Friday, April 30, 2010
Recently Brian Bridges, director of the California Resource Learning Network, participated in a discussion with Education Week and Neeru Khosla, executive director of CK-12 Foundation, called “Are Digital Textbooks Starting to Click?” A copy of the transcript from the discussion has been made available on Education Week’s website.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The article points out that the companies will likely face the challenge of marketing their program to schools with tight budgets and others that may be hesitant to try new digital reading devices. McGraw-Hill hopes that aligning the content with the device will help to boost sales.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
According to Charles Ginn, the goal of the project is to work with publishers and college stores to provide students with the option to choose between textbooks and e-textbooks. The initiative conducted for the introductory psychology course will be used as a model for other courses.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The second video features a display that can be bent slightly and is more durable than current e-paper. In the video, Sriram Peruvemba, Vice President of Marketing at E Ink, says that the display will be used for dedicated textbook devices which have not been announced yet. This display will likely be available towards the end of this year or early next year.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I believe this estimate to be a little conservative, but certainly within the boundaries we have estimated. I think where our estimates diverge is that they expect the growth of digital sales over the next five years respectively to be 100%, 150%, 120%, 90% and 80%. We expect that the curve will peak at a higher growth rate and that the growth decay will take longer to set in – in part by using conversion/growth trajectories of trade books and music transitions as examples. However, they provide reasonable factors to explain growth and some rationale for the growth decay that are certainly plausible. The growth factors they identify are ones we are also tracking.
I believe our current best estimates project digital textbooks comprising between 10 to 50 percent of textbook sales in 5 years, with 10% being a most conservative estimate and 50% being a ‘most favorable conditions’ estimate. Something in the range of 20 to 40% might be more accurate, based on an assumption of more consistent 100 to 150% growth over the time period. However, there are many, many factors at play here, some of which are exceptionally difficult to predict. Reality could hit anywhere within the spectrum, or either below or above. Data from the 2010-2011 academic year should be particularly enlightening in this regard.
In 2007 we predicted that by 2012 digital textbook sales would begin to have an effect within the industry, with pickup beginning around 2010 to 2011. Follett has previously made projections that are comparable to ours regarding the projected timeline for transition from predominantly print to more predominantly digital. This projection by Xplana is also consistent with our range of projections and timeline. If we take a conservative stance, it appears increasingly reasonable to expect that we might see at least 15% of the textbook business move to digital formats over the next five years. If college stores hope to retain or capture that business and continue to provide students with the choices and products that meet their expectations, they have a narrowing window of opportunity to engage in their future.
The Xplana report identifies some very reasonable outcomes that might result from their projections, although those implications are focused more on publishers than retailers. That said, the Xplana report is well-written (if brief) and worth a read, as the implications of the collegiate retail industry losing up to 18.8% market share for textbooks in five years if it has failed to prepare properly for digital should be obvious.
Just some food for thought.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The NYU Bookstore is a great example of a store that is taking the time to experiment with digital options and find out what works for students. Going forward, providing students with a choice will be extremely important and will help to keep textbook sales on campus.
This semester NYU is also participating in the NMS Digital Content Platform pilot.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Apart from the network issue, there is also the issue that textbooks are not yet available on the iPad. As we discussed in a prior posting, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, Pearson, and Kaplan Publishing have all partnered with ScrollMotion to turn their textbooks and test-prep guides into applications for the iPad but so far only Kaplan has a few study guides available. According to the WSJ article, ScrollMotion co-founder, Josh Koppel, said that the textbooks will be available within “several months” but further details were not provided.
Update: The WSJ article reported that Cornell University was also experiencing network and connectivity issues but an article from The Cornell Daily Sun says that the university is not experiencing any issues. This posting has been updated to reflect the change.
Monday, April 19, 2010
This past weekend, April 17th, the CITE turned two years old. We would like to thank the many readers and visitors who have taken an interest in our blog. As of this past weekend, we have had 39,564 unique visitors. While nearly 80 percent of our traffic comes from the US and Canada, we have seen visitors from 160 different countries, with a large percentage of our visitors returning regularly. The future of course materials in a digital context is clearly topic with global interest if our readership is any indicator.
Many thanks to all of you for visiting the CITE. We hope to continue providing value and interest to you the years ahead.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
- An article on Daily Illini.com says that the Illini Apple Center which serves the University of Illinois sold out of iPads quickly and orders keep coming in. The Illini Union Bookstore is also working with the university to figure out how to implement e-textbooks and e-readers on campus.
- An article from the Los Angeles Times compares the features of the iPad to the Kindle and notes that the iPad engages readers in ways that the Kindle does not.
- According to a posting on Apple’s website, the company sold more than 500,000 iPads during the first week the device was on the market. The posting notes, “demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad.” As a result of the strong demand in the U.S., Apple has postponed the worldwide release of the device until the end of May.
- Digital Book World has an informative review of the iPad.
- The New York Times’ Room For Debate blog features six interesting essays about the iPad from the eyes of the “digerati.”
- A new report from Flurry, a company that tracks new project starts by developers to gauge interest across mobile platforms, says that application development for the iPad is on the rise. Of all the new mobile application projects that began in February and March, 22 percent were for the iPad.
And a little bit of humor…
Here is a funny video for those who can not quite articulate the need for an iPad but know that they have to have one.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
These thoughts are in line with the data from Project Tomorrow’s Speak Up Survey which we discussed in a posting last week. While these studies focus on K-12, we need to remember that these students will be entering college within the coming years and they will bring their expectations for using technology in the classroom with them. College stores need to begin experimenting with digital textbooks and digital offerings because these students will be looking for these options at the store. Is your store preparing for the next generation of learners?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Survey respondents named three reasons for the increase in enrollments at community colleges including: the economic downturn (42 percent), typical growth for distance education classes (39 percent), and new enrollment initiatives (16 percent). In an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fred Lokken, author of the report, pointed out that community college enrollment has increased in general with the economic downturn and online courses are especially appealing to those looking for new jobs. Lokken also said that the higher growth for online courses at community colleges could be because community colleges show more enthusiasm towards these programs.
The survey also found that the gap between online learning and face-to-face student completion rates continues to decrease. This year, the completion rate for online learning programs was 72 percent compared to face-to-face at 76 percent.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
In a follow-up posting on the Bits Blog, it notes that Google plans to have at least one feature that the iPad lacks which is Adobe Flash support. The posting also says that Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, commented in a conversation that “Google might not get it right the first time” but believes that the company will have “the next two or three years to figure it out.”
Monday, April 12, 2010
In the coming months, Apple will face competition as more tablet devices hit the market but for now it has the advantage of being first to market. Rhonda Alexander, iSuppli analyst, commented that the "key to continuing success will be how quickly Apple responds to issues as they arise and whether the company can align suppliers to meet demand needs."
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
One things for sure: digital change in publishing is inexorable--and the direction is one way. We will not suddenly find the number of bookstores growing or the e-book market shrinking. Explore what happens as digital share grows and printed share shrinks...
In the context of that quote, E-book sales statistics for February 2010 were released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) via IDPF. Trade e-book sales were $28.9 million for February 2010, a 339.3% increase over February 2009. Interestingly, the combined sales for January and February 2010 total more than the sales for Q4 2009 which was the previous highest quarter. IDPF reports calendar year to date revenue is up 292.2%.
Note: These figures represent the 12 to 15 trade book publishers who have been willing to supply their data to IDPF. The numbers are generally believed to underestimate the overall growth and size of the trade e-book market.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
One interesting section of the report focuses on online textbooks and how students responded when asked to design the ultimate online textbook. The student responses showed that they want textbooks that are similar to the online tools and applications that they use outside of school. The responses focused on three themes including: students want their online textbooks to be interactive and up-to-date, the textbooks should have tools that facilitate collaboration, and students want to use the textbooks to personalize learning.
This report is the first in a series of reports that will be created with the 2009 Speak Up data.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Details about the grant program are being kept quiet but it is thought that Google is seeking researchers from its university partners which have allowed their collections to be scanned.
Monday, April 5, 2010
The iPad launched over the weekend and today there are tons of articles and reviews of the device. Here is a round-up of some of the news:
- According to Apple’s website the company sold over 300,000 iPads on Saturday. Users also downloaded over one million apps and over 250,000 e-books from the iBookstore during the first day. The Bits Blog points out that Apple sold 270,000 first generation iPhones the day it launched in 2007.
- The arrival of the iPad has prompted many questions from CIO’s. An article from Inside Higher Ed discusses some of the opinions and questions that have come up.
- The New York Times has an article that compares iBooks to the Kindle for iPad app. Currently the iBooks app has about 60,000 paid titles and 30,000 free titles compared to the Kindle’s 450,000 titles. The verdict is that iBooks is the better app and Kindle is the better platform.
- The ZDNet Blog takes a look at the iBooks, Kindle, and Kobo reading apps for the iPad (the Barnes & Noble app is not yet available).
- Joe Wikert and an article from NPR discuss some pros and cons of the device.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
This video was prepared by the UK branch of Dorling Kindersley Books and produced by Khaki Films Khaki Films. Originally meant solely for a DK sales conference, the video was such a hit internally that it is now being shared externally. We hope you enjoy it (and make sure you watch it up to at least the halfway point, there's a surprise!). Read an interview with the creator of the video on the Penguin Blog: http://bit.ly/futureofpublishing
Thursday, April 1, 2010
George Fox University also recently announced that incoming first year students will be able to choose an iPad or MacBook. For the past 20 years, the university has supplied incoming students with computers and this year it has expanded the computing options.