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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Interactive textbooks the way to go

What's the difference between a printed textbook and a digitized textbook?

Nothing exciting, according to a new study, reports Digital Book World

Despite taking the load out of the backpack, etextbooks are just not taking off. 

About 6% of students are using a “core digital textbook” as their main course material, according to a new study from the Book Industry Study Group, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of four-year and two-year college students during the fall 2012 academic semester for the third year for its Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education report. This number is unchanged from the same period a year ago.

The problem isn't adoption of technology: Double the number of students have tablet computers (about a third). BUT, less than 5% of them use the devices as their primary study device. They're heading for the internet, instead.
So what is the answer?

One insight from the new data is that students especially don't respond well to e-textbooks that are simply digitized versions of the print editions. Herein, as DBW remarks, lies the lesson for trade publishers, especially of illustrated digital titles: A straight digital reproduction of the print edition may not impress readers.

Publishers should take advantage of the new medium to give readers something special, different and specific to the platform.
An enhanced digital version of the textbook, for instance. With embedded images and video.  Interactive would be even better.  Now, that would be a learning experience.

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