The Future of E-Textbooks and Digital Education

Digital Book World DailyThis original article appears at DBW (Digital Book World) Daily. Digital textbooks is a great idea and I have done some looking into it, being interested in the construction side of e-books. It’s interesting though that students have not yet signed on to the idea of digital textbooks even though they may be cheaper and certainly easier to lug around. Maybe it has something to do with the reasons I gave in my earlier post about reading e-books, and the fact that I end up ordering in some cases, all formats of a book, especially one I intend to review.

Summary of the article:

Gutenberg Technology, a French company, has launched a new piece of software that promises to help publishers accelerate their e-textbook creation process. It’s expensive to use (read more about the costs) but allows publishers to create hundreds of e-textbooks a month for multiple platforms and update them easily and remotely. (Read more about the details here.)

The problem is, students don’t like e-textbooks yet. In several states, schools have engaged in pilots and surveyed students about how they liked the less expensive, lighter product. The results haven’t been encouraging for the publishing industry.

Still, the industry presses ahead. Major educational publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Macmillan are gearing up for the coming changes. Outside investors are spending big bucks trying to get into this market.

How much will publishers spend, though, to create the products students don’t yet want but will someday?

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