Tag Archives: digital textbooks

CourseSmart

HEDLINE: Ingram acquires CourseSmart

Abstract

Ingram Content Group acquired the assets of CourseSmart through its textbook unit VitalSource Technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CourseSmart was founded by the publishers Macmillan, Cengage Learning, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson in 2007 to facilitate the distribution of digital textbooks but has since expanded to become a leader in providing digital learning content in higher education.

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Kno

Kno Digital Textbooks now available on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Windows 8 Devices

Kno

With the recent launch of the iPad Mini, the Microsoft Surface RT and the new Google Nexus 10 tablet as well as the new Nexus 4 flagship phone being just around the corner one can say that the mobile device war has definitely heated up over the past couple of weeks. It’s not just Apple and the iOS ecosystem anymore as other manufacturers in combination with new operating systems offer quite attractive alternatives.

Our sister site Fair Languages already covered the launch of the first Windows 8 language learning applications by Berlin-based startup Babbel. Today K-12 and university students can add a ton of textbooks on top of that.

Kno just launched its Windows 8 application in the Windows Store which gives students access to over 200.000 digital textbooks from over 65 publishers.

Osman Rashid, co-founder and CEO of Kno said

“Kno and Microsoft share an unwavering commitment to improving education through digital technologies that enhance the student learning process to achieve better outcomes. And, because the Windows operating system is the most used in the world, we’re now able to bring our interactive learning tools to even more students and teachers whether they are using a laptop or tablet in the classroom.”

The new Kno for Windows 8 app takes advantage of the new Windows 8 features such as Charms, which are a set of shortcuts to common tasks that are available anywhere within the system.

The new Android version of the Kno app is also taking full advantage of Jelly Bean (4.2), the latest version of the Android operating system. This way the app is ready for the upcoming Google Nexus devices that will be available in November.

With the addition of Windows 8, Kno’s textbooks are now available on almost any device on the market.

todays campus 3 scott hasbrouck ginkgotree pic

Today’s Campus Innovation Interview #3 – Scott Hasbrouck of Ginkgotree

Scott Hasbrouck GinkgotreeIn this episode of the Today’s Campus Innovation Interview Series, Kirsten Winkler talks with Scott Hasbrouck, co-founder and CEO of Ginkgotree.

Ginkgotree is a web application that enables professors to create digital coursepacks (textbooks) based on free web content like YouTube videos, open educational resources or other creative commons licensed material and merge it with copyright cleared content from journals, magazines or textbooks in order to offer students custom course materials.

Ginkgotree is also offering a free book scanning service for professors. They simply choose the pages of the textbook they would like to include into the coursepack and then send the books or journals to Ginkgotree where they are professionally scanned and digitized.

This way Ginkgotree is able to cut down the cost of a textbook to about $30 instead of the usual $200 per semester. Ginkgotree partnered with the Copyright Clearance Center to offer the largest choice of copyright cleared content possible.

Digital Textbooks

Creating a Seamless User Experience for Digital Textbooks

Editor’s Note: This article has first been published on edcetera – straight talk on edtech.


Digital textbooks still take a smaller percentage of the overall textbook market, but with the increasing adoption of tablets in education I believe it is safe to say that they will be the standard five years from now.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of problems to solve along the way, one of them being the multiple devices people use today to access their data, e.g. emails, music or videos in the cloud. And digital textbooks are of course part of that. Today, we (or most of us) have a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop and/or a PC/Mac workstation — all of which usually run a different kind of operating system. On top of that, all devices have a different screen size, ranging from around 4 inches on a phone to maybe 21 inches on your PC.

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ENT Audio Podcast

Ed News Ticker #3 for April 20th 2012 (Audio)

ENT Audio Podcast

Ed News Ticker #3

  • recorded: April 20th 2012
Subscribe to ENT Subscribe to ENT Audio via RSS Subscribe to ENT Audio via iTunes
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The quest for better batteries and solar power

Panasonic reports that it will be using solar powered batteries to broadcast a full solar eclipse on May 20th from the summit of Mt Fuji – Well worth checking out the webcast with your students, but more importantly, signs of innovation in the battery and alternative power space.

Source: The Verge


Treehouse raises $4.75 million

Web design and development community Treehouse has just secured $4.75 million in funding from Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital partnership and the Greylock Discovery fund. The platform uses example videos, online quizzes and badges to teach people how to develop websites, web apps, iPhone apps and launch startups.

Source: TechCrunch


South Korea putting the brakes on digital textbooks

The South Korean government has backed off the plan to switch first- and second-grade classrooms to electronic readers. Older students will make the switch, but they’ll still have access to regular books as well. Whereas there aren’t yet studies about the impact of so much screen time on brain development, there are studies that show that college students who were forced to go without media for 24 hours can experience symptoms similar to drug withdrawal.

Source: Good


Missouri closes six charter schools

Missouri’s Board of Education has decided to close six charter school campuses run by the Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc., saying that it “would be a disservice” to children to keep them open because of academic and fiscal issues.
The decision to close the schools at the end of the school year will mean that about 4,000 students will have to find a new school for next fall. A transition office is being set up to help families find new school placements.

Source: Washington Post


New Reading Tests for elementary school teachers

Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt a rigorous, stand-alone test of elementary teachers’ knowledge of the science of reading. Though such efforts to improve the quality of reading instruction generally have been pushed by a fairly small network of constituents, those proponents say that updating licensing exams is one of the few ways states can ensure that reading-instruction skills are taught in teacher training.

Source: Education Week


NYC Hispanic and Black kids highly disadvantaged

The New York City public school system is a “rotting apple” that is failing Latino and black students, says a new report by the Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation for Public Education. These strong words come as Mayor Michael Bloomberg has tried to make education a priority. New York University education professor Pedro Noguera wrote the study’s foreword and said the disparities are “tantamount to apartheid-like separations.”
The foundation concluded black or Hispanic students are four times as likely as Asian or white students to be enrolled in one of the city’s lowest-performing high schools. Students from low-income families also have little chance of being tested for gifted and talented programs.

Source: Latino Ed Beat


High school students launch rubber chicken into space

High school students from Bishop, CA, launched a rubber chicken (NASA’s mascot for their Solar Dynamics Observatory) into space aboard a helium balloon last month (along with a lunchbox full of instrumentation, insects, and sunflower seeds) with help from a local 5th grade class to study the effects of the recent solar storm. The chicken reached a final elevation of 119k feet and cleared 99% of the atmosphere. Later this year, the group will be sending microbes in a similar vehicle “ to see ‘if they can live at the edge of space.’”

Source: The Verge


$4.2 million settlement for student paralyzed by bully

Six years after receiving a punch from a bully that left Sawyer Rosenstein paralyzed, the New Jersey school board in the district where he was a student has agreed to a $4.2 million settlement. Rosenstein was paralyzed from the waist down due to a clot that had formed after the blow in a major artery above his abdomen. When the clot moved down to his spine, it burst, leaving him paralyzed.

Source: MSNBC


PISA and environment

According to the latest issue of PISA in Focus, students who have high levels of environmental literacy are still the minority; but all students get most of their information about environmental issues at school.

Results from the PISA 2006 survey, which focused on science, indicate that an average of 19% of 15-year-olds across OECD countries perform at the highest level of proficiency in environmental science. This means that they can consistently identify, explain and apply scientific knowledge related to a variety of environmental topics. At the other end of the spectrum, an average of 16% of students perform below the baseline level of proficiency, meaning that they cannot answer questions containing scientific information related to basic environmental phenomena or issues. In four OECD countries, 20% or more of students score below this baseline level.

Source: OECD


Drink water and you’ll perform better

Controlling for ability from previous coursework results, researchers found those with water scored an average of 5% higher than those without. The study, from the universities of East London and Westminster, also noted that older students were more likely to bring in water to exam halls. It says the findings have implications for exam policies on access to drinks.

Source: BBC

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ENT - The Ed News Ticker

Ed News Ticker #3 for April 20th 2012

ENT - The Ed News Ticker

Subscribe to ENT Subscribe to ENT Video via RSS Subscribe to ENT Audio via RSS
Subscribe to ENT Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio

The quest for better batteries and solar power

Panasonic reports that it will be using solar powered batteries to broadcast a full solar eclipse on May 20th from the summit of Mt Fuji – Well worth checking out the webcast with your students, but more importantly, signs of innovation in the battery and alternative power space.

Source: The Verge


Treehouse raises $4.75 million

Web design and development community Treehouse has just secured $4.75 million in funding from Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital partnership and the Greylock Discovery fund. The platform uses example videos, online quizzes and badges to teach people how to develop websites, web apps, iPhone apps and launch startups.

Source: TechCrunch


South Korea putting the brakes on digital textbooks

The South Korean government has backed off the plan to switch first- and second-grade classrooms to electronic readers. Older students will make the switch, but they’ll still have access to regular books as well. Whereas there aren’t yet studies about the impact of so much screen time on brain development, there are studies that show that college students who were forced to go without media for 24 hours can experience symptoms similar to drug withdrawal.

Source: Good


Missouri closes six charter schools

Missouri’s Board of Education has decided to close six charter school campuses run by the Virginia-based Imagine Schools Inc., saying that it “would be a disservice” to children to keep them open because of academic and fiscal issues.
The decision to close the schools at the end of the school year will mean that about 4,000 students will have to find a new school for next fall. A transition office is being set up to help families find new school placements.

Source: Washington Post


New Reading Tests for elementary school teachers

Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt a rigorous, stand-alone test of elementary teachers’ knowledge of the science of reading. Though such efforts to improve the quality of reading instruction generally have been pushed by a fairly small network of constituents, those proponents say that updating licensing exams is one of the few ways states can ensure that reading-instruction skills are taught in teacher training.

Source: Education Week


NYC Hispanic and Black kids highly disadvantaged

The New York City public school system is a “rotting apple” that is failing Latino and black students, says a new report by the Massachusetts-based Schott Foundation for Public Education. These strong words come as Mayor Michael Bloomberg has tried to make education a priority. New York University education professor Pedro Noguera wrote the study’s foreword and said the disparities are “tantamount to apartheid-like separations.”
The foundation concluded black or Hispanic students are four times as likely as Asian or white students to be enrolled in one of the city’s lowest-performing high schools. Students from low-income families also have little chance of being tested for gifted and talented programs.

Source: Latino Ed Beat


High school students launch rubber chicken into space

High school students from Bishop, CA, launched a rubber chicken (NASA’s mascot for their Solar Dynamics Observatory) into space aboard a helium balloon last month (along with a lunchbox full of instrumentation, insects, and sunflower seeds) with help from a local 5th grade class to study the effects of the recent solar storm. The chicken reached a final elevation of 119k feet and cleared 99% of the atmosphere. Later this year, the group will be sending microbes in a similar vehicle “ to see ‘if they can live at the edge of space.’”

Source: The Verge


$4.2 million settlement for student paralyzed by bully

Six years after receiving a punch from a bully that left Sawyer Rosenstein paralyzed, the New Jersey school board in the district where he was a student has agreed to a $4.2 million settlement. Rosenstein was paralyzed from the waist down due to a clot that had formed after the blow in a major artery above his abdomen. When the clot moved down to his spine, it burst, leaving him paralyzed.

Source: MSNBC


PISA and environment

According to the latest issue of PISA in Focus, students who have high levels of environmental literacy are still the minority; but all students get most of their information about environmental issues at school.

Results from the PISA 2006 survey, which focused on science, indicate that an average of 19% of 15-year-olds across OECD countries perform at the highest level of proficiency in environmental science. This means that they can consistently identify, explain and apply scientific knowledge related to a variety of environmental topics. At the other end of the spectrum, an average of 16% of students perform below the baseline level of proficiency, meaning that they cannot answer questions containing scientific information related to basic environmental phenomena or issues. In four OECD countries, 20% or more of students score below this baseline level.

Source: OECD


Drink water and you’ll perform better

Controlling for ability from previous coursework results, researchers found those with water scored an average of 5% higher than those without. The study, from the universities of East London and Westminster, also noted that older students were more likely to bring in water to exam halls. It says the findings have implications for exam policies on access to drinks.

Source: BBC

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EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST #90 with Jay Chakrapani of McGraw-Hill Higher Education Digital Group (Audio)

EDUKWEST Audio Podcast

EDUKWEST Episode #90

  • published: April 3rd 2012
  • Guest: Jay Chakrapani, GM Digital McGraw-Hill Education
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AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

EDUKWEST has made it to 90 episodes! Not that I give those numbers too much importance, but I have been interviewing companies and people in the education start-up space for two and a half year now and episode 90 is therefore a little milestone on my way.

I sat down (virtually as most of the time) with Jay Chakrapani, the VP and general manager of McGraw-Hill Higher Education’s digital group.

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edukwest 90 jay chakrapani mcgraw-hill pic

EDUKWEST #90 with Jay Chakrapani of McGraw-Hill Higher Education Digital Group

EDUKWEST #90 Jay Chakrapani McGraw-HillEDUKWEST has made it to 90 episodes! Not that I give those numbers too much importance, but I have been interviewing companies and people in the education start-up space for two and a half year now and episode 90 is therefore a little milestone on my way.

I sat down (virtually as most of the time) with Jay Chakrapani, the VP and general manager of McGraw-Hill Higher Education’s digital group.

It may be a little surprising as I mostly interview start-up people and what probably first comes to mind when thinking of McGraw-Hill is that they are one of the biggest education publishers – not really a start-up.

That’s what makes it even more interesting to me! Finding out in a talk how a traditional and established company makes the transition into a digital education company.

The first thing I ask Jay is to define adaptive learning and what it means to McGraw-Hill – beyond all the buzz it’s getting right now. I then ask about the work and importance of his digital division within the company’s overall strategy as currently they not very prominent when one visits their website.

The second part of our talk is dedicated to e-textbooks, still relatively high prices and the future. Does Jay see the future of McGraw-Hill’s e-textbooks on (other people’s) platforms or is it likely that at one point they’ll go for their own solution as I suggested for Pearson in an article on Big Think? Well, listen to his insightful answers and you might know a little more about McGraw-Hill beyond being the big publisher by the end of the EDUKWEST interview.

As always thanks for listening and for your valuable feedback. “Likes” and “shares” will help us spread the word about EDUKWEST if you find our content valuable, of course.

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Subscribe to review:ed Subscribe to EDUKWEST Video via RSS Subscribe to EDUKWEST Audio via RSS
Subscribe to EDUKWEST Audio via iTunes
Download Episode Download Episode Video Download Episode Audio
AcademicPub - Your Book Your Way This Interview is sponsored by AcademicPub – Your Book Your Way
AcademicPub allows you to take content from their copyright cleared library of over 125 publishers, your files or anything on the web, and create custom course packs that are perfect, for you.
Visit them today at academicpub.com and follow @AcademicPub on Twitter.

Additional Links:

Homepage: http://mheonline.com
Jay on Twitter: @jchakra
McGraw-Hill on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mcgrawhill
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Kno

Kno introduces Performance Data Dashboard and Automated Flashcards

Kno

Kno introduced two new features to its digital textbook platform today which now offers more than 70 interactive features including highlighting, note-taking, bookmarking, Quiz Me, 3D, Smart Links and Journal features.

“The future of education will be driven by analytics and self paced learning. We are taking the first step by making the student more self-aware of their study behavior to help them visualize how they engage with materials or benchmark themselves against previous students who took the class.” Osman Rashid, co-founder & CEO Kno

Kno Me gives each student a graphical dashboard that keeps track of key metrics in the learning process such as time spent in a book, knowledge of key terms and quiz results. Based on this, students are able to set personal learning goals more easily and to improve learning habits.

Kno Flashcards automatically convert key terms in any of the 150.000 textbooks into interactive flashcards which sums up to over 40 million flashcards in total. The technology behind those flashcards is based on cognitive and pedagogical research on metacognition, spaced repetition and episodic memory.

The launch is close to Apple’s January 19th event which will be about education and, as rumors suggest, involve the digital textbook space. Even though Osman Rashid and Matt MacInnis, CEO of Inkling, did not seem to be too woried according to an interview on GigaOm, the Apple event will surely have some kind of impact on both startups.

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs wanted to disrupt the Textbook Market next

Steve Jobs

According to the New York Times that got an early version of the Steve Job’s biography, scheduled to coming out on 24 Oct. for the rest of us, Steve Jobs planned that his next target of disruption would be the textbook industry. After revolutionizing the music and content industry with iTunes, iPod and iPad there would have been a big chance that Jobs succeeded.

Walter Isaacson wrote in his book that Jobs planned to hire textbook writers to create digital versions of their textbooks for the iPad, and he held also meeting with major publishers in the textbook market to talk about partnerships with Apple.

The plan was to give textbooks away for free on the iPad to get around the state certification. Jobs told Isaacson “We can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money.”

iPad and textbook applications are apparently a logic or natural combination and developers like Kno, Inkling and ScrollMotion are already showing impressive growth. Today at the LAUNCH ‘Pad Tablet event, Osman Rashid of Kno presented the latest version of the Textbook app, one of the most successful apps in education today. In my interview with Josh Koppel of ScrollMotion he explained that their company has a similar approach and work together with publishers, enabling those to better cater directly to the end user, e.g. students without the need of middle men.

Source: New York Times