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E-Textbooks: 4 Keys to Going All-Digital

E-Textbooks: 4 Keys to Going All-Digital
Learning Tools | Feature E-Textbooks: 4 Keys to Going All-Digital By John K. Waters08/03/11 When Daytona State College, a 53-year-old former community college in Florida, now a state college offering a four year degree, set out to implement an all-electronic book program two years ago, its goal was to drive down the cost of textbooks by 80 percent. "We got it going in the right direction," said Rand Spiwak, CEO of eText Consult and Daytona State's recently retired CFO, who led the school's e-text project. Spiwak partnered with John Ittelson, professor emeritus at California State University, Monterey Bay, and director of communication, collaboration, and outreach for the California Virtual Campus, to share their experiences implementing e-textbook programs with attendees at the annual Campus Technology 2011 conference in Boston last week. "We found at the end that our initial idea was very different from where we needed to be to make this thing work," Spiwak said.

Books in Browsers 2010 : Free Movies : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive The "Infinite Canvas" In 200 Words or Less... The "infinite canvas" is a challenge to think big; a series of design strategies based on treating the screen as a window rather than a page. The basic premise is that there's no reason that long-form comics have to be split into pages when moving online. Pages are an option—and they can work well when screen shapes are taken into account—but the advantages of putting all panels together on a single "canvas" are significant and worth exploiting. A handful of cartoonists and developers have taken up that challenge in the decade since I started beating the drum on my own site, with occasionally impressive results, but its been a rocky road. As bandwidth increases and hardware matures, such expanded-canvas comics may become increasingly practical, but our understanding of the advantages and obstacles will also need to improve if "infinite canvas" webcomics are going to be more than just a temporary novelty. Potential Advantages Pacing. Dynamic Range. Distance=Time.

A Simpler Page The physical book is something designers get. It’s got a lot going for it, not the least of which is the fact that it’s physical. The boundaries are there, right before us. No guess work is necessary. And so there are a lot of great examples of well designed books. You needn’t look far to uncover a mountain of beautifully typeset and balanced pages. But what about digital books? Tablets are in many ways just like physical books—the screen has well defined boundaries and the optimal number of words per line doesn’t suddenly change on the screen. This essay looks to address these very questions. The simple page #section1 Designing a book is largely an exercise in balance: Balance of letterforms and surrounding space in relation to the physicality of a book. The axis of symmetry of the spine is always there; one can certainly work over it, but not deny it. The spine gives book reading a kinetic motion not found in unbound sheets of paper. Fig 1. Fig 2. Inconsistent metaphors#section2 Fig 3.

Books in the Age of the iPad For too long, the act of printing something in and of itself has been placed on too high a pedestal. The true value of an object lies in what it says, not its mere existence. And in the case of a book, that value is intrinsically connected with content. Let's divide content into two broad groups. Content without well-defined form (Formless Content (Fig. 1)) Content with well-defined form (Definite Content (Fig. 2)) Formless Content can be reflowed into different formats and not lose any intrinsic meaning. When Danielle Steele sits at her computer, she doesn't think much about how the text will look printed. Content with form — Definite Content — is almost totally the opposite of Formless Content. Fig. 1 Formless Content — retaining meaning in any container Fig. 2 Definite Content — meaning shifts with container You can sure as hell bet that author Mark Z. A designer may, of course, working in concert with the author, imbue Formless Content with additional meaning in layout. Fig. 3 Fig. 4

Follow-Up Interview With Jane Friedman About The E-Publishing Process While we were attending the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference earlier this year, I challenged Jane Friedman to write a book on the future of publishing. Much to my surprise, she took me up on it. On April Fool’s Eve, I posted an interview with Jane just prior to the unveiling of “The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations” on April Fool’s Day. I thought readers would be interested in hearing first-hand what it’s like to self-publish a short, smart, humor e-book, so I asked Jane for another interview this time with a behind-the-scenes look at the e-book creation process. I hope you enjoy it. Christina Katz: Okay, so I challenged you to write an e-book and you agreed. Jane Friedman: Ha! But then it occurred to me that I might have fun with the topic. I also came up with a strict framework. I was also curious to see if an online (and real world) following would translate into people who’d pay money to read my writing. Jane Friedman: Yes, I had 3 primary concerns. 1. 2.

Apple iPad Showdown: Battle of the eReader Apps Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June of 2010. It has been updated as of July 2011 with current content. Apple's iPad has arguably become the ultimate eBook reading platform, with several reader apps and stores that are now supported on the device. Here's the lowdown so you can make the best choices in which eBook app software to use on your iPad. Since the iPad's introduction in early 2010, it has quickly become one of the most popular platforms for reading eBooks, simply due to the variety of content providers which have written applications for the device. However, the average iPad user may not be aware of features or limitations in the various eReader apps available on the App Store, so I'm going to try to boil this down so that you can make the appropriate choices which best fit your reading lifestyle. Also Read: For more information on these content distribution changes, please read the following related posts: Also read: iBooks [Next: Amazon Kindle]» Kobo Reader

Digital Texts and the Future of Education: Why Books? (EDUCAUSE Quarterly Key Takeaways Students have expectations for interactivity and connectedness when they use digital devices, yet these expectations are frequently unmet when using most digital textbooks, resulting in a lack of mass adoption. Visions of media-rich, cost-efficient educational texts available on a variety of digital devices seem frustratingly slow to solidify due to a wide range of factors, including failure to effectively exploit the pedagogical potential of mobile devices. Abilene Christian University and GYLO partnered to investigate student attitudes and perceptions of impact of using a mobile device app as a supplemental tool for teaching statistics. Education is clearly in the midst of a dramatic transformation. Why is a "book" the best metaphor for envisioning this future? Much like the transition of music media from vinyl to CD to highly mobile media devices, it seems reasonable to ask what potentials emerging technologies offer for educational content. Figure 1. Spring 2010 Study

Telling Social Stories with Storify After my post about perceptions versus reality in the classroom a few weeks ago, several folks wrote to ask about Storify. I’ve been playing around with Storify for a few months now, since the very end of its private beta, and I like the way I can weave tweets, links, videos, and other media into one coherent storyline. The interface is as simple as it could be: on the left side, you can browse through content from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google search, RSS feeds, or by entering links directly. For the latter three kinds of content, Storify will attempt to create an icon and headline for the items you find. For social media and YouTube items, Storify will embed the entire tweet or video into your timeline. To build your timeline, you just drag items from the left side of the interface to the timeline on the right. [Click image for a larger version] At the bottom of this post I’ve embedded a story I created in Storify for our English undergrads here at St. Return to Top

College Open Textbooks Blog The PhysWiki Dynamic Textbook Project The PhysWiki is one of seven integral components of the STEMWiki Dynamic Textbook Project (DTP), a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access textbooks to improve STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at all levels of higher learning. The central aim of the DTP is to develop and disseminate free, virtual, customizable textbooks that will substitute for current, commercial paper texts in multiple courses at post-secondary institutions across the nation. All are licensed Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike. All seven textbooks in the STEMWiki DTP have been linked together under the direction of Professor Delmar Larsen of the University of California at Davis and include: the ChemWiki (the forefather), the BioWiki, the MathWiki, the StatWiki, the PhysWiki, the GeoWiki, and the SolarWiki. Erik Christensen | South Florida Community College