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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Macmillan introduces new platform for e-textbooks

Earlier this week, Macmillan introduced a new platform called DynamicBooks that will give professors the opportunity to create custom digital textbooks from existing titles. Professors will be able to rearrange chapters; upload links, video or audio; rewrite or delete portions of the text; and upload the course syllabus. According to an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, changes to the original text will be clearly labeled so that students can easily recognize the modifications. Another article from The New York Times says the books will be sold at about half the cost of the traditional print books. Macmillan is willing to sell the e-textbooks for less because it expects that the e-textbook sales will replace the sale of used books.

Beginning in August, students will be able to buy the e-textbooks through the DynamicBooks website, college stores, and CourseSmart. The books can be read on laptops or the iPhone and the company plans to negotiate with Apple so that the books can be read on the iPad.

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