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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

E-Book Revolution More of an Evolution on Campus

Sales figures of Kindles and iPads, along with exploding numbers of e-book titles over the last year, suggest the long-predicted e-book revolution is finally here. But this Campus Technology article says the digital textbook market may be more of an evolution, with students, teachers, and publishers working on solutions to combine value, convenience, and low cost.

Matt MacInnis, co-founder and CEO of e-book publisher Inkling, says digital course materials lag behind because the current model replicates a print book rather than integrating all of the available technology, such as audio, video, and animation. Others view high-tech gadgetry as a bonus, while firms such as CourseSmart and Flat World Knowledge—also featured in the article—provide solutions that can work now.

Studies by NACS and others have shown that while digital book sales are on the rise, a large majority of college students continue to prefer the printed textbook so the tipping point isn’t here yet. In the meantime, publishers have to decipher the best way to deliver course content at a price point acceptable to students.

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