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.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cool Hardware Won't Win Educational Tablet War

There’s little debate about the potential electronic devices have in the realm of learning. The problem comes in realizing that potential, says to Mehdi Maghsoodnia, CEO of Rafter, the parent company of BookRenter.com, in this guest post written for Forbes.com.

Cost is one large stumbling block to reaching that potential. At this point, the cost of the device and the educational content assigned doesn’t ensure a savings for students compared to printed textbooks, which is a primary reason why e-books remain less than 5% of all textbook sales.

There is also the issue of supporting the device and getting educators to use digital content effectively.

“Simply putting digital books on a device is not enough to truly digitalize education,” Maghsoodnia writes. “In order to make real inroads at colleges and universities, devices must be accessible for students, and adopted by their professors and administrators.”

Becoming the device of choice for education will not be a race to the coolest features or content. It will be a race to solve the problems of cost and scale to help institutions find their way into the digital future, according to Maghsoodnia.

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