The usual hype about new e-toys is familiar territory with e-books. Writing in 2008, before Kindle was launched (bK), Mark Nelson was writing in Educause that ‘some experts predict 2007 – 2009 will be the transition years for the higher education e-book market’. Obviously this hasn’t happened here, but HE publishers are gearing up for whenever a changeover does happen, with the likes of Coursesmart – a platform for a consortium of education publishers.
While there is no competition with the publishing giants, I think a lot of academics have material that with some amount of work could be presented as an e-book. I am interested in the concept of e-micropublishing, and am beginning a project on how, as a practitioner, content relevant to my modules could be developed and made available to students in e-book format, at low or no charge. I plan to track the development of this project, and you can find posts relevant to it by clicking the Ebooks category.
Issues for consideration
The first thing I thought to do was to address the concerns around the area of e-books, as these will dictate the type of platform required to present and deliver the material. The following come to mind:
- How will students access output – via library web/3rd party
- How will students read output – dedicated reader/computer/device
- Requirements of content – core/supplementary
- Nature of material – text/picture/interactive
- Format considerations based on nature of material
- Time required to prepare content
- Costs of production
- IP issues
We’ll see how these pan out. I’d be delighted to hear from anyone who has been thinking along these lines.
E-books in Higher Education: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0822.pdf
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