From Inside HIgher ED:
Minnesota launched an online catalog of open-source books last month and will pay its professors $500 each time they post an evaluation of one of those books. (Faculty members elsewhere are welcome to post their own reviews, but they won’t be compensated.) Minnesota professors who have already adopted open-source texts will also receive $500, with all of the money coming from donor funds.
More info here.
Heather Campbell (Chegg.com’s Community Manager ) got in touch with me recently to tell me about a new service that Chegg offers. Chegg launched a new eReader recently, which may be of interest to DePaul students and faculty. You can find out more about it here:
Electronic text has the potential to be a huge disrupter to the educational environment (and the effects are already visible). In this Technology Tuesdays session learn what ebook options are available for your and your students to use. You will also discover how you can create your own ebooks and etextbooks, Providers/options that will be covered include:
- Apple iBooks Author
- Barnes and Noble NOOK Study
- DePaul Library Ebooks
- Flat World Knowledge
- Project Gutenberg
- Safari Online
You can RSVP for the upcoming session here.
Inkling has an upcoming webinar that I think will be of interest to Commerce faculty (and fans of eTextbooks). The event is on the 22nd of February:
“Wondering how to transition from print textbooks to digital on a platform that both faculty and students will embrace? Join Matt MacInnis, the founder and CEO of Inkling, the premier publishing platform for digital MBA textbooks and the newest EMBA Council member, for a discussion about the brave new world of Smartbooks. MacInnis will demonstrate how popular MBA titles are now Smartbooks on Inkling’s platform.”
You can register here:
The next Technology Tuesdays presentation will take place on the 31st August. The focus this month is:
Apple iPads in the Classroom
The Apple iPad has been flying off the shelves in recent months. An estimated three million iPads were purchased in the first eighty days since the tablet computer launched in April. In this exciting session you will have the opportunity to discover how the iPad can be used at DePaul and in the classroom. Topics that will be covered include:
- Wifi vs 3G
- Presenting on an iPad using classroom projectors
- DePaul e-mail integration
- Connecting to DePaul’s wireless network
- Educational applications
- eBooks and eTextbooks
- What works (and what does not work)
- Remote connectivity (VNC)
- Suggested accessories
To RSVP please visit this page.
Entourage and Cengage Learning will be collaborating on e-textbooks. This looks pretty interesting, as the enTourage edge has a dualscreen display that opens up like a real book. The only downside is the cost - $539.00….
If I were a student I would most likely not spend $539.00 on the enTourage edge – my money would more likely first go on a smartphone (Android or iPhone, maybe Meego), and then maybe a netbook or iPad. All three devices have the ability to display e-textbooks and add extra value:
- Smartphone: Small, always with you. Downsides are hard to read and harder to annotate.
- Netbook: General purpose device (large array of programs to install), has keyboard. Downside is smallish screen.
- iPad: Media device, plays Netflix, games, apps, etc. Downside is limited to apps that Apple allows (and web browser lacks Flash and some functionality).
However, I think the form factor of the enTourage edge is pretty dam exciting. If either universities or publishers can subsidize the hardware, then this could take off. Textbooks are heavy and expensive – the flip to digital will happen at some point, but only if hardware costs go down.