Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The future of textbooks

Have you been paying attention to the ebook wars? Prices are coming down and many free books are available for the download. The top three ebooks, Kindle, Nook, eReader are in fierce competition and even more options are on the way. Are you reading electronic books? Each has its own pros and cons. But it is definitely the wave of the future.

What about textbooks? A recent study showed that 70% of students still prefer a hard copy book. But things may be changing fast. Just last month, Barnes and Noble launched
NOOK Study. With this website, a student doesn't need a Nook, just a computer to read the material. The key is that they have partnered with major textbook companies to improve the textbook in many ways. The most interesting aspect to me is interactive graphics. Imagine watching cells grow or DNA molecules rotate. The options are limitless!

Another reason students may be willing to change to ebooks is the cost. A 40% - 60% discount off the price of paper texts just might do the trick. Nookstudy allows students to highlight and save notes to the side of the etext.

The final thing to watch is smartphone technology. Most smartphones have ebook apps available for download. Blackboard and ANGEL are working on new and improved mobile technology today...and it might be ready by the end of this year.

The future it here...and it is great fun to watch.

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