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Digital Textbooks: Reading the Landscape Frederic Murray Assistant Professor MLIS, University of British Columbia BA, Political Science, University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Digital Textbooks: Reading the Landscape Frederic Murray Assistant Professor MLIS, University of British Columbia BA, Political Science, University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Digital Textbooks: Reading the Landscape Frederic Murray Assistant Professor MLIS, University of British Columbia BA, Political Science, University of Iowa Instructional Services Librarian Al Harris Library

2 Text in Historical Light Clay Tablets Papyrus Bound Books Printing Hypertext

3 Digital Culture How will a dominantly electronic culture differ from the print-centered culture we have known these past few centuries? –Sven Birkerts "The Fate of the Book." Antioch Review. 59.2 (2001): 259-270

4 Question of Function To see the book in historical light is to see it as technology… ….one that has always wrought disruptive change.



7 “When more and more students are running from your core product, you have a problem.” - Jeff Shelstad CEO, Flat World Knowledge (Ex-editorial director at Prentice Hall Business Publishing)

8 Textbook Cost: Sustainable? Students spend between $700 & $1000 a year on textbooks (Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. 2007) College textbooks rose at twice the rate of inflation over the last two decades ( GAO 2006 Study)

9 Rising Cost of Textbooks Used Book Market Bundling w/CDs, workbooks, online supplements Concealment of Prices 80’s -Feet on the Street 90’s Nuclear arms race of supplements 21 st Mystery ISBN

10 Rising Costs Publishing Industry has undergone massive wave of consolidations –Pearson - Wiley –McGraw Hill - Cenage Textbook market lacks traditional market mechanisms that regulate price –Captive audience –Little Competition

11 How will Digital Culture Differ? We need new business models Leverage the economics of digital distribution in favor of our students

12 Recent Move to Open Models Academic Earth MIT OpenCourseware initiative Open Content Alliance Center for Open & Sustainable Learning (COSL) Open Courseware Consortium iTunes U Richard Baraniuk on open-source learning via TEDTED

13 Digital Textbooks- A Promising Solution Production Costs Control over Textbook Format Open Up the Market for Competition

14 Digital Textbooks Done Right Must Meet Three Criteria –Affordable –Printable –Accessible Student Public Interest Resource Group 2008

15 Digital Textbooks Done Wrong E-textbooks are too expensive E-textbooks are difficult and costly to print E-textbooks are difficult to access

16 E-textbooks surveyed cost on average exactly the same as a new hard copy and twice the cost of a used hard copy E-textbooks surveyed cost on average 39% more than a used hard copy COST *Course Correction: How Digital Textbooks are Off Track

17 E-textbook printing on CourseSmart is limited to 10 pages per session. The cost of buying an e-textbook & printing all of the pages is twice of the cost of buying a new hard copy and selling it back to the bookstore. PRINT *Course Correction: How Digital Textbooks are Off Track

18 Access is limited to either online or offline on a single computer Online Version: Log in on any computer Downloadable Version: Choose one machine, desktop? laptop? ACCESS *Course Correction: How Digital Textbooks are Off Track

19 Digital Textbooks Done Right Open textbooks are affordable Open textbooks are easy & inexpensive to print Open textbooks are accessible

20 What is an Open Textbook? We know it has to be: free, or very nearly free, easy to use, get and pass around, editable so instructors can customize content, cross-platform compatible, Printable, and accessible so it works with adaptive technology.

21 Open Textbooks Open textbooks are textbooks distributed free digitally under an open license. The key feature of an open license is that it permits users to make copies of the textbook and translate it into different formats.

22 Open Textbooks Open textbooks start as digital textbooks, but can become printed pages, a hardbound book, or even audio files.

23 Open Textbooks Open textbooks accomplish what E-textbooks do not : Low Prices Printing Options Accessibility Creative Commons Reuse Redistribute Revise Remix

24 Open Textbooks are Affordable Open textbooks are free digitally and students have the option to use the book online or print or purchase a hard copy of the book.

25 Open textbooks are Easy & Inexpensive to Print An open license allows students to reproduce the textbook in any format at any time.

26 Open Textbooks are Accessible Accessibility: online, offline, on any computer, future access.

27 Who’s Doing What? 2009/2010 Florida State Universities: Free downloads w/Orange Grove Text Plus California State Universities are creating a digital marketplace Rice University created a digital repository NW Missouri State, Penn State & Princeton are giving out EReaders

28 Florida: 124 books in an open text format University of Florida Press with support from the state’s digital library database

29 California State University System

30 Rice University: Connections

31 Private Sector Initiatives Textbook Media (Freeload Press) Flatworld Knowledge

32 TextBook Media

33 Flatworld Knowledge

34 Places to Buy Digital Textbooks ( But I wouldn’t) #1 ZinioZinio Students can save up to 50 percent when they forgo print textbooks for the digital textbooks offered through Zinio. The site offers textbooks in a wide range of categories. If you've never tried digital textbooks before and want to check them out, download the free sample offered though Zinio. #2 iChaptersiChapters More than two million people visit iChapters each month to save a guaranteed 50 percent on digital textbooks. iChapters sells entire texts and also offers individual chapters and audio books for as little as $1.99 each. #3 CourseSmartCourseSmart Students can save significant cash when they buy one of the 5,000 textbook titles available though CourseSmart. The average CourseSmart shopper saves $60 on every digital textbook purchased. #4 This website has always been a popular source of low-cost textbooks and has recently expanded to begin offering digital textbooks. More than 3,000 titles are currently available. #5 McGraw-Hill eBookStoreMcGraw-Hill eBookStore McGraw-Hill offers more than 900 of their print textbooks in digital form though their eBookstore. The digital versions are identical to print versions, but cost an average of 50 percent less. McGraw-Hill's digital versions can be highlighted, annotated and bookmarked.

35 Places to Buy Digital Textbooks ( But I wouldn’t) #6 Taylor and Francis eBookstoreTaylor and Francis eBookstore Taylor and Francis is another academic publisher that has decided to make their books available for download online. Students can buy entire books, chapters or specific pages. #7 Books on BoardBooks on Board Books on Board does not have as many digital textbooks as some of the other sites on this list, but the site is still worth checking out. Students can save anywhere from a $2 to $100 off the cover price. #8 Vital Source BookshelfVital Source Bookshelf Students can quickly and easily download their required textbooks through Vital Source Bookshelf. The site works with a wide variety of publishers and campus resellers to bring students digital versions of the most popular textbooks. #9 CafeScribeCafeScribe CafeScribe is dedicated to helping students save both money and trees via digital textbooks. The site offers a number of interesting features that other sites don't offer, including the ability to share notes, start groups and highlight text inside digital textbooks. #10 Universal Digital Textbooksniversal Digital Textbooks Universal Digital Textbooks, also known as or, isn't a direct source for ebooks, but it is a site that can be used to activate the digital textbook cards that you can buy from your local/campus bookstore. The site has a test section that will tell you whether or not your system is eBooks-capable.

36 Digital Textbooks Open Textbooks Affordable Printable Accessible E-Textbooks Costly Limited Restrictive

37 Hardware Wars Sony Reader – Princeton $280.00 Kindle 2 - Abilene Christine $259.00 iPad - $499.00 Seem to foster a false sense of urgency….where’s the data that these make students better learners? Digital textbooks should be an adaptive response to the changing landscape of Higher Education.

38 Conclusions Publishers should adjust their course to meet the criteria –Heavily restricted & costly format –Old traditional sales model is bust –Redesign the model to fit the product

39 Conclusions Faculty should give preference to open textbooks whenever pedagogically appropriate Colleges should provide support for open textbooks/digital content Recognize that 700 years of experience with paper is a huge challenge to surmount

40 The College Textbook Affordability Act 2008 Help make textbook costs more manageable by providing students with advance information on textbook prices in course schedules and ensuring faculty have full textbook pricing information when making purchasing decisions; Require publishers to include information about textbook price, history of revisions, and lower-priced alternatives when marketing a book to faculty; Require publishers who bundle course material to offer the textbooks and supplemental material in unbundled versions.

41 Libraries Respond Ebrary/NetLibrary CUNY Book Factsheet S. 1714: Open College Textbook Act of 2009 H.R. 3221: Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 H.R. 1464: Learning Opportunities With Creation of Open Source Textbooks (LOW COST) Act of 2009

42 Dark Nets –forum that people use for exchanging ebooks, scanned journal articles, proxy passwords AvaxHome –eBook pirate site Google Custom Search

43 Nietz Old Textbook Collection The Nietz Old Textbook Collection contains 19th century schoolbooks of the United States. The demonstration project by the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh offers the digital editions of 30 schoolbooks from the collection. Users may examine the digital editions and search a bibliography of the collection.Nietz Old Textbook Collection


45 Bibliography College Bookstores/Online Sites "10 Places to Buy Digital Textbooks Online." Degree Directory. 10 October 2009., Web. 12 Oct 2009... Gross, Sylvia. "Paper cut; Missouri College Embraces E- Textbooks." NPR. 23 February 2009. National Public Radio, Web. 13 Oct 2009. Make Textbooks Affordable. 10 October 2009. Web. 13 Oct 2009... "Open Textbooks." Orange Grove: Open Textbooks. 28 September 2009. Florida Distance Learning Consortium, Web. 12 Oct 2009.. "Sick and tired of overpriced college textbooks?." Textbook Revolt. 10 October 2009. Textbook Revolt, Web. 12 Oct 2009.. Terris, Ben. "Florida Lightens the Financial (and Physical) Burden of Textbooks." Chronicle of Higher Education: The Wired Campus 25 September 2009: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Thibodeaux, Brandon. "Do Study Sites Make the Grade?" Wall Street Journal 09 April 2009: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Young, Jeffery. "College Bookstores Move to Put Electronic Textbooks on Their Shelves." Chronicle of Higher Education: The Wired Campus 16 April 2009: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Young, Jeffery. "College Bookstores Hope to Turn Their Web Sites into E-Book Portals." Chronicle of Higher Education: The Wired Campus 24 September 2009: Web. 12 Oct 2009. "Welcome To Flat World Knowledge." Flat World Knowledge. 10 October 2009. Flat World Knowledge, Inc., Web. 12 Oct 2009. Digital Textbooks Allen, Nicole. "Course Correction: How Digital Textbooks Are Off Track & How To Set Them Straight." Educause Review 44.1 (January/February 2009): Web. 13 Oct 2009. Baker, Judy. "It Takes a Consortium to Support Open Textbooks." Educause Review 44.1 (January/February 2009): Web. 13 Oct 2009. Carlson, Scott. "Online Textbooks Fail to Make the Grade." Chronicle of Higher Education: Technology 11 February 2005: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Carr, John. "A Torrent of Textbooks." Information Today November (2008): 51. Catone, Josh. "Digital Textbooks: 3 Reasons Students Aren't Ready." Mashable: The Social Media Guide. 17 August 2009. Edgecast, Web. 12 Oct 2009. Carty, Susan. "The digital textbook is coming!." Information Searcher 12.1 (2000): 3-7. Web. 12 Oct 2009. Carpenter, Mason. "Flatworld Knowledge Webinars." Flat World Knowledge: Creating a Global Revolution in College Textbooks!. Flatworld Knowledge, 2010. Web. 10 Mar 2010. Golshani, Forouzan. "Digital Textbooks." IEEE 15.2 April- June (2008): 63-64 Nelson, Mark. "Is Higher Education ready to Switch to Digital Course Materials?" The Chronicle of Higher Education: Commentary 28 November 2008: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Pauli, Michelle. "Libraries of the Future." Ariadne 55 April (2008): Web. 12 Oct 2009. Wiley, David. "Digital Textbooks Call for New Business Models." The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Wired Campus 08 July 2009: Web. 13 Oct 2009.

46 Bibliography E-Books Carlson, Scott. "How to Channel the Data Deluge in Academic Research." Chronicle of Higher Education: Information Technology 04 April 2008: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2010). (2009). The 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Lewis, David. "Library budgets, open access, and the future of scholarly communication." November 2007. Creative Commons Attribution, Web. 12 Oct 2009... Safley, Ellen. "Demand for E-books in an Academic Library." Journal of Library Administration. 45.3/4 (2006): 445-457. Print. Future of the Book Birkerts, Sven. "The Fate of the Book." Antioch Review. 59.2 (2001): 259-270. Print. Darnton, Robert. "Google & the Future of Books." New York Review of Books 12 February 2009: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Giraldi, William. "A Conversation with Sven Birkerts." Missouri Review. Summer. (2006): 29-40. Print. Roediger, Henry. "Why Are Textbooks So Expensive." APS Observer 18.1 (2005): Web. 12 Oct 2009. Stross, Randall. "Will Books Be Napsterized." The New York Times 04 October 2009: Web. 12 Oct 2009. Wright, Alex. Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages. Washington D.C.: Joseph Henry Press, 2007. Print.

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