This blog is dedicated to the topics of Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education. it is intended as an information source for the college store industry, or anyone interested in how course materials are changing. Suggestions for discussion topics or news stories are welcome.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Campus Stores Scoping Out Texts and Tech

Collectively, campus bookstores still remain the dominant purveyor of course materials for college and university students. Making those materials available is becoming increasingly complex, with new formats for textbooks and new options for providing them.

On Feb. 20-24, campus bookstores will gather in Atlanta, GA, for the annual Campus Market Expo (CAMEX), a combined professional conference and trade show put on by NACS for collegiate retailers. The stores’ course materials managers and coordinators will be focusing on the ConTEXT track, designed to explore new trends in textbooks and supporting technologies and allow stores to share what’s working.

This year, ConTEXT will discuss the preliminary results of a six-month study of digital course materials, sponsored by the NACS Foundation. Other educational sessions will examine mobile course materials; parsing textbook sales data to help keep prices affordable to students; new software tools for course materials management; how to get started in selling digital content; open educational resources; providing publishing services for faculty-created materials; academic content licensing; research data on student and faculty attitudes toward course materials; trends in health-science textbooks; purchasing habits of students; how adaptive content fits in with print and digital books; sourcing textbooks more efficiently; and what stores can learn from Amazon’s sales tactics and its new campus program.

The Course Content Technology Fair will allow stores to see some of the latest offerings in course materials and related technologies from publishers, digital content platform providers, and textbook management systems. More demonstrations will take place in the designated ConTEXT Pavilion during the trade-show portion of CAMEX.

Since students can’t take advantage of digital tools and content without the necessary hardware, software, and accessories, stores that provide technology products will also head for CAMEX for the related CCRA (Campus Computer Resellers Alliance) Conference. Tech sellers will learn how to better meet the needs of students and faculty, as well as campus IT and other departments.

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