Class, Turn To Chapter 6 On Your Screen

Last week, on my drive in to the college, I heard a segment on NPR's Morning Edition that talked about college textbooks being "on track to becoming a relic of the paper-and-ink era." Combine this with news stories on the new Kindle 2 electronic reader and it means that TV network news will soon be following up with their own stories, and we can say that e-textbooks have officially gone mainstream. Of course, that doesn't mean they are being widely adopted at colleges.

The piece focused on Northwest Missouri State University which issues laptops to students and where  500 students are testing out digital textbooks this semester. The pilot is looking at how the e-textbooks might change the way students study.

CourseSmart, a digital distributor that works with traditional publishers. On their site, they have 5,519 titles available in 824 course areas, across 109 disciplines.
"Now what you're looking for in an author is a Steven Spielberg. You're looking for somebody who can be the producer, have the vision for what the learning experience should be," says Lyman.
According to the National Association of College Stores, 18% of college students have purchased an e-textbook. Northwest Missouri State is in a different situation than many schools. Not only do students get laptops, but students rent all their textbooks from the college. That means they could more easily make the switch to all e-texts.
NPR Story/Audio link


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