Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
As mentioned previously, the Nook sold out just weeks after its debut and well before the holiday season. The current expected ship date for new orders is February 1, 2010. For those of you that want to see the device in person, your local B&N may have a counter set up where you can try out the device.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Blog postings will resume with regularity January 4th. If there are stories or topics you would like to see covered more in 2010, let us know. If you would like more commentary or information on a topic, we will provide that if we can. Based on a continously growing readership, we hope that we are doing something right. However, feedback from you will help us to continue improving.
Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season, and we look forward to exhanging more information with you in 2010.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
1. eBooks will continue to proliferate.
2. Netbook functionality will grow.
3. More teachers will use interactive whiteboards.
4. Personal devices will infiltrate the classroom.
5. Technology will enable tailored curricula.
It does seem that some of these predictions are a bit optimistic, but certainly we are already seeing growing interest and movement on the first two -- e-books and netbooks. Lately it seems like a plethora of e-book readers, netbooks, and "SmartBook" vendors are starting to come forward with a "solution" for digital textbook delivery and reading. It will be interesting to see where these go.
The Education Week blog also referenced another interesting blog posting by Barry Bachenheimer. He weighs in on some of the challenges that will need to be overcome for these predictions to come true from a k-12 perspective. The story for higher education could be quite different.
If you had to pick 5 technologies likely to change higher education, or perhaps college stores, within the next year, what would they be?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
In a second article from Wall Street Journal, James McQuivey, principal analyst for Consumer Media Technology at Forrester Research Inc., commented, “Every once in a while, a media business that appears to understand the digital reality quickly reverts under pressure and starts acting like a last-century business. If you give people digital content, they'll actually consume more of it. But if you withhold it from them, you are motivating them to buy somebody else's book, or to consider piracy, something which hasn't yet hit the book industry but probably will next year."
Thursday, December 17, 2009
According to the press release, Flat World will provide Bookshare with XML files so that the files can be converted to DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) and Braille formats. Students will be able to access the texts in multiple formats directly from Bookshare’s website which will eliminate the conversion efforts required by individual campuses for those specific titles. Students will also be able to access the texts when the semester begins rather than waiting weeks for the titles to be converted. According to the agreement, eleven business and economics textbooks will be available initially and within the next two years, an additional fifty titles in several subjects will be added.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
The Cool-er has received mixed reviews in recent months. While the device comes in eight colors, is available in eight languages, and can handle EPUB, PDF, TXT, and JPEG files, reviewers say that the device is not made as well as other e-readers and navigation is extremely difficult. Interead has not said if any of these features will be modified in the next generation device.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The tablet was designed as a simple, touch screen LCD device for surfing the web, video chat, and light e-mail, and is said to include a 12.1 inch color touch screen with an on-screen keyboard. According to the CEO of Fusion Garage, Chandra Rathakrishnan, the device can also be used as an e-reader and they are in talks with some “very exciting” companies to bring specially designed content to the device. The article notes that the device has 4 GB of storage to be used solely for storing cached information from the browser but it is not clear if e-books could actually be stored on the device. It is possible that the new digital format for magazines that we discussed yesterday could be made available on this device. The JooJoo is expected to be available online tomorrow and could hit retail shelves in the future.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
An article from eSchool News is now reporting that Time, News Corp., Conde Nast, Hearst Corp., and Meredith Corp., have formed a joint venture to create a digital format that will work on a variety of devices. The features of the format include those which are demonstrated in the Sports Illustrated video including: the ability to retain the look and layout of the magazine, colorful graphics, videos, games, and social networking capabilities. The companies plan to begin selling content in the new format next year and will target tablet computers, e-readers, and smart phones with color displays. John Squires, the interim managing director for the joint venture, noted that there are devices in development that are suited to the task. In addition, publishers outside of the joint venture will be able to adopt the format.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
In other Amazon news, Jeff Bezos recently provided some interesting numbers in a New York Times interview. When asked about the percentage of digital books sold, Bezos said, “For every 100 copies of a physical book we sell, where we have the Kindle edition, we will sell 48 copies of the Kindle edition. It won’t be too long before we’re selling more electronic books than we are physical books. It’s astonishing.” Bezos also commented on how quickly paper books are migrating to their digital equivalents. “When we launched Kindle two years ago, it was 90,000 titles, and today it’s more than 350,000. We’re adding thousands of titles every week.”
Monday, December 7, 2009
The eDGe e-reader will be released in February 2010 and it is currently being piloted at Catholic University of America in Washington DC. Other hybrid devices designed for education will likely follow. For now, many students may continue to read e-textbooks on their laptop but as new technologies are introduced this could change. In the NYT article, Allen Weiner, a research vice president with Gartner, commented that dual-screen devices are likely to find a place in the market as long as they have fairly large screens. He also noted that hybrids provide an advantage over reading e-textbooks on most laptops because students can underline the text directly on screen.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
With all the e-reader hype, here is a comic that appeared a few months back that readers of this blog might enjoy. It comes from Free Range by Bill Whitehead -- an often amusing comic that reminds me a bit of the old Far Side comic strip. This comic originally appeared on 9-21-2009 and can be found here.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Meanwhile, there are rumors circulating that Time, Conde Nast, and Hearst will form a joint venture to create an “iTunes-like” store for magazines. The store could include over 50 digital magazines that can be read on multiple platforms including Apple and Blackberry devices. An article from The New York Observer notes that if the rumors are true, the joint venture will bring together rival publishers in one of the biggest alliances ever formed in print media. “Each magazine publisher now believes it’s too risky to go it alone to find new ways to get consumers to pay. If they all join together, the reasoning goes, they stand a better chance of producing greater revenue.”
When interactive digital magazines that enhance the print version become available, it will further increase expectations for what digital textbooks should be capable of doing on comparable devices. The availability of such content will also likely further promote netbooks or similar multi-function devices over the mostly single-purpose e-readers on the market today. The willingness of these large competitors to cooperate to save their industry also sends a message about competitive cooperation, or coopetition, that could benefit academic publishers and retailers. Unless we want to see our products and channels go the way of the music, video, and newspaper industries, some creative partnering and solutions are in order.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
In regards to sales, 47% of respondents said that less than 10% of their current sales are from e-books. However, by 2025, 16% of respondents believe that 51% of sales will be from digital content and only 5% believe that digital sales will make up less than 10% of total sales.
When asked about e-readers, 52% respondents said that the rumored Apple device will take the lead in the e-reader market even though the device is not currently on the market and has not been confirmed. Amazon ranked second with Sony farther behind. The posting does not mention if the Barnes & Noble Nook was included in the survey.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Forrester also expects that Barnes & Noble will sell a significant number of Nook e-readers but Amazon will maintain its position as market leader by launching a suite of new touch-screen e-readers that could be flexible and include color. “Apps” will also continue to be a growing trend next year and more e-books apps will be available on more devices including e-readers. The posting notes, “We wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon launch a Kindle app store, too. What kind of apps, you say? We think anything from a social-reading app from Goodreads to an enterprise app from Microsoft or Oracle would make e-readers vastly expand the possibilities for consumers and businesses.” In addition, the U.S. will continue to have the biggest market for e-readers and e-books but other countries such as China, India, Brazil, and Europe will begin to catch up and help drive global growth.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
As for sales, it is predicted that e-reader sales will increase to 6 million units in 2010, to 115 million units in 2013, and then to 446 million units by 2020. Hampshire also commented on how e-readers will influence publishing within the next 10 years. Hampshire said, “With the arrival of high-quality color, low cost, large-screen e-readers within the next few years, we are looking at these devices becoming as ubiquitous as today's cell phone. Whilst people will still be buying and reading content printed on paper in 2020, the bulk of the market for magazine content will be for digital publications primarily viewed on reading devices.”
Monday, November 30, 2009
Last week, Amazon also announced that a few enhancements have been added to the Kindle. New Kindles will now come with 85 percent more battery life and last about seven days with the wireless turned on or about two weeks with the wireless turned off. New Kindles will also come with a built-in PDF reader. Previously, users had to pay a conversion charge to convert documents from PDFs to the Kindle format. Users will now be able to e-mail the PDFs to their Kindle e-mail address or transfer the documents to the device with a USB connection.
An article from PCWorld, notes that this could make the devices more appealing for business users. Bill Brikiatis, marketing manager for Nuance Communications commented, "This holiday shopping season, ebook readers will be hot products. Ebook reader users will look to sync up the content they use both in work and personal activities on these digital devices." He went on to say, "Business professionals will want to add more content to their ebook readers--business reports and other work documents--following the well-worn path of convergence of personal and business usage on mobile devices."
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
According to an article from CNET news, the settlement has been revised to include only out-of-print books that were published in the U.S., U.K., Australia, or Canada due to opposition from several countries. More rules regarding the Books Rights Registry were also added. The registry will be independent of Google and authors and publishers will have seats on the registry board. The registry will also be required to search for copyright holders that have not come forward. The revision does not address the important concern that reading records will be protected from disclosure to the government and third parties.
An article from the Bookseller.com says that Amazon has already filed a memorandum asking the judge to reconsider the preliminary approval noting that the ruling was made “without the benefit of opposing viewpoints” and the settlement is “doomed from the start and fails to satisfy even the low standard for preliminary approval.” Groups will have until January 28, 2010 to file objections to the revised settlement with the court.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
In addition, Sony says that it can not guarantee that the new Daily Edition touch screen and wireless e-reader will ship in time for Christmas. Sony began taking preorders for the device on Wednesday and has posted a note on its website that says, “Preorders will ship Dec. 18 thru Jan. 8. Actual delivery date cannot be guaranteed.” Sony’s Reader Pocket Edition and Touch Edition devices are available but neither device offers wireless capabilities.
As a result, Amazon could see a boost to its Kindle 2 sales this holiday season. Last year Amazon sold out of the Kindle weeks before Christmas but so far the device is in stock.
Friday, November 20, 2009
The college will also begin developing courses that use cloud computing technology. The technology enables content to be stored on a server so that users can access the content at anytime from various mobile devices or PCs. This will lead to a platform independent course delivery system that enables all classes to use the same content regardless if it is an online course, independent study, delivered via flash drive, or delivered to a smartphone or web-enabled device.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
According to an article from Purdue News, Hotseat is currently being piloted in two classes and 73% of the students in the classes are participating. Both professors and students have expressed positive reactions to the tool. One of the professors involved in the pilot, Sugato Chakravarty, commented, “Hotseat is turning out to be a nice innovation. I'm seeing students interact more with the course and ask relevant questions. The tool allows us to engage students using media they are already familiar with." Some of the students put together a YouTube video to explain why they like Hotseat. It is expected that the tool will be utilized by all students at Purdue by the 2010-11 academic year.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When the device begins shipping in February 2010, users will have access to the Entourage e-book store that just launched today. Entourage has partnered with Ingram Digital for professional and trade titles and LibreDigital for e-books and periodicals. Users will also be able to download Google’s free public domain e-books.
According to the press release, Entourage will be announcing additional partnerships in the coming weeks. The addition of e-textbooks could be announced at that time. Entourage’s website currently shows that e-textbooks will be coming soon.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sam Blyth, Chair of Blyth Academy, commented on the initiative and provided some interesting information about a recent student survey. Blyth said, “The digital content we've acquired, coupled with the students' Sony Readers, will dramatically improve student access to textbooks, collateral material, literature and reading in general. Our student survey shows that they are twice as likely to read a book available in an e-book format as in hard copy form.”
Tim Algate, Reader Product Manger with Sony Canada, also noted that Sony is interested in the student’s feedback. Algate commented, “We're excited about how the Sony Reader can enhance a student's learning experience. We'll be listening to these students, using their feedback to evolve our Reader offering for education.”
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Here again this week, are some links to articles that you may find interesting:
- The Wall Street Journal is reporting that demand for Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader is stronger than expected. New pre-orders will now ship on December 11 rather than November 30. B&N will also make the devices available in some of their college bookstores.
- According to an article from Reuters, newspaper circulation continues to sharply decline. Average weekday circulation at 379 daily newspapers fell 10.6 percent to 30.4 million copies. This percentage is up from 4.6 percent last year. Sunday circulation for 562 newspapers also fell 7.5 percent to 40 million copies. This percentage is up from 4.9 percent last year.
- According to the Kindle Review blog, Amazon announced that the Kindle is its bestselling product in both unit sales and revenue, and it is also the most wished for and most gifted product on Amazon.
- An article from eSchool News says that the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Syracuse University will not buy any more Kindle devices until the devices are accessible to the blind. Both schools recently purchased Kindles for campus pilot programs but the devices do not feature audio menus to enable blind users to navigate the menus.
- A new e-reader from iRiver called the Story Ebook Reader has been released in Korea. The reader includes a 6-inch E Ink display, 2GB of internal storage, as well as support for PDF, ePub, and office documents including PowerPoint and Excel.
- According to a posting on Engadget, Wistron, a manufacturer of computer and consumer electronic products, has acquired Polymer Vision, the maker of the flexible Readius e-reader. Wistron plans to launch a device similar to the Readius in 2010.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Intel has also created a capture station device to be used with the e-reader to capture the images of entire books. A video demonstration of the e-reader and capture station can be viewed on Intel’s website.
According to an article from VentureBeat, several organizations have endorsed the e-reader including: National Center for Learning Disabilities, the International Dyslexia Association, the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, the Council for Exceptional Children, and the National Federation of the Blind.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
A posting on Media Bistro’s GalleyCat features commentary from Ellie Hirschhorn, chief digital officer at Simon & Schuster. Hirschhorn said, "It represents a transformational shift from current trade publishing models... consumers may no longer have to purchase an entire book when perhaps a chapter or two will provide them with the answers they are looking for, or if they are looking to sample parts of a book before making a decision...This opens up a new world of opportunities for where and how our digital content can be distributed and sold, and we plan to expand both the chapter selling model and use of our e-commerce widget to other content categories."
As publishers experiment with new business models, college stores could begin to see more atomization of content which includes selling the chapters or portions of chapters of print or digital textbooks rather than the whole book and increasing the volume of custom course materials. A model like this could help decrease costs for students while improving sell-through for stores. Models like this could open up new funding models for course materials, allowing students to buy the class materials in a “pay-as-you-go” model, allowing students to acquire chunks of course material content as they need it throughout the semester. In addition, students may be more likely to purchase the content if they know each portion that they purchase will be actually be used in class, potentially resulting in happier faculty and better learning outcomes for students who have acquired the content required for courses.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
According to a recent article from eSchool News, the service is currently in beta testing and will officially launch in July 2010 but already more than 650 colleges and universities have enrolled. The article reports that with the system, orders can be fulfilled in about four days and already 3,000 requests have been fulfilled since August. Without AccessText, it can take weeks or months for students with disabilities to receive their textbooks. In addition, members of the network are able to access the publishers that produce 92 percent of the college textbooks on the market.
Mike Shuttic, president of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), commented that AccessText Network is "a significant step forward that combines stakeholder resources and addresses the rights of students with disabilities. I encourage every member of the disability community to coalesce around this solution, ensuring its success."
Monday, November 9, 2009
According to an article from Inside Higher Ed, researchers at the college analyzed the grades of every student enrolled during the spring 2009 semester. A grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, or “Pass” was considered successful and “D”, “F”, “Not Pass” or “Incomplete” was considered unsuccessful. The study found that student success rates were 82% for hybrid courses, 72% for traditional courses, and 60% for distance learning. For courses in liberal arts and social sciences, allied health, and business and technology, success rates were the highest in hybrid courses while math and science success rates were highest in traditional courses. The article notes that due to the sample size the findings can not be considered statistically significant. The researchers at the college plan to conduct additional research to determine why the hybrid courses produced better outcomes and to compare how well the students performed to how much they learned.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This is Esquire’s second attempt at mixing digital technology with print. You may remember that the October 2008 issue of Esquire featured a cover with an E Ink display. It is not clear what affect the E Ink cover had on sales but it certainly got Esquire some media attention.
In regards to the latest cover, David Granger, Esquire’s editor-in chief, commented, "We've been trying to do things that cause people to re-evaluate what a magazine is and get people excited about this thing called print."
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
An article from the Minneapolis – St. Paul Star Tribune discusses the transition to the Google services and the concern it has caused for many college administrators. Administrators are worried about how well sensitive information will be protected by an outside company but Google promises that the information is secure. According to Jaime Casap, a business development manager for Google Apps Education, “When somebody sends an e-mail out, it’s broke up into a gazillion pieces and spread across a bunch of different servers. Their data is absolutely secure.” Jerry Sanders, chief information officer at Macalester College pointed out that when there is a server room on campus “there’s an illusion of control. But there are so many ways through any given system. The question became, who can really protect this better: Google, with its army of engineers? Or us calling our guys in the middle of the night to hurry down?”
Thursday, November 5, 2009
In response to the announcement, Bill McCoy, general manager of Adobe’s ePublishing Business, noted on his blog that Adobe is working on a new version of Digital Editions as well as working with vendors of accessibility software and devices. McCoy commented, “I expect we will be able to make some specific announcements around this very shortly, but the bottom line is that there will soon be multiple means for visually-impaired end users to consume Adobe eBooks.”
In the meantime, the National Federation of the Blind will continue to notify others about the accessibility issues. In the press release, Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind commented, “We will continue to inform libraries, universities, and other entities of the inaccessibility of these materials and urge them to comply with accessibility standards and applicable laws by requiring that any e-books they purchase be accessible to those with print disabilities. We will no longer tolerate the gratuitous inaccessibility of e-books; we demand that Americans who cannot read print be treated like first-class citizens and be given access to all of the printed information to which other Americans have access.”
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The college store market is reflective of higher education and publishing, the two mature industries which we intersect. As Stacy noted, “Resistance, denial, fear, withdrawal - we have it all. Our channel includes a high frequency of hostility to the reality of the shifting market, and to anyone who points out just how radical a shift is required by us to survive -- IF we can.” It reminds me of one of my current favorite quotes from Clay Shirky:
And so it is today. When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. [...] They are demanding to be lied to. There are fwer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.We could just as easily replace "newspapers" with "bookstores" in the above quote and have it be just as relevent. Stacy remembered observing the deer-in-headlights looks in the room at a recent meeting of college stores when he said "it may be too late" for stores to make the changes required to survive. I had a similar reaction at another recent presentation where I thought some people in the room looked like they might need a stretcher by the time I finished. Particularly when I commented that in a NACS survey from earlier this year 3% of stores believed that digital would not impact their stores... EVER. I, of course, followed this by a remark that if one of those stores were in the room they should leave immediately because they cannot be saved. In that same survey nearly 31% of responding stores believed digital would not impact their sales for at least 4 years or more. I worry about that group's survival as well. Better perhaps to focus on the remaining two-thirds of the industry that is at least aware that their world is changing.
A topic that came up in our conversation about this point is the concept of asymmetrical competition. Asymmetrical competition is when your competitor refuses to compete in the traditional way, causing traditional organizations or industries to react to disruptive change. Frank Hecker has a nice paraphrasing of this concept which comes from the innovation theory literature (see also Clay Christensen’s Seeing What’s Next). He writes:
[A] classic disruptive scenario is when a market entrant introduces a disruptive innovation of some sort and incumbents are motivated to ignore the innovation, for whatever reason: For example, the innovation does not meet the needs of incumbents’ existing customers, or the incumbents’ cost structures or business models are such that they would be unlikely to make money in the initial market for the innovation. [In] this scenario the market entrant is protected by the shield of asymmetric motivation and has time to develop the sword of asymmetric skills that enables it to threaten and (in some cases) displace the incumbent.Wow, do we sound like those incumbents at all? In the case of the textbook market, the example might be where competitors start by making some of our fundamental products free. I agree with Stacy’s observation that stores “need to consider the primary shift they are driving toward being less about preventing channel collapse, and more about abandoning the channel By which I mean, it is more about management needing to abandon their existing thinking and business model, and adopt a new approach in a market that may not even exist in total yet, and in fact may not gel for the next few years.” Wayne Gretsky might have described this as “skating to where the puck will be, not where it is.” In innovation theory we would describe this as “pursuing future profit pools.” We need to focus on where the future business will be, not where today’s business is. That may require abandoning some of our traditional practices and foci in order to survive the change to our industry.
About a year or so ago, when asked if publishing would move from print to computer, Bill Gates replied that it will leapfrog the computer and go directly to mobile. Cloud computing facilitates this. It is important to see digital course materials within the context that all of higher ed (indeed all education) is transforming. Look at Wiley Plus Wiley Plus, and the new Houghton announcement of their Learning Village deal with the Detroit public schools. Houghton will be providing a computer-based teaching system it developed with Microsoft Corp. that will connect teachers, students, and administrators. It's a radical shift away from the classic textbook publishing model and represents an industry transformation, as technology supplants books. "The textbook is no longer the center of the educational universe,'' said Wendy Colby, a senior vice president at Houghton, which is based in Boston. Wait until we hit reverse site licensing, where a university press gives all of its content away for free because the new revenue stream is a partnership with a learning system that will incorporate their content into a delivery and custom commons with a percentage going to the up. Or who knows what else?
For stores today, we must take on as part of our education and marketing the issue of "Why Free?", which allows us, as Stacy puts it so eloquently, to raise the idea that "our free has to be better than their free." We are challenged to design new business models that abandon our traditional legacy infrastructure, even while that infrastructure continues to support the existing channel. The textbook manager of the future will be as much reference librarian, helping faculty and students find the right content for the course, as a course materials expert who knows what products are available in what formats and with which associated rights. In making this shift, along with others, the college store can continue to add value, stake a claim and build market share in the new or emerging digital course materials channel.
I know -- heavy thoughts for the middle of the week. These are questions and ideas we must think about and address as an industry if we do not want to end up like record stores (and perhaps newspapers) before us.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
According to an article from Information Today, Inc., BookServer is still in development and may take years to complete but users will be able to type a title, author, or keyword into a search engine and a list of results will display to show the bookstores, libraries, and publisher websites where the digital book can be purchased or borrowed. A search engine such as this could benefit consumers because it could help reduce the confusion associated with determining which formats work on particular devices and where to find specific titles. Peter Brantley from the Internet Archive explained that what consumers really want is to “be able to find the books they want, in the formats that they can use, for the device that they have, and not have it be painful.” In addition, authors, publishers, booksellers, and libraries would be able to make the books available for discovery while controlling the pricing and access rights of the content. Content owners do not have this type of control with Amazon and Google.
A posting on ReadWriteWeb explains, “While the project isn't exactly a direct effort to take down Amazon's online bookstore or Google's upcoming online eBook store called Google Editions, it will provide book publishers and online libraries with the means to more effectively compete with those companies. By allowing publishers to set their own pricing and manage the distribution of their books, they will be able to take back control from Amazon and Google who would rather dictate those terms for them.”
Monday, November 2, 2009
A posting on the Flurry blog notes that the iPhone has impacted several companies including Nintendo which recently cited the iPhone as one of the reasons its profits fell last quarter. Flurry predicts that Apple could begin to take market share from other devices such as the Amazon Kindle. The posting notes, “Despite the smaller form factor of the display, we predict that the iPhone will be a significant player in the book category of the Media & Entertainment space. Further, with Apple working on a larger tablet form factor, running on the iPhone OS, we believe Jeff Bezos and team will face significant competition.”
As we have mentioned previously, Apple has the potential to make a large impact on our industry. Apple could not only take market share from Amazon but from all booksellers including college stores. More e-book/reading apps are now being introduced than gaming apps, not bad for a device some people said neither they nor their students would ever read upon. Of course, the iPhone is not quite the device for reading textbooks, but how far off can that device really be?
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Recent reports say that Asus could also launch a new dual screen device in the coming months. An article from the Times Online reports that the device will have two color screens with a hinged spine similar to the potential Courier device. Consumers could use the screens to read an e-book like a physical book and turn the pages from one screen to the next. In addition, one screen can be used as a virtual keyboard so that the device could function as a laptop. Asus may release both budget and premium versions of the device. According to the article, the company hopes that the budget version will be the cheapest e-reader on the market.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Within five years time, it is projected that the number of students that take all of their classes in a classroom will drop 10 million to 5.14 million. In addition, the number of students that take all of their classes online and some of their classes online will increase to 3.55 million and 18.65 million respectively for a total of 22 million students enrolled in online classes.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
According to St. Dennis, more and more students are now choosing the digital option. He commented that the digital version is beneficial because it provides students with a less expensive textbook option and it gives professors the ability to instantly review texts and choose among them. This is convenient for professors because they do not need to wait for the textbooks to be delivered in the mail before they can review them. In addition, the page numbers on the CourseSmart books correspond to the paper books so that students using either textbook option can follow along in class. Currently, the Kindle DX books do not correspond to the physical books and students and professors involved in the pilot have expressed concern about this feature. St. Dennis also noted that he believes students are going through the same evolution that he did when it comes to e-books. Initially he was not willing to give up physical books but gradually he has shifted towards digital reading and now uses a Kindle for most of his reading.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
As mentioned in a previous posting, initial reviews from the Kindle DX pilots at universities have been mixed so students may appreciate the ability to read the books on their computers as well. However, it does not look like users will be able to add notes to the text from their PC. The Amazon news release notes that with the Kindle for PC software, users can “view notes and highlights marked on Kindle and Kindle DX.” Students have expressed that the annotation software on the Kindle DX is not as easy to use as taking notes on paper so they would likely appreciate the ability to add notes from their computer keyboard.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Two of the other essays take a look at the effect that digital reading could have for children. In the piece by Maryanne Wolf, she says that her greatest concern is that children will not read deeper into the text after the first decoding because they will become distracted by the sidebars or videos that sit alongside the text. Wolf notes, “The child’s imagination and children’s nascent sense of probity and introspection are no match for a medium that creates a sense of urgency to get to the next piece of stimulating information. The attention span of children may be one of the main reasons why an immersion in on-screen reading is so engaging, and it may also be why digital reading may ultimately prove antithetical to the long-in-development, reflective nature of the expert reading brain as we know it.” Another piece by Gloria Mark expresses similar thoughts. Mark comments, “I wonder about young people, who do not know of a life before the Internet, and who, growing up “digitized,” might not prefer reading online where they are the pilots of their own information pathways. More and more, studies are showing how adept young people are at multitasking. But the extent to which they can deeply engage with the online material is a question for further research.”
All of the pieces provide some interesting thoughts and comparisons and are worth a read.
Friday, October 23, 2009
- An article from CNET says that the Plastic Logic device that is due out in January will be named the Que. As a reminder, it was recently reported that the device will utilize AT&T’s 3G network and Barnes & Noble will be the content provider.
- According to Publishers Weekly, McGraw Hill Professional has partnered with ScrollMotion to make e-books available in the Apple app store via the ScrollMotion Iceberg Reader. Over the next few months, over 600 business books will be available for reading on the Apple devices.
- Last week it was announced that Amazon will launch a global version of its Kindle device. According to a posting from Wired’s Gadget Lab, the new device will feature limited wireless capabilities to prevent users located outside of the U.S. from accessing the internet. The device will utilize AT&T’s wireless network so it is suspected that there are roaming charges associated with the access. There is no word yet on if Amazon will work out agreements with wireless providers in other countries.
- The New York Times has provided some additional information about the upcoming B&N Nook device. According to the article, the Nook will have software to detect when a customer is located in a B&N store allowing coupons, books suggestions, and excerpts of new books to be sent to the device. Additionally, users will be able to read any e-book while located in the store.
- AU Optronics Corp in Taiwan has introduced a flexible 6-inch e-paper display that will be available in 2010, as well as a large 20-inch e-paper module. According to the website, the 20-inch display is currently the largest that can be mass produced and is intended to be used for public information displays. The technologies are expected to be featured at the FPD International show in Japan later this month and more details will be provided at that time.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Google Editions will allow users to purchase books from three sources: Google Books, partner retailers, and from publisher’s websites. Publishers will benefit from a 63:37 payment split with Google when books are purchased from Google Books and a 45:55 split with the retailer and Google when books are purchased from a retailer. It has not been determined how the payments will be split when the books are bought from publisher websites.
In addition, a posting from Yahoo! Tech News notes that about half a million books will be available when Google Edition launches. Details about which online retailers will participate have not been announced.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The rumors were true. Barnes & Noble has officially launched its own e-reader known as, Nook. The new device improves on other e-readers including the Kindle for a few main reasons. First, it features a dual screen that is part black and white E Ink and part color LCD touch screen. The LCD portion is powered by the Google Android operating system and used for navigation and browsing the B&N bookstore while the E Ink portion is for reading. Second, users will be able to loan books to friends using the device’s “LendMe” technology. According to B&N’s website, most books can be shared to and from any Nook, iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, PC, or Mac computer that has the software installed for up to 14 days. The inability to share books with friends is a common complaint among digital book readers so this feature is sure to please consumers. Third, the device supports e-books in the ePub format. Several of the other Nook features are comparable to the Kindle 2 and the B&N website features a side-by-side comparison chart to show the similarities and differences. Similar to the Kindle, the Nook will synchronize books across devices so that users can place a bookmark on one device and have it display on another. In addition, the device will feature AT&T wireless, 2 GB of internal storage to hold about 1500 books, and an SD card slot for additional storage.
It has been an interesting week in the e-reader space because it looks like the Nook device is just the first of several combination devices to come. Earlier this week, a company called Spring Design, announced that it will be launching a similar dual screen device later this year. The device will be known as Alex, and it will also utilize the Google Android operating system. According to the press release, users can read text on the E Ink screen while viewing hyperlinked multimedia information on the LCD screen. A posting on Engadget’s website features a video demonstration of the device.
In addition, Entourage Systems has announced a two screen device called eDGe. This is a larger device that was designed for education and features two screens, a 9.7 inch E Ink display on the left and a 10.1 inch LCD screen on the right. According to the company’s website, users will be able to take notes on the device with a stylus, highlight text, send e-mails, take pictures, browse the web, and play audio and video content.
With three multi screen devices popping up just this week, we can expect that additional combination devices are on the way. These devices could significantly enhance the user experience and bring digital reading to the next level.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
According to the press release, students often have difficulty completing these courses due to the cost of the textbooks and the availability of the courses. As a result, the program will utilize open textbooks and educational resources, as well as existing library resources to reduce the cost for students. In addition, more online or blended courses can be made available. The use of open resources will also give faculty the opportunity to improve on the courses and allow the courses to be shared throughout the state and beyond.