wiki education

Boston Globe – “Self-published textbooks may be long on ideology and short on facts”

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More and more college bookstores offering rentals

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES – “For college students and their parents, there’s a small bright spot in the increasingly bleak world of college costs: the cost of textbooks. That’s because the number of college bookstores offering textbook rentals has exploded this year, leaping from just 300 nationwide in 2009 to 1,500 this year, according to the National Association of College Stores, which represents 3,000 college bookstores.”

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CSUDH gives digital textbooks a try

ContraCostaTimes – “As if runaway tuition fees during a down economy weren’t bad enough, college students are taking it on the chin from another expense that can’t seem to stop going skyward: textbooks. A recent study by the California State University system estimates that textbooks cost the average student about $800 a year. Not only this, sticker prices are rising to the tune of 7percent annually. This year, California State University, Dominguez Hills is taking a stand. The Carson campus is among six of CSU’s 23 locations to take part in a pilot program in which students, beginning this year, are able to purchase digital textbooks for temporary use. The program is analogous to Netflix in that digital access to the books is temporary: At the end of the semester, students “return” their books as their passwords expire.”

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