Electronic Textbooks

E-books are being widely adopted as alternatives to traditional textbooks. Here you'll find articles detailing new developments in the area of e-book and e-textbook technologies, along with stories about institutions adopting them.


McGraw-Hill Education Launches Textbook and E-Book Rental Program

College students may be able to save as much as 70 percent off their textbooks through a new rental program from McGraw-Hill Education. Starting this spring, the company is offering rentals on more than 250 of its copyright 2019 titles, plus all future titles, through its e-commerce channel on the company website as well as through approved distributors.

Macmillan Learning Intros Curated OER Course Materials

Macmillan Learning is launching a new course materials product that brings together open educational resources, instructor supplements and on-demand support. Dubbed Intellus Open Courses, the materials are curated by the company's subject-matter experts and editorial team and cost just $14.99 per student per course.

Blackboard LMSes to Add Day-One Access to VitalSource Catalog

Shortly, colleges and universities that use the Blackboard Learn or Moodlerooms learning management systems will also be able to offer "day-one access" to digital curriculum for their students, through an agreement between Blackboard and VitalSource. Under the terms, faculty will be able to select content from VitalSource's catalog of digital textbooks and make them available to students on the company's digital textbook platform through their LMS from the first day of class.

Bundles and Access Codes Destroy Efforts to Cut Textbook Pricing

The practice of faculty relying on bundled textbooks and, specifically, access-code materials to provide course problem sets, quizzes, tests and case studies, has wreaked havoc with student efforts to find cheaper textbook alternatives. According to a new report from the Student PIRGs, among a sample group of schools, 45 percent of these supplemental resources were unavailable from any source other than the campus bookstore. As the report's authors noted, the use of those bundles, which exist behind paywalls, eliminates the ability of students to "shop around," which means they're "forced to pay full price for these materials." They also can't resell their textbooks because the access codes typically have expiration dates.

Knewton Releases $44 Adaptive Digital Textbooks

Ed tech company Knewton has launched a collection of digital courseware that integrates its adaptive technology with open education resources, with the intention of selling directly to instructors and students. Previously, the company licensed its adaptive functionality to textbook publishers for integration with their course content. Under the new strategy, the company noted, it could own "all aspects of the user experience" and "make a greater impact on outcomes and affordability." Each title in the new line costs $44 for two years of digital access.

7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2018

What education technologies and trends will have the most impact in the coming year? We asked four higher ed IT leaders for their take.

How the 'Slow Ed Tech Movement' Is Bringing a Sense of Purpose to Academic Technology

Slowing the pace of education technology work makes projects more sustainable, gives people a chance to connect, allows for more meaningful conversations and helps prevent burnout.

3 Kentucky Community Colleges Adopt Low-Cost Digital Courseware

This fall, three colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System adopted digital courseware from Barnes & Noble Education to provide students with a low-cost alternative to traditional textbooks.

Survey: 94% of Students Want to Use Their Cell Phones in Class

A whopping 94 percent of students in a recent survey said they want to use their cell phones in class for academic purposes.

Cengage Announces Subscription Plan

Cengage today introduced Cengage Unlimited, a subscription plan that provides unlimited access to the company's digital course materials for a fixed per-semester price.

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