August 27, 2010
It’s Friday…time for another edition of “What Did You Learn This Week,” where I drop a couple of quick hits on you, and ask you to do the same.
Here’s what I learned this week:
- That there have been more than 300 million downloads from iTunes U, Apple’s education-related portal that’s a part of the iTunes store. Draw your own conclusions. My conclusion is that we’re definitely on the right track with this little publishing company idea.
- In addition to making it legal to jailbreak your iPhone, the Library of Congress has also given you the legal right to hack your e-books. Check out item 6 at the bottom of the notice. Note to self, don’t spend a whole lot of money on DRM at the moment.
- What’s next, single-use versions of e-books that disappear when you shut off the device you’re using to read them? (University of Michigan Press announces e-book rentals.)
What did you learn this week? We need your comments and feedback, so please post up your own items.
August 20, 2010
It’s Friday, and time to share some quick things I learned this week:
- Educators are dreaming up some pretty creative ideas for using technology to free up more time for personal instruction in large intro courses;
- Advertisements are coming to an e-book near you, sooner rather than later;
- One management prof at Texas Tech replaced his “boring” textbook with a graphic novel and saw student success rates increase significantly;
- And finally, the University of Phoenix is once again under fire for recruitment practices.
August 17, 2010
A survey done recently by ReadWriteWeb indicates that educators are spending a lot of time thinking about the roles and uses of popular technologies in the classroom. While it’s clear that a couple of the things that made the top 5 on the list are still in the “nice to have” category (I’m not sure I can see many school districts springing for iPad or Android tablets at this point), it’s heartening to know that teachers from the elementary school ranks all the way up through those in higher education are actively envisioning the future of the learning experience.
In a lot of ways, this makes our job as a publisher harder, because it forces us to pay very close attention to what our customers are doing, and, by extension, to what they want (or will someday want) from us. It also makes our job more rewarding, knowing that we’ll have a genuine opportunity to contribute to the intersection of technology and learning.
August 16, 2010
It’s not hard to be impressed by the Kno, the slick color dual-screen e-reader currently being class-tested in a couple of schools this Fall. It’s a seriously cool piece of technology. Two 14-inch screens. A pen stylus for on-screen writing and highlighting. Capacity for eight semesters worth of textbooks. And a lot of other great features that could potentially blow things like the iPad and Kindle right out of the water as textbook reading platforms. The Kno is definitely poised to make a significant impact on the market.
Having said that, there is a very good reason why the Kno will not, despite its creators’ predictions, be “the textbook of the future.”
Read the rest of this entry »
August 3, 2010
The recent article in The New York Times about the efforts underway at companies and organizations like Curriki, Flat World Knowledge, and the CK-12 Foundation to provide free, open-source textbooks certainly struck a chord. The thing that grabbed me was this quote from Scott McNealy: