We have all heard it, current e-books are good for trade books and .pdfs, but not so much for other forms of content we might find in the academic market -- such as textbooks, course notes, etc. Plus, we want the ability to both read the content and highlight or place notes. Enter a new prototype e-reader developed by the University of Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley. A short news release on the new e-reader is available, as is a longer academic paper that includes images and some results of the research involved to date. Once a more palatable and usable device enters the market -- which increasingly seems like only a matter of time, what with several new e-book devices in development or due on the market this year alone -- how long will it be before students, who are very mobile-device inclined, see that as the preferred mechanism to get their course materials? Two years? Four years? We are alreadying seeing upticks at different campuses.
My two cents -- we all (students, faculty, publishers, libraries, IT departments, and stores) have much to learn yet about digital course materials and e-books in higher education-- creation, use, distribution, sale, sharing, learning impact, and other dimensions. More discussion is needed with all of the stakeholders at the table so that we might better share and leverage our learning experiences and information for mutual benefit. We have begun facilitating some of these conversations on different campuses following up on the initial Forum with ACRL and EDUCAUSE last year. The results and discussions so far have been productive and yeilded some interesting results. I am on my way to another over the next few days. The time to have such discussions on campus are now, before multiple models proliferate and increase campus costs or confusion for all stakeholders. Which models work best in what situations on campus? What new policy questions need to be addressed? How might we respond to different scenarios of change? The list goes on...
Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.