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CourseSmart Unveils E-Textbooks Portal App

CourseSmart has released a new app that allows users access to e-textbooks from mobile devices including the Kindle Fire, iPad, and Android devices.

The app, which requires no downloading, provides students and staff with a catalog of more than 20,000 e-textbooks created by CourseSmart, as well as other digital education materials. Current users of CourseSmart will sign into their e-textbook accounts and be asked to sign into the Web app when they start reading their e-textbooks.

Features of CourseSmart include:

  • A bookshelf, for users to easily find the e-textbooks they're looking for;
  • Search tools, which allow users to find material by topic using a table of contents, turning pages, or doing a text search;
  • The ability to zoom in on words and graphics, and look at and add to notes. This feature lets the user rotate his or her device into landscape mode and scroll the page from top to bottom, pinch and zoom, and zoom and pan; and
  • The ability to take, view, and delete notes.

App requirements include Google Chrome, Safari, or Amazon Silk on Android 3.0 and higher, Kindle Fire, or iPad devices. Compatibility with other Android devices, iPhone, and iPod Touch is in the works.

CourseSmart provides e-books and other digital course materials from a variety of partners, including Macmillan, McGraw-Hill Education, Cengage Learning, and Pearson.

The app, which is free, updates automatically when enhancements are made. E-textbook users will need to pay for access to the e-books themselves, and cost varies.

In related news, earlier this month CourseSmart announced an integration with Desire2Learn’s learning management system. The collaboration will provide Desire2Learn users with CourseSmart’s e-textbook features, and allow teachers to evaluate and select CourseSmart e-textbooks.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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