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EBook News

EBooks and Education in the News. The following are news articles that relate to the use of electronic books in schools or that could be applied to education:


 The Rise of eText

A discussion of eText and how higher education institutions can prepare for a shift from print to digital course materials and textbooks. More

Young people 'prefer to read on screen'
Young people are now much more likely to prefer to read on a computer screen rather than a printed book or magazine, according to a UK survey. The National Literary Trust studied almost 35,000 eight- to 16-year-olds. 52% preferred to read on screen compared with 32% who preferred print, with the remainder having no opinion or preferring not to read at all. As well as social networking and browsing websites, the study indicates almost a third of youngsters read fiction on online devices.

What to consider when using iPads for classroom reading
Tablet computers such as iPads can help students share their reading insights with others, but students need to learn discipline for sustained and focused reading on such devices, writes Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In this blog post, Reich suggests teaching "attention" as a skill and helping students strike a balance between focusing on their assigned text and following links about the text. blog (5/8)

Report: Students want more mobile technology in school
A majority of students in grades K-12 want to use mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops in the classroom, and almost all believe the devices will make learning more enjoyable, according to a survey of 2,500 students conducted for learning company Pearson by Harris Interactive. The study among elementary, junior-high and high-school students saw a consistent desire for mobile technology across students in most subjects. "[We] found that students in grades 4-12 use tablets almost equally in math, science, history and social studies, and English/language arts," Pearson Senior Vice President Seth Reichlin said. InformationWeek (5/6)

Discovery Education offering schools free digital textbooks

Description: Discovery Education offering schools free digital textbooksDuring a conference on digital learning, award-winning Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told peers, publishers, and congressmen that going digital in schools is more than just incorporating cool gadgets--it’s a moral imperative. Matching [ Read More ]

Teachers take textbook creation into their own hands
Anthony DiLaura and Steve Dickie, a high-school science teacher, will this summer launch "iBooks Author Hackathon," in which they will work to create and curate "quality, interactive modules to remix, update, compile, and distribute to your students." The work is part of what DiLaura describes in this blog post as textbook hacking -- finding and merging quality, interactive content that will help to engage students in lessons. Edudemic (3/28)

New report sheds light on open educational resources
A new resource aims to help educators learn how to use open educational resources (OERs) most effectively, as it dives into proper implementation, costs, and other important factors.The "Guide on the Use of Open Educational Resources in K-12 ... [Read More]

E-books, Wiki page replace paperbacks, pens in all-digital English class
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (3/15)

E-books: The end of civilization or the digital age?
A growing number of schools are transforming their libraries -- getting rid of traditional books and replacing them with digital materials that can be accessed on tablet computers and smartphones. Schools are providing e-readers, as well as access to online databases that include academic articles, images and other resources. The transformation for school libraries also has been physical, with some schools revamping their aesthetics with technology in mind. The Sun (Lowell, Mass.) (3/13)

8 Considerations for Online Text
"Are your students reading what you're displaying? Professor of Instructional Technology Scott Fredrickson and Associate Professor of Educational Administration Patricia Hoehner, both of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, provide eight factors to consider when presenting text for online courses: 1) Limit Text, 2) Alignment, 3) Typefaces and Fonts, 4) Case, 5) Underlining, Italics, and Bold, 6) Color, 7) White Space, 8) Placement.3/13/2013, Campus Technology

Discovery Ed expands Techbooks to include math
Discovery Education has announced that it will expand its digital textbook series to include mathematics. The Math Techbook is the latest addition to the company’s Techbook line, which now includes K-12 science and middle school social studies. eSchool News 3/13/2013

Four keys to success with digital textbooks
With certain considerations, schools can move to digital textbooks and tools. Moving to digital textbooks is easier said than done—it takes months of planning, stakeholder buy-in, and perseverance. A new infographic from pulls data from the FCC Digital Textbook Playbook. The four needs when moving are: 1. Intensive planning and creating clear goals;  2. Teacher training and involvement.;  3. Collaborative leadership; 4. Commitment to continuous support. eClassroom News 3/8/2013

Schools shift from textbooks to tablets
Discovery Education updated its digital textbooks to incorporate Superstorm Sandy within weeks of the storm making landfall. Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system.  eClassroom News 3/6/2013

Curriculum offers Neb. teachers online, traditional tools
Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska is implementing a new K-6 language arts curriculum aligned to Common Core State Standards that offers teachers both print and digital resources. Students can read books in print or on mobile devices, and teachers can incorporate online lessons and assessments and collaborate virtually with peers. "It's the best of both worlds. Overall, we're really excited about this, because it helps us move forward in multiple directions," said Jane Stavem, associate superintendent for instruction. Lincoln Journal Star (Neb.) (tiered subscription model) (3/4)

Why some schools are making the switch to digital textbooks
For schools using electronic textbooks, students are receiving up-to-date information about current events, research and other matters as publishers can make almost-instant changes. Educators and others say the benefits of the switch to electronic textbooks include the speed at which they can be updated, the lower cost and the vast resources they open up for students. However, officials also point out that many students do not have access to such technology and stress that districts must focus on teacher training when rolling out digital textbooks. U.S. News & World Report/The Associated Press (3/6/2013)

National PTA signs Kindle to sponsor reading program
Amazon's Kindle has been named the exclusive sponsor of the National PTA's Family Reading Experience, a newly created program that encourages children and families to read together. Fast Company online (2/28)

IPads are "transforming" instruction
Educators say students who use iPads are able to look up unfamiliar words as they are reading on the tablets, receive instant feedback from teachers and have access to an unprecedented amount of information without leaving the classroom. While it's still relatively rare, a growing number of public schools are purchasing enough iPads so that every student can have one. "It's transforming instruction," said Marianne Currie-Hall, principal of Roy B. Kelly Elementary School in Lockport, N.Y. "I've got kindergarteners who email me their work." The Buffalo News (N.Y.) (2/14)

Off the Shelves p. 30
E-books and digital texts have not made the traditional lending library obsolete. Here, we examine two options for libraries that are looking to let students "check out" books on their personal devices. 2/27/2013 THE Journal

Ill. district plans to lease iPads for students
A school board in Illinois has decided to expand a program in which students use iPads in the classroom, following the success of a pilot program. Now, officials say the district will lease as many as 7,000 Apple iPads -- enough to supply about half of the district's students with the devices. The effort will cost about $1.13 million, and the plan is to draw on money that would have gone to lab upgrades and computer purchases. Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (2/25)

Interactive app released for tablet version of Anne Frank's diary
Students studying "The Diary of Anne Frank" can do more than read her story these days with the release of a mobile application that offers interactive links and documentary film clips about the famous Holocaust victim. The app, available from Penguin Books and developer Beyond the Story for iPad and Nook, also includes audio clips from the woman who helped the Frank family during World War II. Shalom Life (1/30)

Israel begins new chapter with digital textbooks
Plans in Israel to transition to 21st-century instruction include a pilot program in which 100 elementary schools will begin using digital textbooks this year. Under the program, fifth- and sixth-grade students will use digital textbooks in English, math and an elective picked by the school. Educators also will receive 60 hours of training on using digital textbooks and using the technology with their specific subjects. The Jerusalem Post (free registration) (2/6)

Ohio school district plans assistive-technology library
The Delaware City School District in Ohio will create a program that allows educators to test assistive technology before buying it. The equipment planned for the central lending library could include tablets, colored overlay sheets for reading and visual signaling devices. (Lewis Center, Ohio) (2/5)

Tablets to replace textbooks under NYC official's plan if elected mayor
A New York City councilwoman has proposed replacing textbooks in the city's schools with tablet computers. In announcing her plan as part of her campaign to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the school system spends about $100 million on textbooks -- enough to provide tablets for all of the city's students. She said educators then could rely on some open-source, free material to supplement printed material in class. Daily News (New York) (1/15/2013)

Are computer-based reading interventions effective?
Principal Peter DeWitt considers the effectiveness of computer-based reading interventions in this blog post. He quotes reading expert Dick Allington and a national study to explore the issue of whether popular software programs have a significant impact on students' reading scores and what role such programs should play in the classroom -- instructional or supplemental. Education Week/Finding Common Ground blog (1/20/2013)

Why it's not time to replace printed books -- yet
A recent survey of 6- to 17-year-old students by Scholastic found that e-books are more popular than ever, with 46% of students reportedly having read an e-book in 2012 -- up from 25% in 2010. However, students said that 80% of the books they read for fun are in print, and the survey also revealed that students are more likely to pick up a print book when reading at bedtime or sharing books with friends. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (1/23)

Publishers answering the call for digital textbooks

The call for U.S. schools to move toward digital textbooks within the next five years has some education officials pondering their options. Publishers, meanwhile, are starting to answer the call. [ Read More ]

Kids’ Ebook Reading Nearly Doubled Since 2010, Scholastic Reading Survey Finds
The number of kids reading ebooks has nearly doubled since 2010, according to Scholastic’s Kids & Family Reading Report, which was released today. The national survey of kids ages 6–17 and their parents also found that half of kids ages 9–17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks—although 80 percent of kids who read ebooks say they still read books for fun primarily in print. 1/14/2013

Publishers answering the call for digital textbooks
Many digital textbook choices exist, but the quality varies widely. (Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on digital textbooks.). 1/18/2013 eClassroom News

Do digital devices encourage students to read?
Technology has had both positive and negative effects on reading among students, according to a study released today by Scholastic Inc. The study finds that more children ages 6 to 17 are using digital devices to read. However, the technology is not necessarily driving an increased desire among students to read, according to researchers who found a drop in students who were self-described as frequent readers. The cause, researchers say, could be attributed to the use of tablets and other devices that allow for activities other than reading. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Media Decoder blog (1/13/2013)

Mo. high-school students publish local history magazine online
The perspectives of longtime residents of Joplin, Mo., are now available online in a student-created magazine called The pilot project involves 141 Joplin High School sophomores who research, photograph and interview older residents about the subjects of their articles. The students wrote articles, edited and posted them online using programs including WordPress and Google Docs. "I really do think this is something that prepares them for the real world," said Justin Crawford, an instructor who helped students with the technology. The Joplin Globe (Mo.) (1/13/2013)

Common core guide: Students should read more of everything
The Common Core State Standards demands a dramatic increase in overall reading, according to a new guide, but does not necessarily mean that nonfiction works will replace the fictional titles that traditionally have been part of the curriculum, education reporter Catherine Gewertz writes in this blog post. "Because literacy is now a shared responsibility among all teachers, reading should dramatically increase in all content areas," the guide states. "While English teachers may use more informational text, students may actually read more literature not less." 1/11/2012 Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog

E-book readership up 18% from last year
About 33 percent of Americans 16 and older now own an e-reading device such as a Kindle or an iPad, up from 18 percent last year, according to Pew Research, The Washington Post reports. The population of e-book readers ages 16 and older rose to 23 % (from 16% in 2012).Washington Business Journal (blog) 12/29/2012

E-book Reading Jumps; Print Book Reading Declines
The population of e-book readers is growing. In the past year, the number of those who read e-books increased from 16% of all Americans ages 16 and older to 23%. At the same time, the number of those who read printed books in the previous 12 months fell from 72% of the population ages 16 and older to 67%.  Overall, the number of book readers in late 2012 was 75% of the population ages 16 and older, a small and statistically insignificant decline from 78% in late 2011. The move toward e-book reading coincides with an increase in ownership of electronic book reading devices. In all, the number of owners of either a tablet computer or e-book reading device such as a Kindle or Nook grew from 18% in late 2011 to 33% in late 2012. As of November 2012, some 25% of Americans ages 16 and older own tablet computers such as iPads or Kindle Fires, up from 10% who owned tablets in late 2011. And in late 2012 19% of Americans ages 16 and older own e-book reading devices such as Kindles and Nooks, compared with 10% who owned such devices at the same time last year. 
12/27/2012 The Pew Internet and American Life Project

Burn the Books: Make Way for E-Content

What’s the big item on Christmas lists this year? A survey taken by showed that 70% of gift givers are planning to buy an electronic tablet this holiday season. It is estimated that around 32 million tablets will be sold in 2012, almost double that of last year. In turn, sales of physical books are decreasing. The Association of American Publishers reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult eBook sales were up $25.3 million over hardcover book sales. In last year's first quarter, hardcover sales accounted for $223 million in sales, while eBooks logged $220.4 million. 12/28/2012  InfoSci-Databses Read Full Article >

The next game-changer in education
Beginning in January, a Kansas school district will begin testing a shift to "open-source" learning materials, which would give students access to digital materials, while replacing traditional textbooks. The Web portal, "Canvas," is part of the district's implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Officials say a benefit is that the system is expected to reduce costs. Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (12/24/2012)

Kindles in school make reading fun for students
Students "are learning to research with a purpose and back up their facts, which is the kind of learning Common Core expects," said principal Danny Ramsey. Collins said the students also use the Kindles in school to research topics and current events. For instance, earlier in the week, students were assigned to research a number of Christmas facts and organize their findings into a presentation for the class. eClassroom News 12/18/2012 [Read More]

Project culminates with student-written books being published
Elementary-school students in a Kansas district recently received hardbound copies of books they wrote as part of a creative-writing project. Students were at the center of each step in the writing process, beginning with brainstorming. While learning lessons in grammar and vocabulary, students wrote fiction, poems and other works, said Erica Seals, the third-grade teacher overseeing the project. The books were published by Studentreasures Publishing, which provides a free copy of students' work and makes additional copies available for purchase. Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) (12/18)

Va. district reverses course on Web-based textbooks
In Fairfax County, Va., officials have decided to return to paper math textbooks following an unsuccessful experiment with Web-based textbooks. Among the concerns raised by teachers and parents were that not all students had access to computers at home and students found the online books confusing. They also experienced problems when the program was used on Apple devices. The Washington Post/Virginia Schools Insider (12/11/2012)

Ireland expands students' access to free online resource
Students in Ireland have had access to the online edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica at school for about three years, and now officials have announced they soon will begin offering free access to the resource at home as well. Education and Skills Minister Ruairi Quinn said the option will give students enhanced flexibility, allowing them to learn at their own pace. Silicon Republic (Ireland) (1/7/2013)

The tablet is killing the ebook reader: Study says shipments to fall 36% this year
“The stunning rise and then blazing flameout of ebooks perfectly encapsulate what has become an axiomatic truth in the industry: Single-task devices like the ebook reader are being replaced without remorse in the lives of consumers by their multipurpose tablets. 12/13/2012 GeekWire

Education chief wants textbooks to go digital

Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 2 called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. "Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete" eSchool News 10/3/2012

Duncan sets goal for schools to adopt digital textbooks
Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared Tuesday that traditional textbooks should become obsolete in the "next few years" and that schools should shift to digital textbooks. Advocates say that digital textbooks are less costly and give students better access to up-to-date resources. Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, says Common Core State Standards could make the process easier for states to collaborate to make the transition without individually having to "reinvent the wheel." Associated Press (10/2/2012)

Finnish Textbook Marathon Made History: School Mathematics Book Born in a Weekend

A group Finnish mathematics students, teachers and researchers have made history during the last weekend of September, producing an open-license High School Mathematics book in a three-day booksprint, for the first time in the world.The new mathematics book consists of just over hundred pages and three sections: reading areas, applications, functions and equations. An electronic version of the book, as well as its LaTeX source code, is available for download at . Before printing, the book will be proofread by the community. 9/30/2012

National Federation of the Blind Takes On E-Text Pilots
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has accused Educause, a higher education IT association, and technology community Internet2 of ignoring the "accessibility barriers" that are preventing blind and print-disabled students from fully participating in a major e-text pilot initiative being coordinated by both. 10/2/2012 Campus Technology

Transition to digital textbooks raises questions over access
As Florida prepares to transition to using more digital resources in schools, a history teacher in one district has cited concerns about access and other problems associated with the change. The state is mandating districts spend half of their instructional-materials funding on digital resources by 2015. However, some parents have reported problems with logging onto the online textbooks and others have raised questions over how students with limited access to technology would be able to use the digital resources. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (9/28)

California passes groundbreaking open textbook legislation

In California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills (SB 1052 and SB 1053) that will provide for the creation of free, openly licensed digital textbooks for the 50 most popular lower-division college courses offered by California colleges. The textbooks and other materials are placed under a creative commons attribution license that allows others to use, distribute, and create derivative works based upon the digital material while still allowing the authors or creators to receive credit for their efforts. 9/27/2012

Ill. middle school teaches math with "virtual textbooks"
Seventh- and eighth-graders at Eureka Middle School in Illinois are using electronic textbooks as part of a blended-learning approach to teaching math. Teachers developed digital lessons and assignments, including videos, that allow students to work ahead or get extra help. "[Overall], it's been very positive," eighth-grade math teacher Sandy Tignor said. "Not a single eighth-grade student is doing poorly in math. The lowest grade right now is a low B." The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.) (11/25/2012)

Utica College Adopts 'Low-Risk' E-Book Platform
Utica College in New York is expanding its collection of electronic books using a system that allows the college to purchase only the e-books that library patrons actually use.
Campus Technology News Update 11/27/2012

Educators debate the real cost savings of a switch to digital textbooks
School districts big and small across the country have rushed to start using digital course materials, purchasing thousands of tablet computers along the way. Advocates argue these expenditures ultimately save money by eliminating paper textbooks and making the classroom more efficient. However, some recent analysis suggests these savings may be overestimated, and that, in some cases, the upfront costs associated with the new technology still may be prohibitive in some districts. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (5/9/2012)

More districts shift to using digital textbooks
A growing number of schools nationwide are replacing traditional textbooks with electronic books, even as districts face questions over funding and the type of technology to use. Some also question whether students will prefer to read electronic texts. In one district, which tested the use of 206 digital books in the 2010-11 school year, educators say readership was up, with the digital titles being accessed 101,000 times. District Administration magazine (5/2012)

Tablets take off in the classroom
While the integration of technology in the classroom has been slow, there are signs that the adoption of tablets in K-12 education is speeding up, according to this analysis. As the tablet computer becomes more commonplace in schools, the market for tablets is growing increasingly crowded with the Nook, Kindle, new Microsoft Surface and other devices competing with the popular iPad. However, while the tablet is being touted as a key to improving education, outcomes have been mixed for devices such as the netbook, which created similar excitement in the past. Digital Trends (11/24)

Teachers transform smartphones into learning tools
Teachers should integrate smartphones into daily classroom instruction, suggests teacher Jennifer Carey. In this blog post, Carey writes about how her students used smartphones to complete in-class polls, as e-readers for books and handouts, to complete research and to conduct Google searches. "If teachers actually direct how students will use their cellphones in class as learning tools, we can minimize their role as a distractive presence," she writes. Powerful Learning Practice (11/21)

NYC expands online education following storm damage
New York City officials have expanded online learning options to students affected by Superstorm Sandy to help them catch up after missing school or prevent them from falling behind. Under the program, more students will be eligible to enroll in online courses offered through the city's schools. With some students still without Internet access, officials suggest students log onto the system from local libraries. (New York) (11/20) While I understand that this is not a direct article about ebooks, consider how difficult it would be for students to be able to continue their learning, if the books are at school (they are not in the public library). Here again would be a reason for at least having digital versions available.

Student engagement, communication improve after laptop rollout
A Minnesota school distributed 235 MacBook Airs to seventh- and eighth-grade students in September, and educators say the technology already has improved instruction. Students say they use the devices daily and use digital copies of their textbooks. The laptop program, which is expected to be expanded, has improved communication among teachers and students, and helped keep students more engaged. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (11/20)

New tool reports whether students read digital textbooks
While the Internet is heavy with sites and resources to aid students in cheating and plagiarizing, professor Alan Jacobs writes in this blog post that educators increasingly are using technology to catch cheaters. The latest of those tools to gain a following is one offered by CourseSmart that allows educators to track the total time it takes students to read a digital textbook. While some have raised concerns over privacy, officials say students may opt out of the tracking feature. The Atlantic (11/2012)

Nook e-readers replace textbooks in Ohio school
A Cincinnati school has purchased 1,200 Nook Color e-readers to replace traditional textbooks. Officials say students at the school, which includes grades seven through 12, will be able to take the devices home, ensuring they have mobile access to academic resources. Officials say the Nooks will be less costly than traditional textbooks and help schools update texts more frequently. However, they also are worried about the potential for theft. The Cincinnati Enquirer (11/12)

Are there drawbacks to iPad textbooks?
As the three top textbook publishers -- Pearson, McGraw-Hill and HMH -- move slowly into the iPad textbook market, several questions remain about growth in the sector. Teachers using digital textbooks on iPads say they and their students are enthusiastic. Some, however, question whether the size of the textbooks is too large for iPads and whether they take up too much bandwidth. Some also question whether the digital textbooks' reliance on streaming could be an issue during an outage. T.H.E. Journal (11/8)

How 'Big Three' Publishers Are Approaching iPad Textbooks
Questions and opportunities surround the still-nascent iPad textbook market. T.H.E. Journal looked at the offerings from the 'big three' publishers--Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and HMH--to discern where the industry is, and where it might be headed. THE Journal 11/08/2012

Bookboard Joins a Crowded Children's eBook Market - The Digital ...
I'm still waiting for a decent Netflix-style ebook ebook subscription service here in the USA (24Symbols has yet to cross the pond, darnit), but if I had kids my choices would have grown by plus one today. Bookboard came out of cover today. 11/12/2012 The Digital Reader By Nate Hoffelder

Teachers use iBook Author to pen electronic textbook
Teachers in a Pennsylvania junior-high school have used the iBook Author program to write a digital textbook for their online social studies curriculum. This is the first year for teachers using the textbook, which students view on iPads and MacBooks purchased by the school. Teachers say the "bells and whistles" made possible by the e-book help to keep students more engaged in lessons than they would be using a traditional textbook. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/7)

Will e-readers collect dust as tablets take over?
E-book fans increasingly are reading on a tablet instead of an e-reader, according to a survey. The trend has electronic-paper companies, such as Taiwan's E Ink Holdings, scrambling to find uses for their product as sales slow dramatically.Reuters (10/28)

 School libraries changing with move to digital resources

As schools across the nation move from printed textbooks to digital materials and digital learning environments, school libraries are adapting to keep pace—and new advancements are changing the very definition of school libraries and library. eSchool News 10/30/2012  

Hawaii plan would give all students computers

The Hawaii Department of Education wants to provide every public school student in the state with a laptop or tablet computer by 2015 as part of an initiative that also would include training teachers as the state begins the process of phasing out printed textbooks. eSchool News 10/25/2012

Amazon launches Kindle-management service for schools
Amazon unveiled Whispercast, a service that lets schools manage a fleet of Kindle tablets and e-readers from one website. The service is part of the company's push to get the Kindle into more classrooms. It lets educators set up and monitor students' user accounts and limit what students can do with the device, the company said.San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)/Reuters (free registration) (10/17)

New software converts PDF text into interactive e-books
Educators can create interactive textbooks from PDF documents with new software from YUDU Media. The conversion technology allows readers to bookmark and annotate content as well as read across platforms such as PCs and iPads. "Students may need to read and take notes on a Windows PC in the classroom, but then want to pick up where they left off on their iPad at home," said YUDU CEO Richard Stephenson. "With most publishing platforms, this is impossible. YUDU makes it possible." T.H.E. Journal (10/10/2012)

 Are tablets better than textbooks?

Tablet computers are making their mark in the classroom. However, this article examines whether tablets are better than textbooks and why the technology might carry some hidden costs. The Federal Communications Commission is estimating that tablets could save schools about $3 billion, and while questions have been raised over the ability of schools' infrastructure to handle the technology, many are betting tablets will help improve learning. Mashable (10/5)

 Encyclopaedia Britannica offers online resources for schools

Eighteen states have partnered with Encyclopaedia Britannica to offer digital content for schools. Now, the Arkansas Department of Education has signed an agreement expanding that program by providing more resources through Pathways: Science. The announcement follows a decision earlier this year by the encyclopedia publisher to cease its print edition. Education Week/Digital Education blog (10/5)

Are tablets better than textbooks?

Tablet computers are making their mark in the classroom. However, this article examines whether tablets are better than textbooks and why the technology might carry some hidden costs. The Federal Communications Commission is estimating that tablets could save schools about $3 billion, and while questions have been raised over the ability of schools' infrastructure to handle the technology, many are betting tablets will help improve learning. Mashable (10/5)

Transition to digital textbooks raises questions over access

As Florida prepares to transition to using more digital resources in schools, a history teacher in one district has cited concerns about access and other problems associated with the change. The state is mandating districts spend half of their instructional-materials funding on digital resources by 2015. However, some parents have reported problems with logging onto the online textbooks and others have raised questions over how students with limited access to technology would be able to use the digital resources. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (9/28)

 Calif. legislation gives students access to free, digital textbooks
Los Angeles Times/PolitiCal blog (tiered subscription model) (9/27/2012

 Tablets from Amazon, Samsung viable in education marketplace

The iPad could have some competition in schools from new tablets released by Amazon and Samsung. Both Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet were praised by Consumer Reports, and with their new features and cost -- the Kindle is selling for $159 -- they are expected to make a dent in the education marketplace. Education Week/Digital Education blog (9/27

Report: Schools should go digital within 5 years
A report released Monday by the State Educational Technology Directors Association suggests states and school districts should completely shift from print to digital resources in the next five years. In pointing out the benefits of digital educational resources, the association finds there are 22 states that already have adopted such resources. The association finds that digital resources will help districts cut costs and improve education. T.H.E. Journal (9/24/2012

SETDA urges shift to digital instruction
Everyone remembers lugging a 20-pound textbook. But should today’s students still have to consult hefty—and often outdated—printed texts? And should states and districts still pay for resources that few students now find relevant? Research supports saying no, stop delaying and make the shift from print to digital. eSchool News 9/25/2012

Marysville, Wash., middle-school students trade books for iPads
The middle-school students of 10th Street School in Marysville, Wash., are adjusting to using iPads in place of school books, journals and planners. They are using the technology in core subjects such as math, and in elective courses such as music and art. This year, the school required that parents either buy iPads for their children, or that the students borrow one from the school district. (9/18/2012)

IPads, technology use in Minn. schools expands
Hopkins West Junior High School in Minnesota has embraced technology, with students using their school-issued iPads to conduct research, read e-books and interact with their teachers. Kim Campbell's seventh-grade social studies students use a maps mobile application to study geography on their iPads. Other teachers at the school who are using flipped classrooms report significant improvement in student test scores. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (9/16)

Role of librarians shifts with technology
Sue Reinaman has been a school librarian for 18 years and she has seen her role as a school librarian change greatly by technology. She said she views herself as a guide who helps students find the appropriate print and online resources when searching for information. "It's always been about teaching them how to find and use information efficiently and ethically," Reinaman said. The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) (9/16)

Ind. district flips the digital-curriculum switch
An Indiana school district switched to a digital curriculum for students in grades 5 to 12 this year, replacing all math and science textbooks with online resources and distributing laptops to students. Despite challenges, including concerns from parents, stress on teachers, and the inevitable technical glitches, students have embraced the new system. "This wasn't a technology initiative -- this was a curriculum initiative," district official Maureen Stafford said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/18/2012)

Free website lets users create digital textbooks
Boundless, a new website that aggregates open-source resources and turns them into digital textbooks, recently launched its beta version that allows users to create their own publications. Boundless is free, writes Jeff Dunn in this blog post, easy to use and compatible with iPads and laptops. Edudemic (8/10)

Can open-source textbooks help cut costs?

Students have saved about $1 million in textbook costs for the fall semester by using an online textbook publisher, OpenStax College. Richard Baraniuk, the company's founder, said the goal is to save students about $95 million over five years. Fifty-five colleges and universities have announced plans to use the open-source books this year. eCampus News (free registration) (8/14)

 UA study shows electronic books can help kids learn to readl ...

University of Akron researchers discovered during a three-year, federally funded project at four local Head Start sites that interactive digital books can help children learn the early skills they need for reading, but not if the special features distract them from the story on the page. 8102012 Akron Beacon Journal

Report: E-book Prices Fell in 2011; Boomers Don't Buy the Most Books
Despite the contention by the Department of Justice that collusion between five major publishers and Apple led to higher e-book prices, a new report from Bowker shows that e-book prices fell across all major categories between 2010 and 2011. Publishers Weekly

 E-book library for leisure reading at sea
The reading list available to deployed sailors may soon be much longer. The Navy Library Service is working to put e-library systems on ships, allowing sailors to choose from thousands of digital books to read while at sea.

Albuquerque schools embrace ‘techbooks’ instead of textbooks
Students in Albuquerque Public Schools won't get updated textbooks in science or social studies this year—or perhaps ever. Instead, they're getting what district officials are calling "techbooks." [ Read More ]

How textbooks are sabotaging teaching, learning
Textbooks are an obstacle to learning, says Ben Stern, technology integrationist for a middle school in New York City. In this blog post, he writes that textbooks present an easy way out for teachers and students -- allowing them to avoid questions over what should be taught. Technology, Stern writes, such as Internet resources and educational applications, can improve teaching and learning -- by replacing textbooks -- if there are wholesale curriculum changes that accompany them. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (8/29/2012)

Calif. students with disabilities access online library

Students with disabilities at Toyon Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., use the service Bookshare to access an online library of digital books in versions that have been made accessible to those with disabilities. Through a grant from the Education Department, Bookshare provides free access to some 160,000 titles to students who qualify. Bookshare was created in 2002 by the nonprofit group Benetech. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (9/9/2012)

How to use cellphones to teach literacy
Cellphones can be used as instructional tools inside and outside of the classroom, educator Lisa Nielsen writes in this blog post. Students can use phones to write first drafts, record oral reports and take videos of learning activities. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (9/10)

 Classroom FM systems can help children with dyslexia

One year of using classroom frequency-modulation systems helped improve the auditory processing variability of children with dyslexia, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers also noted gains in reading and phonological awareness. News (9/5)

 Are flexbooks the textbooks of the future?
When Brian Lindshield was a student, he didn't like paying as much as $500 for a single textbook. As an assistant nutrition professor at Kansas State University, Lindshield decided to do something about it. His new electronic textbook, or flexbook, is free and it includes such features as videos, animations, current events and online materials that aren't possible in a print text. The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.) (8/27)

Student helps middle school purchase Nooks
A middle-school student in Illinois used a 5K race last spring to help raise money to provide Nook e-readers for students at his school. This year, as a result, the school purchased 25 Nooks. Daniel Ramkumar, now in seventh grade, said he is continuing to raise money to purchase more Nooks for his school through the website nooksforknights.infoThe News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana, Ill.) (8/25)

Students publish ed-tech textbook on iBookstore
At Georgia College, , a group of graduate students in Georgia have used Apple’s iBookstore to publish a video- and image-laden eTextbook filled with information and advice for educators hoping to better incorporate technology in their classroom lessons.  8/23/2012 eSchool News

Common core short on digital literacy
Kentucky digital media and English teacher Paul Barnwell believes the Common Core State Standards don't do enough to embrace the way students can and should be using digital technology and communication today. In a recent essay, he notes that many schools still cling to traditional means of delivering education, and the result is that teachers are left without the tools to steer students toward success with the new curriculum. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of (8/22)

Fla. sixth-graders to use iPads across the curriculum
Sixth-graders at a technology-based school in Weeki Wachee, Fla., will start the school year with new iPads as part of a pilot program to make technology an integral part of their education. After taking a mandatory "iTech" course, students will use their iPads throughout the curriculum to access texts, take notes, do research, create presentations, communicate with teachers and more, said principal Dave Dannemiller. Teachers also will be required to include in their lesson plans activities using the iPads. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.) 8/5/2012

Kno Brings Interactive Textbooks to K-12 for $9.99
Through a deal with publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, education software developer Kno, which provides e-textbooks for higher education, is adding interactive K-12 textbooks to its iPad, Android, Windows, and Web platforms.

Amazon launches print-textbook rental program
Amazon began allowing college students to rent the print version of their textbooks for 130 days, augmenting a digital-textbook rental program launched last year. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (8/7)

Educator: Why the textbook is outdated
The textbook -- either in hard copy or digital form -- no longer is necessary because of resources readily available online in the public domain, offers Colette Marie Bennett, the English department chair in her Connecticut district. Bennett also writes in this opinion article that textbooks are heavy, do not foster a love of reading and learning, and are not aligned with a 21st-century education. Bennett writes that teachers would be better served by compiling their own resources online. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of (8/8)

High school invests in an iPad for every student
Students at a high school in Kentucky will have access to iPad tablets beginning this school year. However, they will pay fees to use the devices and be required to take a course in which they are taught the "do's and don'ts" for using the technology. All students will pay a $20 technology fee, and those who want to use the tablets at home will pay $40. Officials said they originally considered purchasing laptop computers but decided the iPad was better-suited to their needs. The Ledger Independent (Maysville, Ky.) (7/31)

 Virtual book club could have magic touch to get kids reading
J.K. Rowling on Tuesday announced the launch of an online book club for young fans of the "Harry Potter" book series. The site, Harry Potter Reading Club, also is intended as a tool to help teachers and parents encourage children to read. "The Harry Potter Reading Club is a direct response to that feedback and provides an entry point through which the thrill of these books can be shared with new generations of Harry Potter fans both within and beyond the classroom," said Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade. The Hartford Courant (Conn.)/Reuters (7/31)

Colleges taking a team approach to eTextbooks
Dozens of schools will see if eBooks can bring down textbook costs and satisfy student demands, thanks to an Internet2 member project. eCampus News  7/2012

Graphic novels, eBooks on students’ summer reading list
Tom Miley, a media specialist for Baltimore County Public Schools, relayed something of an odd desire to a group of summer school reading students at Ridgely Middle School in Lutherville, Md., on July 25. [ Read More ]

IPads replace high school's algebra textbooks
A New Hampshire school district intends to replace textbooks in six sections of Algebra I with iPads. The decision stems from changes to the course curriculum. Rather than being asked to show their work, students will be expected to discuss and defend their answers and present the logic behind their work. Teachers said they did not have a textbook that fit the new standards and decided to use iPads to access digital materials. Concord Monitor (N.H.) (7/24)

Kan. teachers prepare to implement iPads
Teachers in Abilene, Kan., have been spending the summer learning how to incorporate iPads into their classroom instruction following the district's decision to purchase an iPad for every student in second through 12th grades. The teachers are learning how to use iPad applications to individualize instruction and how to engage students through subject-specific lesson plans. For example, a social studies student might demonstrate an understanding of a subject by downloading and labeling photos, while literature students can read ebooks with word definitions available at their fingertips. The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle (Kan.) (7/20)

 E-books continue to grow in popularity, according to publishers
The growing popularity of e-books was clear in Wednesday's release of a survey among publishers, which showed e-books outselling hardcover editions in adult fiction last year. In 2011, publishing revenue from digital books more than doubled from the previous year, to $2.07 billion from $869 million. Meanwhile, books in print produced $11.1 billion in revenue last year, compared with $12.1 billion in 2010. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Media Decoder blog (7/18), Reuters (7/18)

App matches books to students' reading levels
Book Retriever, a mobile application recently released by Classroom Library Co., continues to be an iTunes top seller even during summer break. The app allows parents and teachers to match a child's reading level to items found in a database of more than 130,000 books. The app also includes a cataloging tool and a list of 10 "hot" books that changes monthly. Publishers Weekly (7/12)

State’s (FL) push for digital textbooks, tests has schools scrambling
Electronics and digital upgrades are becoming a larger part of Florida classrooms, fueled by a state push for schools to start adopting all-digital textbooks by 2015-16 and to test more students online. [ Read More ]

Fla. schools work to beef up technology, network connections
As schools in Florida work toward the state's goal of having all-digital textbooks by the 2015-16 academic year, officials say schools are working to find low-cost ways to provide more technology for students, such as Bring Your Own Device policies. To reach another goal of testing more students, online schools also are working to provide more access to computers and improve their network connections. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (7/1)

Schools in Africa increase access to books with e-readers
Schools in Africa have increased their libraries thanks to e-reader devices that allow students and teachers to access digital books. "Instead of just having 1,000 books, they have 10 times or 100 times that," said David Risher, who helped found Worldreader, a nonprofit seeking to provide "one Kindle per child" in Uganda and other developing countries. While supporters say the devices give students easier access to African authors, some obstacles still remain, including cost. The Wall Street Journal (6/15)

 Free Digital Textbooks Funded Through Advertising
"We know the current pricing of textbooks is discouraging students from purchasing the mandatory reading, but we are changing that," said Thomas Buus Madsen, chief operations officer of, a company that makes its digital textbooks available free to college students.

Partnership to distribute Kindles to youths worldwide
The U.S. government is partnering with Amazon to provide Kindle e-reader devices for young people worldwide through the "Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative." The program is intended to expose youths in other countries to American culture, and the devices will come equipped with instructional applications for the English language and other resources. Mashable (6/16)

More pros than cons during school's iPad trial
A school in Maryland plans to provide iPads for all middle-school students following the success of a yearlong trial. The curriculum remained the same, but the school replaced most traditional textbooks with digital textbooks while using the tablet computers. A year-end survey completed by families found that most favored the iPad program. However, some parents complained that students became distracted by the devices and it was difficult to monitor the information they accessed. The Gazette (Gaithersburg, Md.) (6/13)

Program makes e-books available to K-12 schools
A new online service will allow K-12 schools to provide students with unlimited access to more than 3,000 e-books and educational resources beginning this fall. The Brain Hive e-book collection of fiction and nonfiction titles from a variety of educational publishers can be read using desktop computers, laptops or mobile devices. Students and teachers will be able to search the collection by subject and school grade using their school library's catalog system. T.H.E. Journal (6/5)

Could mobile technology improve reading for those with dyslexia?
Reading on mobile devices with small screens may have benefits for individuals with dyslexia, say researchers at the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A study being conducted at Landmark School, a private school in Massachusetts for students with language-based learning disabilities, is testing an approach developed by a researcher with the disorder who found that his ability to read improved with features that both restricted the amount of text he could see and allowed him to scroll up manually. FastCoExist (5/24)

 Are e-books or print books best for young readers?
A recent survey of 32 parents of children ages 3 to 6 found that although young children remembered more details in stories read from print books, comprehension was the same for print-book and e-book readers. The study, conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, also found that while the multimedia features of enhanced e-books more easily grabbed children's attention, those features also made it harder for the youngsters to focus on the story. The study also found that the majority of parent-child pairs were as engaged by print books as they were by the enhanced and basic e-books. blog (5/29)The implications of the study for eBook designers are that too much interactivity can hinder parent/child conversation and their focus on story content. I would think that you would find the same situation with print books like pop-up books. 

iPads help charge reading instruction
Reading assessments can be done faster on Apple’s tablet, freeing up teachers for instruction. eSchool News, May 2012

How one school transitioned to relying on open content
A public charter school in Utah is exclusively using open educational resources in classroom lessons. In this interview, DeLaina Tonks, director of the school, discusses the school's approach to open content and its challenges in being among the first schools in the nation to rely primarily on such resources. Tonks says the school's approach has evolved over time, and it now is adhering to the Common Core State Standards. T.H.E. Journal (5/9)

Nooks are added to reading instruction for N.C. kindergartners
At a North Carolina elementary school, kindergarten students can read traditional books or use electronic books in the Nooks and Books corner of their classroom. Teachers say the Nooks are popular among students and give them the option of reading the books or having them read aloud to the students. However, Nooks are used alongside traditional books in class and have not taken the place of teachers reading to students. Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) (4/29)

 Teachers move from books to free online content
More teachers are moving away from traditional textbooks and toward free online content, spurred by factors including increased availability of classroom technology, the adoption of Common Core State Standards and budget constraints. "There's almost too much good stuff online," said high-school teacher Billy Shulman, who often uses civics lessons adapted from the University of Virginia website. The Washington Post (5/1)

 Students check out books via online library
In Hillsborough County, Fla., students in kindergarten through eighth grade are among those in about 30 states with access to the online library, "Read on myON." Through the program, students visit a website where they can access reading materials. Supporters of the program say the digital books are more appealing to students and have encouraged them to read more. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (5/1)

States move slowly toward digital textbooks
Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength. 4/25/2012 eSchool News   

 How one school is incorporating the iPad into lessons
Instructional technologist and blogger Andrew Marcinek in this post describes how a one-to-one iPad tablet computer program at Burlington High School in Massachusetts is translating into engaging lessons for students. In one example, students in a French class are using the application VidEditor to create video reenactments of a favorite scene or chapter from a novel. Meanwhile, as part of a history lesson, students take on the roles of renowned philosophers as they bring the ideas of the enlightenment to life using blogging and Twitter. Marcinek's blog (4/24)

 Website offers platform for student writers
The website Figment -- founded in 2010 by Jacob Lewis, a former editor of The New Yorker, and Dana Goodyear, a New Yorker staff writer -- provides a space for students to publish their original writing and receive feedback online. Philadelphia English teacher Meenoo Rami says the site is a "perfect platform" for her students. "It's important for students to know that their work is viewed by more than just their teacher. For my students, the idea that a larger audience is being exposed to their work is important to them," Rami said. "This gives them an authentic reason to write." blog (4/23)

Graphic material found in online library for elementary students
Kelly and Mike Neill say they were shocked when their 7-year-old son came home from school, rattling off graphic details about a murder. eSchool News - 4/18/2012 - This just makes me wonder if that same book would have been found in the school physical library. After all that library would be for students between 5-12 years old. Meaning that any books in that collection would have also been available.

Why teachers should use Apple iBooks Author
Schools and teachers should consider using Apple's new iBook Author software as a tool to develop teacher-created texts, school technology specialists Burt Lo and Joe Wood write in this opinion piece. Among its benefits, the education software allows teachers to curate learning, publish easily and share for free the completed texts they create, the pair write. T.H.E. Journal (4/11)

 Intel develops 7-inch tablet computer for education
Intel has developed a tablet computer designed for students. The sturdy, portable "studybook" tablet computer has a 7-inch touch screen and is expected to cost less than $200 to start. The size of the device and the rugged plastic material that encompasses it are intended to make it easier for students to take home. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (4/10)

 More N.J. schools use software program to improve reading
More than 400 New Jersey schools are using the Read 180 software program to help teach students to read. Educators say they will know later this year, after state tests, whether the Scholastic program helps improve student achievement. Students -- some of whom struggle in reading -- learn by using computers, often unassisted by teachers. Some educators, however, caution against limiting students' time with teachers. The Hechinger Report (4/10/2012)

Amazon opens store for Spanish-language e-books
Amazon launched Tienda Kindle, which sells about 30,000 Spanish-language e-books. "Publishers recognize that globally, Spanish is a primary language," said Seneca Mudd, director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Multicultural Council. "These moves represent the magnitude of the Americas as a hemispheric marketplace." (4/5/2012)

 The rise of e-reading
21% of Americans have read an e-book in the past year. The increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them. (4/5/2012) Pew Internet & American Life Project

How much would schools save with a national switch to digital texts?
An analysis from the Federal Communications Commission shows that a switch to digital textbooks in every classroom could save schools $3 billion per year nationwide. Based on a number of assumptions related to the cost of technology in the future, officials believe going digital will save $60 per student per year -- or about 2% of annual spending per student. All Things D (3/29)

 Do schools still need reference materials in the digital age?
The announcement earlier this month that Encyclopaedia Britannica would stop publishing a print edition caused some to question the need for school districts to spend money on such print -- or digital resources -- when so much information is available for free online. Some school librarians, however, say there is a need for trusted reference materials, as they are increasingly tasked with helping students evaluate the value of online sources.Education Week (premium article access compliments of (3/28)

 New devices engage Pa. students with special needs in learning
Some educators in a Pennsylvania school are incorporating iPod Touch and iPad tablet computers in the classroom for students with special needs. Educators say the colors, graphics and other visual features of the devices holds students' attention. The devices are being used as communication devices, and in reading, math and life-skills lessons. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (3/23)

 Calif. school uses iPods to improve reading instruction
Educators at a California elementary school are using iPods as part of a reading program to help boost students' reading performance. The strategy, which has students using iPods to listen to audiobooks as they read along with the print versions, originally was used with English-language learners and struggling readers but is now being used with other students as well. The school has 400 audiobooks and 50 devices for use by students. T.H.E. Journal (3/7)

IPad 2 devices now less-costly electronic-textbook option
The lower cost of iPad 2 tablet computers, brought on by the March 7 unveiling of the newest iPad version, could lead more schools to consider deploying the devices for students, says Vineet Madan, vice president of McGraw Hill Education, which is partnering with Apple on its e-textbook initiative. "The iPad 2 still a phenomenally powerful device," Madan said. "Our content performs incredibly well on that device. At the same time, we can build better things for new iPad." Talking Points Memo (3/12)

Schools see savings by using Kindle Fire for reading, tests
Middle-school students in an Illinois school are testing the use of the Kindle Fire in the classroom as part of a pilot program in which students use the devices to read, take quizzes and conduct research. Officials say the Kindle Fire -- which costs $200 -- could be a more affordable option than laptop computers. If adopted, officials say parents could pay for the Kindle devices and students could keep them when they leave school. Chicago Sun-Times/Northbrook Star (3/13)

Are e-books bad for long-term memory? 
A anecdotal and other research seems shows it is hard to retain facts and information when reading an e-book – especially from small screens. This effect  may be associated by how ebooks provide fewer spatial landmarks than print. 
Time Healthland 3/14/2012
Smart Planet | Smart Takes 3/18/2012:   I do think that the spatial element could be impactful along with the screen size. I do wonder though about some of the other “studys” – if students are learning the device as well as learning content you have to contend with cognitive load.

More students own tablet computers, survey shows
A growing number of high-school and college students own tablet computers, according to a recent survey by the Pearson Foundation. About 17% of high-school seniors enrolling in college said they own tablets -- more than four times the year before. Many high-school (69%) and college (63%) students surveyed also said they believe that, within five years, tablet computers will replace paper textbooks.Education Week/Digital Education blog (3/17)

 Teachers say iPads benefit students in Mass. district
Students in a Massachusetts school district are testing the use of iPad tablet computers in the classroom for about 20 to 25 minutes each day. The program, which primarily is for kindergarten students, includes using the iPads to enhance lessons in math, spelling and phonics. Educators say the program has helped engage students in lessons and allows students to move at their own pace using the technology. Sentinel & Enterprise (Fitchburg, Mass.) (3/18)

 School uses iPods to help boost students' reading skills
Educators at a California elementary school are using iPods as part of a reading program to help boost students' reading performance. The strategy, which has students using iPods to listen to audiobooks as they read along with the print versions, originally was used with English-language learners and struggling readers but is now being used with other students as well. The school has 400 audiobooks and 50 devices for use by students. T.H.E. Journal (3/7)

 Kobo CEO: tablets are for casual ebook readers
From Shelf Awareness: There is a significant difference in usage patterns between owners of dedicated e-readers and tablets, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis said. Dedicated ereaders are “read for longer sessions and are more committed. We definitely see tablets as for casual readers. These readers are reading a book every other month, which is a lot less than the average for those using e-readers. Some romance readers are reading up to 30 books a month.”  3/12/2012 TeleRead: News

 Scholastic Enters 21st Century with Storia eBook Platform for Kids
With Storia, Scholastic is creating an entire e-book ecosystem that is complete with an app, as well as the e-book store itself. Interestingly, the ebooks sold through Storia look like they're exclusive to Scholastic. Mobile Magazine  3/7/2012

Encyclopaedia Britannica is switching to digital-only format
Encyclopaedia Britannica has announced it will take its popular resource for students online, and cease to publish print editions of its encyclopedias. "In 1981, Britannica created the first digital encyclopedia (for LexisNexis) and, in 1989, the first multimedia CD; in 1994 we launched the first encyclopedia on the Internet," Editor-in-Chief Dale Hoiberg wrote in a blog post on the company's website. "Britannica is proudly in the digital camp."Education Week/Curriculum Matters blog (3/14/2012) The world is changing - here is an example, one of the most well known books in existance will no longer be in paper print.

Early results are positive from Maine school's kindergarten iPad program
A program that last fall provided iPad tablet computers to a group of kindergarten students in Maine was shown to improve their test scores, a report released Wednesday shows. The students used the devices for pre-reading lessons, and preliminary tests showed their scores were statistically higher in recognizing sounds and writing letters than those of students who did not use the devices, the report found. "We're pleased with such a short window of using iPads as instructional tools," district superintendent Katy Grondin said. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (2/16/2012)

 Survey finds children using tablets for more than just games
About 57% of children younger than 12 in tablet-owning households use the devices for educational purposes, compared with 77% who use them to play games, according to a new survey by Nielsen Wire. While the use of tablets for all entertainment purposes -- games, movies and other distractions -- far outweighed their use for education, the survey supports the theory that they may be viable educational tools, blogger Rachel King writes.ZDNet/Between the Lines blog (2/16)

 Minn. high school sees early success with iPad program
A pilot program at one Minnesota high school had half of the students in ninth grade learning with iPad tablet computers this year. Educators quickly saw improved engagement among the students with the iPads and expanded the program to the entire ninth-grade class. Now, students are using the devices to take tests and access assignments and calendars, and their work is stored on the cloud to make it accessible from other devices. KARE-TV (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (2/16/2012)

Conn. district uses iPads to improve reading instruction
Educators in East Haven, Conn., schools are using iPad tablet computers as a tool to help improve reading instruction. Teachers use the tablets to conduct informal reading assessments and track student progress. "They're really serving many purposes while transforming the environment of teaching and learning. And we can better communicate with parents about student growth and progress over time," said Erica Forti, the district's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. New Haven Register (Conn.) (2/12)

Some Wis. districts embrace digital resources ahead of national push
Some Wisconsin school districts are replacing print textbooks with digital resources in the classroom. Many such pilot programs, which have students using iPad tablet computers and netbooks, already are in place as federal officials are urging schools to transition to e-texts and other electronic resources within the next five years. "We really see technology as a tool that allows students to access information and more appropriately engage them as learners," said Kevin Steinhilber, chief academic officer for the Appleton Area School District. The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wis.) (2/13)

Free textbooks coming for five intro college courses
College students in five of the most-attended courses in U.S. higher education soon will have free peer-reviewed textbooks available to them as a Rice University-based program looks to save students $90 million in book costs over the next five years. 2/8/2012

Students with autism use 3D software for interactive reading lessons
Students with autism at an elementary school in Orlando, Fla., are learning how to read with the help of a new 3D software program. The "Letters alive" program combines 3D images with sounds, words and animal actions to make reading lessons more interactive. "We're starting to see the difference in how they form sounds and words," said Mary-Elizabeth Langston, the school's primary special-education teacher. "I've noticed more eye contact with others, and there's a willingness to learn that we had not seen before." Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (2/6)

 Educators mix and match online, open source, print resources
As more schools begin to employ digital resources in the classroom, educators increasingly are combining online and print materials from various sources to create their own curricula. The explosion of Internet-based resources, as well as those created by curriculum developers, has given teachers new flexibility while pressuring them to choose top-notch materials. "The old curriculum model was one-size-fits-all. The new model is open, shared, and mobile across multiple devices," digital-learning consultant Wesley Fryer said. Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of (2/8)

Teacher uses Twitter-style storytelling to teach language
Language-arts teacher Bill Ferriter writes in this blog post about the benefits of teaching students to write 25-word stories -- a style he discovered on Twitter. Ferriter writes that 25-word stories help students consider their word choices carefully, while constructing a story with a clear beginning, middle and end. The brevity of the stories also allows them to be shared via text, he writes. Teacher Leaders Network/The Tempered Radical blog(2/4)

 "Hunger Games" will offer Facebook play as movie tie-in
Funtactix has created a social game version of "The Hunger Games," which will debut on Facebook at the time of the property's March 23 big-screen release. "Hunger Games" will be free for players, but will charge real-world fees for the use of virtual goods. MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily (2/2) – book expansion on expansion -> book becomes movie becomes social game.

How some countries use open resources in the classroom
Several countries are using open educational resources in schools, including South Africa, where some math and science textbooks were developed from open resources compiled from the Internet and elsewhere. "Rather than follow the book every week, it becomes much easier to take detours or create a completely different course altogether," said Jan-Bart de Vreede, senior product manager for Wikiwijs, an open resource platform created by the Ministry of Education in the Netherlands. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (2/1)

 Handbook aims to aid transition to electronic resources
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday unveiled the 67-page "Digital Textbook Playbook," a handbook for educators on transitioning to electronic resources. The two officials were part of an online town hall event marking the first national Digital Learning Day, when they also challenged all U.S. schools to make digital texts available to students within five years. Las Vegas Sun/The Associated Press (2/1), Education Week/Digital Education blog (2/1)

 Utah is developing free, online textbooks for students
Education officials in Utah say they are developing online, open-source textbooks in math, language arts and science, which would be available for free to junior high-school and high-school students. The online texts, some of which could be available by next fall, are to include videos and other interactive features. "Rather than just reading a flat text, kids get to experience learning with multiple media in the book itself," said Sydnee Dickson, teaching and learning director at the State Office of Education. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (2/1)

 How mobile devices are changing education in Africa
Mobile technology is affecting the quality of education in Africa, including in South Africa, where students use cellphones to chat via text message with math tutors. Experts say the growth of mobile technology on the continent is helping schools overcome challenges, such as limited access to resources and electricity. Mobile technology also provides greater access to books and other educational resources for students and more opportunities for professional development for teachers. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (2/1/2012

 Obama: Every student should use e-textbooks by 2017
President Barack Obama's administration is expected to recommend today that public money -- once reserved for paper textbooks -- be allowed to purchase iPad tablet computers, Kindles and related software. Obama's goal is that every student use electronic textbooks by 2017, officials say. Part of the push stems from the expected cost-savings that comes from e-textbooks, rather than purchasing updated paper textbooks. USA TODAY (1/31/2012)

 Utah schools start adopting open source textbooks
Utah classrooms may soon be making the switch to open-source online textbooks that can be cheaper and easier to update, the Associated Press reports. The Utah State Office of Education announced this month it will develop and support the open textbooks for language arts, science and math. The agency is urging schools and districts to adopt the books this fall. Officials say open textbooks are written by experts, vetted by their peers, and posted online for free downloading and use by anyone. 1/26/2012 Huffington Post

 Will students learn more using digital textbooks?
Apple's launch on Jan. 19 of new digital-textbook software has educators and experts considering whether students will learn more and better using these and other tablet-based resources. Measuring the effect of these tools may prove complicated, and experts, including Ron Owston of Canada's York University, say teacher effectiveness and the environment in which the technology is used are important factors. "Kids need some structure. They need guidance. They need feedback. They're not going to get that from electronic books alone," Owston said. Science blog (1/26)

 Digital texts, iPads catching on in some Pa. Catholic schools
Several Catholic schools in the Pittsburgh area are adopting iPad tablet computers and other devices as classroom-learning tools and in place of traditional textbooks. Teacher Brian Molinero has students using iPads for algebra lessons. "I think they're learning differently. They can really get involved in the material a little more. I find myself getting through more material and more in-depth topics than we had previously," he said. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1/30)

 Wis. district to purchase 1,400 iPads for students
Students in Madison, Wis., schools soon will receive iPad tablet computers purchased by the school district with funding from a settlement from Microsoft. The district is planning to purchase and distribute 600 devices this spring, with another 800 coming next fall. "This is the most significant transition point for having digital learning at the optimal level," said Bill Smojver, the district's director of technical services.Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (1/28)

Users download 350,000 iPad textbooks in 3 days
Apple's newly launched textbook initiative for the iPad got off to a busy start, with users downloading 350,000 books in the first three days and 90,000 copies of a free textbook-creation tool, according to Global Equities Research. All Things D (1/23)

 Surveys: Teens are slow to warm up to e-books
Teens lag behind other age groups in embracing e-books, largely because they don't see the medium as social, according to recent surveys. (1/23)

3 steps for creating a digital textbook
Educator Dolores Gende in this blog post outlines three steps for teachers who want to create their own digital textbooks and involve their students in the process, and includes several resources to use along the way. She suggests teachers first aggregate online content using social-bookmarking tools such as Delicious and Diigo, before taking on a deeper analysis -- or curation -- of the content. Lastly, Gende recommends using tools such as Google Sites or the new iBooks Author to create a finished product. blog (1/25)

 Will students learn more using digital textbooks?
Apple's launch last week of new digital-textbook software has educators and experts considering whether students will learn more and better using these and other tablet-based resources. Measuring the effect of these tools may prove complicated, and experts, including Ron Owston of Canada's York University, say teacher effectiveness and the environment in which the technology is used are important factors. "Kids need some structure. They need guidance. They need feedback. They're not going to get that from electronic books alone," Owston said. (1/26)

Apple releases app for viewing textbooks on the iPad
Apple officials today announced the release of iBooks 2, the latest version of the company's e-book software for the iPad tablet computer that includes new features designed for viewing textbooks. To provide access to the textbooks, Apple is creating a new section on its iTunes store, with a selection of titles available for $15 or less. The company also introduced iBooks Author, a free app that offers a set of interactive tools for creating e-books, and released the iTunes U app for iPad, which allows educators to create and teach online courses using the popular tablet computer. TechCrunch (1/19), T.H.E. Journal (1/19), Associated Press (1/19)

 Apple releases app for viewing textbooks on the iPad
Apple officials on Thursday announced the release of iBooks 2, the latest version of the company's e-book software for the iPad tablet computer that includes new features designed for viewing textbooks. To provide access to the textbooks, Apple is creating a new section on its iTunes store, with a selection of titles available for $15 or less. The company also introduced iBooks Author, a free app that offers a set of interactive tools for creating e-books, and released the iTunes U app for iPad, which allows educators to create and teach online courses using the popular tablet computer. TechCrunch (1/19), T.H.E. Journal (1/19), Associated Press (1/19)

How will new Apple products affect schools?
Technology curriculum specialist Nicholas Provenzano writes that Apple's Jan. 19 release of iBooks 2 and other education-related tools will offer many benefits for schools using Apple devices. However, these advantages will not be realized by the many other districts not using the company's products, he adds. Others, including some school-technology experts, say the new tools may be designed to address the wrong problem as schools move away from traditional textbooks and toward more adaptive resources. Provenzano's blog (1/20), Fast Company magazine (1/2012)

Ala. bill would bring tablets, digital texts to high-school classrooms
Alabama lawmakers are poised to consider new legislation that would have all high-school students in the state using digital textbooks and electronic tablets. Independent of the proposed "Alabama Ahead Act," many teachers say they already are incorporating digital tools into lessons, using iPad2 tablet computers for classroom projects and allowing students to download digital textbooks to their home computers.The Daily Home (Talladega, Ala.) (1/15)

 Apple may unveil textbooks made for iPads on Thursday
Apple is expected on Thursday to take a step closer to fulfilling co-founder Steve Jobs' vision of displacing classroom books with tablets. The company will likely introduce textbooks for its iPad tablets, along with publisher partnerships and technology aimed at enabling the tablet user to interact with the content. The Wall Street Journal

 Kno adds new features to digital textbooks ahead of Apple announcement: Tech company Kno, which produces digital textbooks, has added a number of new features ahead of Apple's expected move Thursday to join the digital-textbook industry. Kno Flashcards allows users to create virtual flashcards out of any key terms in its textbooks, while Kno Me is designed to help students track and improve their study habits. TechCrunch(1/17)

 Social media tools foster literary experiment for N.J. students
Eighth-grade students from diverse backgrounds at New Jersey schools are part of a literary experiment that has them studying the book, "Of Mice and Men," by John Steinbeck, to help better understand their differences. The two groups of students -- one from a poor and primarily minority area and one made up of mostly white students from an affluent district -- share their perspectives on the book through Wikispaces and Skype, with a face-to-face gathering planned for a discussion of the final chapter. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/16)

School incorporates technology into hybrid library design
Officials at Simsbury High School in Connecticut have created a new hybrid library that combines the technology of a modern media center with the physical space and some print resources of a more traditional school library. The new design allows students a place to collaborate on projects, download titles for their e-readers and receive instruction in information literacy. T.H.E. Journal (1/11)

Print books remain top choice for some teachers, parents
The emergence of e-readers and other digital options hasn't dissuaded some parents and teachers from preferring print books for young children. "For the young reader, you can't beat the book with the big pages and the beautiful illustrations and the snuggling up with Mom to read a story. I don't know if you get the same visceral pleasure you would get from the book," kindergarten teacher Deborah Hughey said. The Sun (Baltimore) (1/6)

 Children Prefer eBooks: QuickStudy 
According to a new report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, kids prefer to eBooks to print books. The Center observed 24 families with children ages 3-6 over two seasons for this “QuickStudy”.  1/9/2011

Is the switch to digital school texts imminent?
Doug Levin, CEO of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, envisions a time in the near future when digital content will all but replace print sources in schools. Levin describes this transformation in an interview and suggests ways in which educators can embrace the change. Education Week/Digital Education blog (12/13/2011)

Schools in Texas look to free digital resources amid budget woes
Amid ongoing budget constraints, many Texas teachers are turning to free online resources to enhance instruction in the classroom. Educators are using sites such as, originally designed to provide content for students in impoverished nations, as well as instructional videos posted online by the Khan Academy. Other resources include the Google Art Project, which features images from museums all over the world. The Dallas Morning News (subscription required) (12/5)

 Digital content has consumers reading more
Consumers might not be making many trips to the bookstore, but they are reading more than ever, thanks to e-books, experts say. "It's really been all good news this year. Reading is becoming more popular in general," said Chris Schluep,'s senior books editor. Reuters (12/8)

Amazon plans to increase children's e-books
Amazon acquired more than 450 children's book titles from niche publisher Cavendish Children's Books. The online retailer plans to turn all of the titles into e-books as part of a push to increase digital books for children.The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/6)

Ed-tech startup looks to reinvent the digital book
The San Francisco startup Inkling is working to reinvent the digital book by creating a new platform that can be used with many types of devices, from e-readers to iPads and laptops, and building original titles that are digital from the start. The company also is looking beyond its primary market in higher education to other genres, where it is testing a new process of converting blogs to digital books, and has plans to boost its presence in the K-12 schools market as well. blog (12/2/2011)

How new devices help students master skills in Mississippi
Teachers in Mississippi are using iPod Touch devices that come pre-loaded with educational offerings. The devices can be used for vocabulary lessons, reading and math. Other districts are using iPads, teacher laptops and interactive whiteboards. The Hattiesburg American (Miss.) (11/26)

School provides Kindle e-readers for students with disabilities
A nonprofit K-12 day school for students with disabilities in South Carolina is providing each of its students with a Kindle e-reader this year, thanks to a donation from Amazon Fulfillment. "We have students that are all on the same grade level, but they're on different ability levels and the Kindle allows us to use and differentiate our instruction for those students," teacher Kristen Boomhower said. Students also praised features that allow them to change the size and font of a book's text. WISTV (Columbia, S.C.) (11/17/2011)

Study: E-reader sales will jump to 67 million units in 2016
Juniper Research forecasts that sales of e-readers will increase to 67 million units in 2016, compared with 25 million units in 2011. This blog post offers five reasons why e-readers will experience that growth, even with the increased reading of e-books on tablet computers. GigaOm/Mobilize (11/15)

 Libraries increase options for e-book lending
Public libraries nationwide began offering e-book lending on computers and e-readers several years ago, and they're boosting that effort with tomes tailored for smartphones and tablets. USA TODAY (11/15)

Why is students' use of e-books lagging?
New research by e-book provider eBrary suggests students' e-book usage has remained relatively flat over the past three years. To explain this, the study cites a dearth of digital textbooks, restrictions that keep students from sharing texts and online resources, and a lack of social tools associated with digital texts, among other issues. blog (11/7)

 Barnes & Noble debuts Nook tablet
Barnes & Noble unveiled its first entry into the tablet market Monday. At $249, the Nook tablet is $50 more than Amazon's Kindle Fire; it comes with twice as much memory as the Fire and includes movie-streaming applications from Netflix and Hulu Plus. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)/The Associated Press (11/7), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/8)

 Florida Airport offers 15000 Free ebooks to Travellers
Good E-Reader (blog)
By Michael Kozlowski The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is offering a great incentive to travel, free ebooks! They are partnering with the Broward Country Library to provide patrons books with no catch. No library card will be required

Is Barnes & Noble taking aim at Amazon with new Nook Tablet?
Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet, due out Nov. 15, may get some competition from rival Barnes & Noble, which will offer the $249 Nook Tablet the day after Amazon ships its new product, according to an Internet report. The Nook e-reader/tablet hybrid reportedly will feature a 7-inch color touch screen, a dual-core processor and 16 gigabytes of storage and will weigh 14.1 ounces. VentureBeat (11/3)

Group uses e-readers to promote literacy in Africa
The nonprofit group Worldreader distributes Kindle e-readers preloaded with digital books to students in sub-Saharan Africa. While the e-readers lack the features and applications of more-expensive tablet computers, many have Web capabilities and can provide access to newspapers, magazines and thousands of book titles for students, their families and entire villages. blog (11/1)

 Bookshare offers students with disabilities new access to books
The nonprofit Bookshare provides free electronic copies of books that are adapted into formats that meet the needs of students with visual impairments or certain learning disabilities. The text of the books can be read aloud by computers, magnified or spaced differently, allowing the books to be read by those who struggle with print textbooks. The service is funded by the federal government and free to students. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (11/2)

Going paperless: Chicago-area school gives students iPads
Apple's iPad tablets continue to make inroads into U.S. schools, with a suburban Chicago high school the latest to provide free tablets to freshmen as a replacement for traditional notebooks and textbooks. "There's no more lost papers or heavy books to carry around. And teachers love the fact that they can use Google Calendar to share assignments and deadlines with the students," said Keith Bockwoldt, the district's head of technology.Network World (10/26/2011)

 Amazon ups production of Kindle Fire after deluge of orders
Facing heavy demand for its $199 tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, is ramping up production of the device for holiday purchases. "Sept. 28 was the biggest order day ever for Kindle, even bigger than previous holiday peak days. In the three weeks since launch, orders for electronic ink Kindles are double the previous launch," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The Fire is among several new Kindle models. PC World/Today @ PCWorld blog (10/26/2011)

Print vs. eText to your brain there is no difference.
Study showed that there was no difference in terms of reading performance between reading from paper and from an e-ink reader. "We have thus demonstrated that the subjective preference for the printed book is not an indicator of how fast and how well the information is processed," concludes Professor Schlesewsky. 10/20/2011

School district will explore eBooks for students
The Highlands County School District has a few years before the state requires all new instructional materials to be in digital or electronic form, but a district task force will be established soon to explore how the district will go digital. "There are a lot of positives about eBooks (electronic books); it's just making that leap to being able to provide a device that you can afford for every student," said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Rebecca Fleck. 10/24/2011 Highlands Today

Mass. school opts for an all-digital library
Officials at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., two years ago replaced the school's 40,000-book library with electronic resources, converting print titles to digital formats and allowing students and teachers new full-time access to resources online. The library itself was also redesigned, complete with LCD screens that preview new book titles and space for students to learn and work together. "It's become a much more open and collaborative space, instead of just a place where users come to check out materials," Tom Corbett, the library's executive director, said. T.H.E. Journal (10/19)

Ind. district flips the digital-curriculum switch
An Indiana school district switched to a digital curriculum for students in grades 5 to 12 this year, replacing all math and science textbooks with online resources and distributing laptops to students. Despite challenges, including concerns from parents, stress on teachers, and the inevitable technical glitches, students have embraced the new system. "This wasn't a technology initiative -- this was a curriculum initiative," district official Maureen Stafford said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/18)

AP English Class Gets Hooked on Nooks
One Advanced Placement English Literature class is swapping books for Nooks, and the tablets are revolutionizing the way students are preparing for their AP exam.

 Ky. students trade paper books for Nooks
Students enrolled in an Advanced Placement English course in Kentucky say they read more and have better comprehension since they began using Nook e-readers. The devices allow students to annotate and highlight passages, download applications and browse the Internet. "It makes it easier to understand and read books because all the tools you need are on your Nook," said student Sydnie Heisler. T.H.E. Journal (10/11)

 Students stage 'textbook rebellion' to protest costs
Activists tour campuses to lobby for more low-cost options, including open online textbooks. Students are going without required textbooks so that they don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for their books. With inexpensive alternatives sparse a group of college activists – backed by the Obama administration – is protesting against textbooks costs.

 Children choose technology over books, study finds
A British study that involved more than 18,000 children ages 8 to 17 found that text messages were the preferred form of reading material, followed by e-mail and social networking sites such as Facebook. The frequency of book reading correlated inversely with age, with those ages 14 to 16 more than 10 times as likely to avoid books altogether as children in primary education, researchers found. The Telegraph (London) (8/22)

 Fla. transitions from textbooks to digital tools
Schools in Florida are expected to replace paper textbooks with tablet computers and other digital tools by 2015, and some districts already have begun the transition for teachers and students. In Brevard County, at least one teacher at each school will have an iPad this year. One private school will allow students in grades 6-12 to use their own technology in class, including iPads and smartphones. Florida Today (Melbourne) (8/6)

Schools in D.C. area embrace digital texts, address digital divide
Some school districts in the Washington, D.C., region are stepping up their use of digital textbooks in the classroom, a change aimed at reducing costs for schools and offering more up-to-date resources for students. Officials in Fairfax County, Va., began using online social studies texts in nearly all middle and high schools this year. They also are working to provide equal access for disadvantaged students outside of the school building, a common concern in many districts that are considering making the switch. The Washington Post (10/2)

Can e-readers encourage students to read more?
Students in Advanced Placement literature courses at an Ohio high school are reading more each night and enjoying it more since they began using Nook e-reader devices in class. Surveys also show that students enjoy having access to textbooks, online libraries and other resources on one device. The school has been testing the use of Barnes & Noble's e-reader since August and now have plans to purchase more devices. The Cincinnati Enquirer (9/26)

How virtual book clubs can encourage student reading
Sixth-grade teacher Ryan Kinser describes how virtual book clubs can be a simple, enjoyable way to interest students in reading and offers several tips for teachers interested in adding them to the curriculum. He recommends teachers determine the role of the clubs in lessons, the inclusion of students without home Internet access and the guidelines of participation. Kinser also suggests reaching out to parents and letting students guide the club. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of (9/20/2011)

 Reports: Amazon is set to detail tablet-like e-reader
Amazon this week is expected to unveil a new version of its Kindle e-reader that may present a competitive challenge to the iPad tablet computer. The device reportedly will have a smaller touch screen than the popular Apple tablet but will cost about $250, which is half the price of a basic iPad. PC World/Today @ PC World blog (9/25), Reuters (9/23), Electronista (9/23)

 Florida school makes smooth transition to iPad program
The rollout of a new iPad program at The Master's Academy private school in Oviedo, Fla., has gone smoothly so far, said assistant superintendent Mitchell Salerno. The school prepared for the program by upgrading its wireless network and holding small-group orientation sessions during which students and parents signed proper-usage contracts. Educators readily accepted the devices in their classrooms, where they are being used for instruction, research and enrichment, Salerno said. T.H.E. Journal (9/21)

 How cellphones can be effective classroom tools
The qualities that make cellphones a distraction in schools also make them compelling tools in the classroom, Audrey Watters writes. Smartphones in particular are powerful mobile-computing devices that can be used as calculators, cameras and research tools. Other tools, such as Poll Everywhere and StudyBoost, use text messaging to help students take quizzes or study material learned in class, she writes. Watters' blog (9/21) is a website that combines reading with actual map use. A reader picks a local park and story to read. At the end of the first chapter he is given clues and prompted to find a hidden cache in that park. An adapted form of geocaching, readers use a GPS, smartphone, or tablet computer with GoogleMaps to help find the hidden treasure cache. Actually, the cache holds the password to access the next chapter in the story.

 E-readers used as textbooks at UE
Hall estimates that within the nursing field, eBooks are 20 percent cheaper than their traditional printed counterparts. Although nursing students at UE are required to purchase the eBook version of a text if it's available, those Instead, the program has for the last year used eBooks, both through computers and the iPod Touch, as a means of lowering prices, supporting sustainability and giving students an edge in the workplace.  7/16/2011 Evansville Courier & Press

How will e-readers affect the English classroom?
Eighth-grade English teacher Ariel Sacks considers in this blog post the rising popularity of the Kindle, the Nook and other e-readers among students. The devices, which once seemed to represent a more futuristic classroom, now may be poised to offer a new tool for motivating students to read and helping teachers review students' commentary on their reading assignments, she writes. Teacher Leaders Network/On the Shoulders of Giants blog(9/3)

Many public high schools are introducing iPad programs this fall
Lots of public high schools across the country are using iPads loaded with e-texts and other digital resources to replace bulky textbooks this year. More than 600 districts have launched one-to-one iPad initiatives, according to Apple officials, who say new programs are being announced regularly. Some educators say the devices provide students with access to the most up-to-date resources at a lower long-term cost than traditional texts. ABC News/The Associated Press(9/3)

Mich. district launches ambitious iPad program
A Michigan school district is the first in the state to adopt a program that will put an iPad in the hands of each student in grades 3-12 by next fall. Just two weeks into the program, educators say it is changing the way they operate and provide instruction. One ninth-grade literature teacher says the devices allow students to participate more directly in class, highlighting passages in books as they are discussed. Others say they are using the devices to record and deliver lessons via video, while some students are creating their own safety video for a metal-shop class. Detroit Free Press (9/20)

Indiana U Strikes Cost-Cutting Deal with E-Text Publishers
Indiana University (IU) has negotiated new publisher agreements that are expected to reduce the costs of e-textbooks for students, extend the periods in which they have access to the texts, and give them more flexibility in how they use the digital material.More

Many U.S. schools adding iPads, trimming textbooks
For incoming freshmen at western Connecticut's suburban Brookfield High School, hefting a backpack weighed down with textbooks is about to give way to tapping out notes and flipping electronic pages on a glossy iPad tablet computer. 9/9/2011 eClassroom News

Textbook-free schools share experiences, insights
Nearly one year after a a pilot program that put Virginia's fourth, seventh, and ninth grade social studies curriculum on an iPad, Virginia state officials say they have learned much from the implementation. 9/7/2011 eSchool News

Amazon eBook Rental Service
Amazon is in talks with book publishers about launching a digital library for customers, almost like a ‘Netflix’ for books. Amazon, the company who effectively created the booming ebook industry, is now trying to revolutionize it. Expected to only be available in the US, customers would pay a flat yearly fee of $79 to access a library of older digital book content. 9/12/2011 IBTimes.TV

Saylor Foundation Kicks Off Open Textbook Challenge
The Saylor Foundation is offering $20,000 to college textbook authors willing to allow free use of their publications by students and educators. The deadline for the first wave of funding is Nov. 1. 
The texts will be available to anyone in the world and freely distributed via various Web platforms.

Kindle now lets you ask an author questions, right from the ebook
The Kindle's brand new @author feature lets you direct your pressing inquiry toward the actual mind behind the ebook page. You'll need a Twitter account to get connected, since the social network powers the @author program. Tecca

Amazon adds author Q-and-A feature to make e-books interactive
Amazon has added an interactive feature to its Kindle e-book platform that enables readers to highlight passages and post questions to the author. Writers won't answer all questions, but readers will be notified when they do. Posting questions also has the potential to spark conversations among readers. (8/31), GigaOm (8/31)

Some Pa. districts see likely transition to digital texts
Some school districts in western Pennsylvania are beginning the transition to digital resources in the classroom. New textbooks in one district may be the last of their kind, say administrators, while another district has been providing laptops for high-school seniors for a decade. "We haven't completely given up textbooks, but the use of online textbooks is something we're moving toward, absolutely," Robin Pynos, district technology director, said. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (8/29)

Could digital comic books help foster a love of reading in students?
Digital comic books and graphic novels can be powerful tools for engaging students who otherwise may be uninterested in reading, writes blogger Audrey Watters. While digital-rights regulations have created some obstacles to the use of such content, more digital publishers and other websites now are offering titles that can be accessed with e-readers or shared online by multiple users, restoring an important component of the comic-book subculture, Watters blog (8/29)

Children choose technology over books, study finds
A British study that involved more than 18,000 children ages 8 to 17 found that text messages were the preferred form of reading material, followed by e-mail and social networking sites such as Facebook. The frequency of book reading correlated inversely with age, with those ages 14 to 16 more than 10 times as likely to avoid books altogether as children in primary education, researchers found. The Telegraph (London) (8/22)


Digital textbook company offers 3D modeling, Khan Academy integration
Tablet textbook company Kno is updating its iPad app to allow users to interact with models of molecules found in chemistry textbooks. The app converts the diagrams into 3D models, which users can enlarge and rotate to examine their structures. The company also has partnered with the Khan Academy to link the content of the academy's instructional YouTube videos to Kno's textbooks. TechCrunch (8/22), Mashable (8/22)


Fla. law requires online education for high-school students
A Florida law requires students -- beginning with this year's freshmen class -- to take an online class before they can graduate high school. Online education is cheaper than its brick-and-mortar equivalent and supporters say there are other benefits, such as the access to a wider range of class subjects. However, critics worry that as online learning grows, unmotivated students will suffer and students' social lives will take a hit. One challenge: Many families do not have home computers. The Miami Herald (free registration) (8/21) - Digital books are great things for distance learning


Social-networking sites offer the feel of a book club
While reading is usually thought of a solitary activity, some companies are attempting to make books more social through the use of social-networking applications. Services such as Goodreads and Amazon's "Public Notes" make it easy to share what you are reading, creating an experience not unlike a virtual book club. E-books also may lend themselves to becoming more social, with ways to discuss the book with other readers in real blog (8/17)


Will students use Facebook to access digital textbooks?
A Facebook app being developed by the educational software company Kno will allow college students to access more than 100,000 digital textbooks through the site. Students will also be able to use Facebook's news feed to ask questions and collaborate with other students, professors and teaching assistants. The app -- now in open beta form -- is meant to take advantage of the ubiquitous use of Facebook by college students. Nearly 70% of college students surveyed said they would be likely to use such an app if it "might improve their grades." eCampus News (free registration) (8/16)


Amazon creates iPad-friendly Web-based reader
Amazon has released Kindle Cloud Reader, a Web-based service that supports browsers Google Chrome and Apple Safari and lets Apple iPad users read e-books online or download them to read offline. The move comes after Amazon removed the "Buy" button from Kindle applications because of Apple rules. TechCrunch (8/10)


Kno to make 100,000 college textbooks available on its website, Facebook
Digital-learning company Kno has made 100,000 college textbooks available through Facebook or its website. An HTML5 reader will allow students to read the textbooks, which can be purchased through Kno's iPad app. Students can highlight sections in the book and can post comments and questions to Facebook news feeds, forming a digital study group. "We are not trying to redefine the textbook, we are trying to redefine how you learn," Kno CEO Osman Rashid said. TechCrunch (8/10)


Ga. district moves toward eliminating traditional textbooks
Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia will test having math, science and foreign-language teachers at six schools use content clouds this year, with an eye toward using the technology systemwide in the future. The long-term goal could be doing away with physical textbooks completely, saving the district money and making students more digitally savvy. "If we didn't move ahead with this ... we'd be left behind," said Louise Radloff, vice chairman of the school board. Gwinnett Daily Post (Lawrenceville, Ga.) (8/6) 
Publishing grows as e-book sales surge more than 1,000%
The publishing industry saw book sales increase across the board last year, spurred by e-book sales, which gained 1,039.6% from 2008, according to a survey of about 2,000 publishers. E-books made up 6.4% of all trade-book business, compared with 0.6% in 2008. For adult fiction, e-books made up 13.6% of revenue. (8/9)

E-Textbooks: 4 Keys to Going All-Digital
When Florida's Daytona State College set out to implement an all-electronic textbook program two years ago, its goal was to drive down the cost of textbooks by 80 percent. The school is well on its way to achieving that goal, and along the way it made some discoveries about what it takes to make a successful transition to e-texts.

Georgia district to pilot use of digital materials
The Gwinnett County school system in Georgia, the state's largest district, is launching a pilot program this fall to phase in digital materials instead of print textbooks. The program will be tested in six schools, which will utilize cloud technology to access materials from sources within the district and from outside providers. Corners-Berkeley Lake, Ga. (7/26)  Fla. high school goes digital with iPads for all students this year
Lake Minneola High School in Florida will distribute iPads to all of its students this fall as part of a statewide initiative to replace textbooks with digital materials by 2015. State officials will monitor the school's pilot program, gathering information to help other schools make the transition. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (7/27)  Amazon Launches Cross-Platform Textbook Rentals 
Amazon's Kindle Store is now renting textbooks for the 2011 school year using a model that lets students decide how long they will rent the book for--and on which platform they'll use it. 7/18/2011 Campus Technology

E-readers used as textbooks at UE
Hall estimates that within the nursing field, eBooks are 20 percent cheaper than their traditional printed counterparts. Although nursing students at UE are required to purchase the eBook version of a text if it's available, those Instead, the program has for the last year used eBooks, both through computers and the iPod Touch, as a means of lowering prices, supporting sustainability and giving students an edge in the workplace. 7/16/2011 Evansville Courier & Press

West Virginia asks counties to plan for electronic textbooks
The West Virginia Board of Education has suggested that all schools in the state start taking steps toward electronic textbooks and dependable ed-tech infrastructure for the future, state education department spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro said.In encouraging a move toward electronic textbooks, West Virginia joins other states such as Florida, Texas, and Indiana.  eClassroom News 7/15/2011 

Sony aims to battle Kindle and Nook with upgraded e-readers
Sony plans to roll out a line of upgraded e-readers as early as next month, as it seeks to take market share from Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook. The number of Americans who own an e-reader doubled in the six months that ended in May, according to the Pew Research Center. Bloomberg (7/14)

How the iPad is being used at the elementary-school level
Apple iPads are a boon to education technology at the elementary-school level, says Camilla Gagliolo, the instructional technology coordinator in Arlington Public Schools in Virginia. She first employed the devices with students who have learning disabilities, before expanding their use across all elementary schools. Students in first and second grade are using the tablets to create their own multimedia books, which can be viewed online by parents and other students, Gagliolo said. T.H.E. Journal(7/11) 

How the Education Department plans to support the switch to digital
Federal education-technology czar Karen Cator, speaking at the International Society for Technology in Education conference Monday, outlined four ways in which the Education Department is aiming to support the transition from print to digital resources for schools. Among them, a new website indicates which schools across the country have broadband access, and another site offers a directory of professional networks for teachers who want to create online profiles that will be studied to determine best collaboration practices. blog (6/28)

Open Textbook Groups Join Forces
The colleges in 15 states will now be able to tap into the collection of open textbook resources compiled by the international group of institutions that make up the OpenCourseWare Consortium in a new partnership. 6/22/2011 Campus Technology

Pew study finds ebook readers more popular than tablets 
The share of adults in the United States who own an e-book reader doubled to 12% in May, 2011  from 6% in November 2010.  There is notable overlap in e-reader and tablet computer ownership – 3% of US adults own both devices.  Nine percent own an e-book reader but not a tablet, while 5% own a tablet computer but not an e-reader. 6/27/2011 Pew Internet Study

E-readers are seen making inroads in mobile-device market
Ownership of e-readers has cracked the double-digit mark in the U.S. for the first time, with 12% of surveyed adults having one of the devices as of May, according to a Pew survey. That was up sharply from 6% in November, while tablet sales saw slower growth. With basic Web search functions available on many e-readers -- which is all that many users want from their mobile devices -- e-readers are expected to increasingly take market share from tablets. MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily(6/27)

Reinventing the College Textbook
Determined to make introductory college science courses more manageable for students, two professors at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, are developing a digital textbook based on the free, open-source learning management system Moodle. 6/22/2011 Campus Technology

eText: Is It Ready? Are We Ready? 
Most of the possible implementation strategies for eText seem quite logical and are based on existing technologies that have been available to the higher education community for some time. But there is still a problem holding us back--a problem that lies in the fact that defining, combining, and implementing eText components has as yet been accomplished only on a very limited basis and by only a few "technologically entrepreneurial" institutions. Large-scale eText implementation is a task that has been identified as too daunting, too difficult, and it is the perhaps the most significant replacement ever, of an educational tradition that has served higher education well for centuries. To be successful etext should: Access (on & off line); sell at notably reduced cost; have print options; annotation exchange; analytics. 6/22/2011 Campus Technology

'TV textbooks' bring access to low-income Florida students 
Prompted by lackluster reading scores, Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Fla., is attempting to reach low-income students by turning students' televisions into learning centers. [ Read More ]

Custom curriculum publishing on the rise
In a new trend made possible by advancements in digital publishing, a number of K-12 schools and colleges are working with textbook publishers to create customized curriculum content that meets their own unique needs. [Read More]

8 ways that technology is changing school libraries
Teacher and writer Dave Saltman explains in this article eight trends for librarians and teachers who are working to increase the digital literacy of students. Among the developments, more schools are using digital catalogs that include features allowing students to share comments about particular books, while virtual libraries enable educators to compile useful online resources for students; Online research guides; Ebooks; Online alternatives to books; Note-taking tools; Dashboards; Oral reports such as by using Voicethread and Audacity. Harvard Education Letter (May/June 2011)

Is the iPad Ready To Replace the Printed Textbook?
Students would be ready to buy their own iPads for use on campus if more of the electronic textbooks they needed were available, according to surveys out of Abilene Christian University. 
After trying out the Apple iPad for a short period--about three weeks--three out of four college freshmen said they'd be willing to purchase an Apple iPad personally if at least half of the textbooks they used during their college career were available digitally, according to the results of a classroom poll at Abilene Christian University. Campus Technology 6/15/2011

Fla. schools consider mandate to implement digital texts
Educators and officials are debating the merits of new laws in Florida that will require schools to adopt digital textbooks by the 2015-16 school year. Critics of the changes, which require schools to spend 50% of their budgets set aside for textbooks on digital resources, take issue with the implementation timeline that comes as many districts are struggling under budget constraints. State officials are stressing the importance of technology in the classroom and say schools have some flexibility about how to make the switch. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (6/14)

New Kindle series lets young readers jump into classics
A new adventure series dubbed "Booksurfers" is aimed at helping young readers experience "Treasure Island" and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" through a story by David Gatward that features four children who must "jump" from Gatward's tale into the classics. The e-book will let young readers switch between the modern story and the original text of the classics. Reuters (6/13/2011)

Schools, publishers collaborate on custom curricula
A small but growing number of K-12 schools and colleges are working with textbook publishers to create customized material aligned with their curricula and delivered in print and digital formats, or both. Content can be developed to meet the unique needs of a particular group of learners or to combine the use of common standards with district curricula. eSchool News (6/10)

Scribble away with Google eBooks Doodle Mode
Google said its "The Everything Kids'" series will be the first line of ebooks to have Doodle Mode, which includes a virtual crayon that kids can use to scribble away on the page. "As the young (and young at heart) know, books aren't simply meant to be read...GMANews.TV

E-readers to help improve literacy for students who cannot hear
A Florida Montessori school for students who cannot hear or who have hearing impairments received a donation of 22 Nook e-readers from a local nonprofit group. The devices will be used to promote student literacy, which is a concern among those who cannot hear, the school's associate director Carol Downing said. " ...[W]hen we get a chance to have a book in a child's hand that immediately gets them to read, that is improving their life all around," she added. WFLA-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (6/8)

Inkling takes on digital textbooks at the college level
Inkling, a San Francisco-based startup, is creating digital versions of college textbooks for iPad tablet computers with applications including a searchable interface, quizzes and other interactive features. An Android version also is in the blog (6/8)

Blogging is used to enhance school's summer reading project
An Ohio junior high school is working to keep students reading and using critical-thinking skills during the summer. The school distributed copies of "Anything but Typical," a story about a boy with autism, to all students going into grades 6-8. The students are asked to read the book and participate in an online discussion with their classmates on a school blog. "This is sort of like the kickoff book, and hopefully by using the blog they will have friends who recommend other books," said Kadee Anstadt, director of teaching and learning. 
The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) (6/8)

More Colorado schools are using iPads in class
An increasing number of Colorado schools are choosing iPads over laptops and other mobile devices in the classroom. Educators are enthusiastic about the potential of the devices and many are researching the most effective apps for their classroom needs. A teacher at a bilingual school found that interactive books in English and Spanish cost less than their print counterparts. However, experts warn that the effectiveness of the devices will be best determined by the methods teachers develop to use them in class. The Denver Post (6/1)

Who needs a bulky textbook? 
Students at Clearwater High School in Pinellas County, Fla., don't carry backpacks with bulky textbooks anymore: This school year, students traded in their math and English books, science workbook, and several novels for the 10-ounce, 8-inch-by-5-inch electronic reader. 5/31/2011 eClassroom News

There’s also a new state mandate, which requires Florida schools to make all print textbooks digital in four years. The state Legislature passed it this year, and Gov. Rick Scott signed the measure May 26.

Department of Ed Expands on Accessibility Issues in Ed Tech
To follow up on a 2010 reminder to colleges, universities, and K-12 school districts that their instructional technology adhere to accessibility laws, the federal government has issued a new FAQ document regarding compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The FAQ contains a good amount of information concerning the use/required use of ebook devices. 5/26/2011 – Office for Civil Rights

Cambridge To Recreate Texts for iPads, iPhones
The publishing arm of the University of Cambridge will be working with an education software producer to convert three of its medical textbooks into iOS apps for use on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. 5/25/2011 Campus Technology

University e-text market shows signs of improvement
Anecdotal evidence suggests the popularity of electronic versions of books published by university presses may be on the rise. Many textbook publishers and university presses have been discouraged by the failure of e-books to gain traction among students, but the latest uptick in sales is seen as a promising sign that the market may be changing. (6/1)

iPad, Tablet Users Prefer Digital Texts 
Acceptance of digital texts is way up, especially among users of iPads and other tablets. In fact, according to research released this week, time spent reading texts in digital formats now just about equals the time spent on paper-based texts. 
More 2/25/2011

Back to the Future: The Changing Paradigm for College Textbooks and Libraries 
The debate over electronic textbooks and ever-increasing costs for traditional textbooks continues to rage. Part of these Web-Era dilemmas ironically involves the willingness to face contradictions from the university's past. 
More 5/25/2011

Survey: College students want tablets but are unsure about e-texts
About 8 in 10 college students surveyed said they believed that tablet computers were valuable for educational purposes, and most saw themselves owning a tablet in the future. Students who own tablets were even more likely to see an educational value in the devices, with 90 percent saying they thought tablets had value as educational tools. But the study also finds a disconnect between that demand and interest in digital textbooks. (5/25)

Schools use Kobo e-readers for students with visual impairments
An Illinois school district, as part of a pilot program, is using Borders' Kobo e-readers for its students with low vision and visual impairments. The e-readers allow students to select larger text sizes to read books and avoid cumbersome large-print volumes. The Kobo devices were chosen for their compatibility with the Bookshare program, which provides free access to books for students with visual disabilities. The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.) (4/29)

What schools should consider when buying e-readers
This article offers a chart that compares the price and some features of popular digital readers on the market, such as Wi-Fi and battery life. One trade-off to consider when buying an e-reader is whether the device uses E Ink, which is easier to read in direct sunlight and uses less battery power but cannot be read in the dark. eSchool News (free registration) (4/8)

Arizona State and U Michigan Try Digital Texts 
Two major institutions--Arizona State University and the University of Michigan--are giving faculty a chance to try out digital versions of textbooks; one has adopted the program, and the other is running a pilot.

Delaware high school replaces textbooks with iPads
A Delaware high school plans to replace textbooks with iPads this fall to help expose students to the technology they likely are to use in their future careers. School officials say the iPad was a good choice for the school because of its mobility, simplicity and educational applications. The Daily Times (Salisbury, Md.) (3/23)

Can e-books motivate students to read more?
An Arizona elementary school is testing a new type of book club that aims to encourage students to read more by using electronic books. The Nook Club allows sixth-grade students to use the e-reader for two weeks. One school librarian said the e-readers are not expected to replace traditional books but could help motivate students to read more. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (3/27)

ESL students in Pa. to use e-readers during summer vacation
A Pennsylvania school district will loan 75 Kindle e-readers to some students learning English and their families in the hopes of improving their literacy skills over summer vacation. "The more you read, the better your language skills become. It's true for learning a foreign language as a native language speaker and vice-versa. With so many students interested in technology, we hope this is the hook to get them into the literacy world," educator Sarah Herbert said. Public Opinion (Chambersburg, Pa.) (3/21)

Library research materials go digital
A private school in New York state turned to an all-digital reference collection after its print resources were destroyed in a campus fire. Other schools are making less dramatic transitions and discovering that research tools are now being made more user-friendly in multimedia, digital formats. T.H.E. Journal (3/21)

Federal judge rejects plans for Google digital library
A federal judge on March 22 rejected a deal between internet search leader Google Inc. and the book industry that would have put millions of volumes online, citing antitrust concerns and the need for involvement. eSchoolNews 3/23/2011

Schools, libraries aim to capitalize on students' interest in e-books
Schools and public libraries in Tennessee are hoping to promote reading by capitalizing on students' growing interest in e-books. One high school allows students to check out e-readers that are loaded with about 50 digital titles. Meanwhile, Nashville is working to develop policies and procedures for allowing students to use their own portable devices to access the school's digital resources in various electronic formats. The Tennessean (Nashville) (3/21)

Kindle, Nook lending site, eBook Fling, goes live
by David Carnoy eBook Fling allows both Kindle and Nook users to lend e-books. Membership is free. In the past month or so, a couple of e-book-lending sites, Lendle and BookLending, opened for business. Those sites cater to Kindle users. CNET (blog)

ALA President Criticizes HarperCollins Ebook Lending Policy
By Michael Kelley Mar 15, 2011 The president of the American Library Association (ALA) said in a statement on Monday HarperCollins's decision to restrict library ebook lending was a "grave concern" that threatened libraries' ability to provide access ... Library Journal

<!Using iPods To Increase Reading Comprehension

As a middle school reading specialist in Oregon's Eugene School District 4j, Marilyn Williams found that many of her middle school students weren't finishing their reading or remembering what they read. So she decided to tackle the problem with the help of iPod touch devices. THE Journal 3/15/2011 Thesis online at:

Can Tech Transcend the Textbook?
As the e-book market explodes, publishers and educators debate why e-textbooks lag behind -- and what they should even look like. Campus Technology (3/1/11)


When Textbooks and Social Media Collide

A professor at a Christian liberal arts college in Michigan puts textbooks together with social networking to get students jazzed about historical events. Campus Technology 3/9/2011

E-readers help customize lessons for Ohio students
Educators at one Ohio school say Kindle e-readers are fostering individualized learning. The devices allow reading assignments and lessons to be customized for each student, with highlighted sections and relevant definitions at the ready. "The biggest advantage of the Kindles is the ability for teachers to leave notes within the text. The Kindle will also read the book aloud and enlarge the font," teacher Sandy Gemmel said. The Cincinnati Enquirer (3/3)

Educator: Classroom technology should be about student engagement
The key reason to implement such technology as the iPad and iPod Touch in the classroom is student engagement, says Patrick McGee, the assistant principal of a Florida school. He says the technology can be used to increase productivity or involve students in activities that were uninteresting to them as a pen-and-paper process, naming iBooks, LogMeIn, KeyNote and Pages among his favorite apps. T.H.E. Journal (3/2)

Can eBooks help bridge achievement gaps?
A massive study published last spring confirmed what many educators already know: having books in the home is as significant as socioeconomic status or parents' educational level in determining the level of education children ultimately will attain. Leading to the question will ebooks have the same impact on children has physical books have had? eSchool News 3/3//2011  

Google Enters the E-Book Fray. What Does It Mean? 
When one of the country's biggest technology companies--a company that has already digitized more than 15 million volumes as part of a mission to make humanity's literary treasures available to all--decides to sell e-books, it's easy to see the move as a defining moment.

High school that gave a Kindle to every student finds success, challenges
A pilot program at Florida's Clearwater High School, which has provided every student with a Kindle e-reader this school year, is experiencing both success and challenges. The devices are enabling students to access multiple texts, take notes and study on the go. Meanwhile, administrators are working to improve technical glitches and ensure the program's future by increasing Kindle access to more traditional texts. "We feel it's had a great start," school principal Keith Mastorides said. St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) (2/26)

Textbook publishers expand e-book offerings
Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill plans to make its top 100 undergraduate titles and its medical-school tomes available on Apple's iPad using an application from Inkling. Pearson also is in talks to launch a similar project. E-textbook sales are expected to more than double to $308 million next year, with many titles accessed through tablets or e-readers.The Wall Street Journal (2/25)

iPad is part of the school-supply list at Tennessee private school
A private school in Tennessee is requiring that all students in grades 4-12 buy or lease an iPad for the 2011-12 school year. "The device comes with an easy price, is simple to use and support, and handles the vast majority of what our teachers need it to do in the classroom," the school's technology director said. The devices will be used to store digital textbooks, conduct classroom research and create interactive lessons, among other things. T.H.E. Journal (2/23)

High-school students use iPads to study Shakespeare
Students at a New York high school are taking advantage of an iPad pilot program to study Shakespeare in the classroom. Students in one English class used the iPads to read and recite scenes from "Romeo and Juliet," and were able to look up definitions, bookmark passages and take notes on the interactive devices. A related application offered students animated versions of the story and character maps to better understand the tale. "It gives us access to everything all in one place," their teacher said. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (2/21)

Harper Collins to restrict library e-book loans
Publisher HarperCollins has revised its terms for e-book loans, limiting the number of times an e-book can be licensed for checkout to 26. "HarperCollins is committed to the library channel. We believe this change balances the value libraries get from ...

Harper Collins places limits on library lending: expires at 26 times – Pics (blog)
Libraries have had to dramatically change their policies in eBook lending. After the library lends an electronic book out a total of 26 times, they will have to buy another copy. Bloggers are starting a revolt to try to eliminate this change and go ...

K-12 educators’ views on e-books 
Some summary information from a research report survey of teachers and librarians to find out how they are using e-books, personally and in the classroom, and to identify purchasing, usage, attitudes, and trends. 
2/1/2011 Tech & Learning

High-school students use iPads to study Shakespeare
Students at a New York high school are taking advantage of an iPad pilot program to study Shakespeare in the classroom. Students in one English class used the iPads to read and recite scenes from "Romeo and Juliet," and were able to look up definitions, bookmark passages and take notes on the interactive devices. A related application offered students animated versions of the story and character maps to better understand the tale. "It gives us access to everything all in one place," their teacher said. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) (2/21/2011)  a collection of books (dictionaries, plays, etc) by any other name still works.

Texas would use online materials to cut costs for textbooks
Texas schools lack the funding to replace textbooks that are up to 12 years old, even as students are preparing to take new high-stakes tests to be phased in over the next four years. State education officials are asking the legislature for $520 million to fund updates to the curriculum materials, some of which would be available online only to help mitigate the cost. "It's essential that we have the textbook funding, because if we're going to implement the new programs, we've got to have the instructional materials to make it work," one legislator said. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free registration) (2/21/2011)

Can Fla. schools make the shift to digital classrooms by 2015?
The Florida Board of Education wants all students to use digital content instead of traditional textbooks by 2015, and some schools already are beginning to transition to all-digital classrooms. However, some educators say schools need more time and resources to undertake a complete shift, and questions remain about which devices to use and how to ensure equal access for all students. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (2/19)

Student Research: Can Googling Replace $168 Intro to Psych Textbook? 
Students are taking the battle against high-priced textbooks into their own hands. This week, 11 University of Cincinnati seniors in the psychology program presented at an Educause event a comparison of the content of traditional college texts, one of which costs $168, to content they found for free on the Web.  Campus Technology 2/16/2011

Horizon Report 2011 
Electronic books are moving closer to mainstream adoption for educational institutions, having appeared on the mid-term horizon last year. Mobiles reappear as well, remaining on the near-term horizon as they become increasingly popular throughout the world as a primary means of accessing Internet resources. Resistance to the use of mobiles in the classroom continues to impede their adoption in many schools, but a growing number of institutions are finding ways to take advantage of a technology that nearly all students, faculty, and staff carry.

Could Florida schools go all-digital by 2015?
Education committees in both houses of Florida's state legislature are holding hearings today on a plan that would have the state's classrooms go all-digital by 2015. "Digital is here. We can choose to ignore it, or we can choose to embrace it," one legislator said. The five-year plan would have schools begin phasing in digital content for high-school students and then to all grades. Some legislators have expressed concerns about the costs, as well as access to technology for low-income and rural students. St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) (2/17/2011)

How teachers are using available technology to improve literacy
Rather than purchasing expensive software, some teachers say they are using technology they already have to improve students' literacy. One teacher says she uses audio recorders and PowerPoint to create vocabulary-building DVDs with audio for students to take home. In another classroom, students who watched themselves read via webcam were able to improve their fluency. Another teacher says all of her fifth-graders read at grade level or above by the end of the school year, in large part because of the use of technology. Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of (2/9/2011)

Schools face challenges in adopting digital textbooks
As more students begin to access textbooks and other resources using iPads and netbooks, educators say schools face infrastructure and budgetary challenges in adopting digital textbooks. They also face the belief by some teachers that printed materials are superior. However, some educators say the academic benefits of digital texts are too good to ignore and they are looking for the textbook industry to meet the growing demand for digital texts -- particularly customized materials.Digital Directions (premium article access compliments of (2/9/2011)

School works out details of iPad transition
A private Tennessee school that will require students to use iPads next year is still working out issues such as cost for the 1,000 iPads and transitioning teachers away from paper textbooks. "There are a handful of teachers who are still struggling with the idea of electronic books. It's certainly a personal preference," the school's technology director said. "Even people who prefer a (conventional) book see the advantages of an electronic version." The Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tenn.) (free registration) (2/6)

Will Kindles encourage students to read more?
Florida’s Clearwater high school provided all students with Kindle e-readers this year, allowing students to downsize their many paper texts into one light hand-held device. The Kindles also store more than 100 novels, many digital newspapers and other resources. Educators say they will determine at the end of the year whether the Kindles encouraged students to read more. WTVT-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (2/2/2011)

Survey: Teachers favor interactive whiteboards, e-readers
When it comes to classroom technology, teachers favor interactive whiteboards, tablet-style e-reader devices and laptops, according to a national survey on teachers' digital media use conducted by PBS and Grunwald Associates. About 62% of teachers said they frequently use digital media in the classroom, though much of what they use is free or paid for out-of-pocket. More than three-quarters of teachers also said they are using streaming video in class, up from 55% in 2007. eSchool News (2/2/2011)

New Study Shows How ebooks Have Changed the Reading Landscape
In a recent study to understand how portable, multi-function devices or MFDs (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android devices, etc) are changing consumer book reading habits, consumers who utilized these devices expressed a tremendous affinity for them, struggling to come up with any significant shortcomings to reading ebooks on them. These consumers also revealed their specific preference for MFDs, usage occasions and their ebook purchasing habits.  The study found that the top three reasons users prefer reading on their device as opposed to a hard copy book are the convenience it offers (80%), the ease of purchasing ebooks (61%) and the backlit screen (41%). Moreover, the three most common occasions for reading on MFDs are: while traveling (72%), while waiting for an appointment (72%) and while relaxing (70%). 
PR Newswire (press release)  1/31/2011

Is the iPad the textbook of the future?
More textbook publishers are offering resources for the iPad as they consider whether such tablet devices are the future of textbooks. Publishers are piloting iPad programs nationwide and Pearson Education Inc. has developed a complete social-studies curriculum for the iPad in partnership with Virginia. Although the iPad has "a wow factor," publishers say they will use the best technology available. "There are a lot of other mobile options, but if the iPad suddenly emerges as an educational device, we'll use it," a Houghton Mifflin executive said. The Boston Globe (free registration) (1/31)

Report: University students prefer iPad to textbooks
Students at the University of Notre Dame say they were more interested in courses and learned more during a yearlong study in which they swapped textbooks for iPads. "We wanted to understand how or if the iPad changed the way students read, studied, participated, took notes, etc.," a report on the Notre Dame study states. "We also anticipated that students would 'invent' ways of using the iPad to improve their course engagement." Other universities also are testing similar programs. PC Magazine (1/24),2817,2376165,00.asp

Cerritos College Experiments with Custom Textbooks
A community college in Southern California will begin introducing custom textbooks into its courses as a way to reduce textbook expense for its students and to provide additional curriculum. Under the arrangement, instructors in the Humanities and Social Sciences division will have the option starting with the spring 2011 semester to create a print-only customized text or a digital version. The custom textbooks can include materials from multiple resources--both print- and open source-based--as well as content written by instructors such as introductory letters, information about academic clubs for that discipline area, course descriptions, and other elementsCampus Technology01/26/2011

Amazon's Kindle Launches New Virtual Library, a new, free website, brings a new twist to the offline lending library concept. Founded by Catherine MacDonald on Dec. 30, 2010, the provides a platform to browse, lend and request hundreds of thousands of Kindle ebook titles.  Gadgets 1/25/2011  - a new kind of lending library

Florida or Ghana, eReading innovators face the same challenges
Worldreader, an eReader nonprofit with a project in Ghana, and Clearwater High School in Florida, who also have an eReader project, have found they are facing many of the same challenges, reports ReadWriteWeb. The kids each group serves are radically different in income and expectations. But they are quite similar in character. The administrators of both projects have passed out Amazon Kindle eReaders to large groups of students with the intent of piquing interest in reading and providing a library’s worth of access. Among the biggest challenges shared by both? Kids are born hackers. When Susan Moody, the marketing honcho for Worldreader, and John Just, Pinella County School District’s Assistant Superintendent of MIS, compared notes, they found that a substantial minority of eReader users had replaced their official academic Kindle accounts with personal ones, allowing them to download off-canon literature. 1/24/2011 NY Times

Florida school board calls for textbooks to go digital
Florida's Board of Education wants the state to approve only digital instructional materials by the 2014-15 school year, and for districts to spend half of their textbook money on digital resources. The board's proposal is included in its legislative package this year, which also seeks more rigorous standards and development of a merit-pay law for teachers. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (1/18),0,5002742.story

Educators: Kindle e-readers encourage students to read
Fifth-graders at a Oneida, NY elementary school have become more excited about reading since teachers began using Amazon Kindle e-readers in the classroom. The Kindles are equipped with digital dictionaries, allowing students to look up words, and some e-books are programmed to read the book aloud while students follow along. "If we can get them excited about reading at this age, it creates a lifelong reader and this is the technology that's going to be in their future," one teacher said. The Oneida Daily Dispatch (N.Y.) (1/12/2011)



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Some Minnesota students trade paperbacks for e-readers
Some Minnesota schools, through funding from nonprofit education foundations, are trading paperback books for Kindle and Nook e-readers to better engage students. One gifted class conducted an informal survey last year and found students preferred reading with the digital devices. "They liked the portability of it ... and they liked the novelty of it," their teacher said. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (1/11)


 Iowa's Buena Vista U Rolls Out iPad Pilot
Buena Vista University will be experimenting with Apple iPads during the spring 2011 semester. The university, located in Storm Lake, IA, has about 1,100 students. The iPad pilot program is a part of an ongoing research project to evaluate the use of e-readers to support student learning.1/11/2011 Campus Technology

College Students Prefer Print Textbooks To eBook Textbooks
The Book Industry Study Group has released the results of a 2010/2011 survey it conducted, called "Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education." Among the findings are that 75% of college students say they prefer textbooks in printed rather than e-text form, citing print’s look and feel, as well as its permanence and ability to be resold.  Some college students do prefer e-texts. About 12% of the students surveyed said they liked the lower cost, convenience, and portability of e-texts. The majority of survey respondents (60%) said they place high value on core textbooks--whether printed or electronic--most of which continue to be purchased at the college bookstore (65%). One-fifth of students said they purchased textbooks from And 11% of students said they preferred renting textbooks to buying them. Information is available at


Cost-cutting move to online texts faces obstacles
Some Washington state officials say money could be saved by eliminating paper texts at community colleges and transitioning to online classroom resources. The Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges has received a $750,000 matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop such resources. Educators, however, say they are having difficulties finding resources that would cost $30 or less -- a goal of the initiative -- and finding material that encompasses the needs of all learners. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free content) (1/9/2011)


Can choosing an uglier font help students learn?
Making material more difficult to read might help students learn, according to a recent study that showed using disfluent fonts on PowerPoint presentations and other classroom materials could improve achievement. Researchers found that by making material harder to read, students had to pay more attention to the information -- and ultimately their learning improved. Wall Street Journal columnist Jonah Lehrer writes that it could affect how schools use e-readers. The Wall Street Journal/Ideas Market blog (1/8) This could be added as an optional font for those that needed it in ereaders. Although you might not want to increase the cognitive load too much, if all the effort goes in to reading there could be a loss for processing.


Pocket Books 
For most of our product roundups, we at Tech & Learning talk with technology or curriculum directors. When it came to e-readers, however, we found ourselves speaking to librarians and English teachers. And though it was a challenge to find schools doing full-scale implementations, we heard about many small pilot tests and other creative ways to finance a handful of e-readers for classrooms and libraries. January 4, 2011 Technology & Learning


Could free online resources replace textbooks?
Officials in the Sanford school district in Maine hope to one day replace textbooks with online resources to save money on textbooks. Recently, however, schools were unable to increase technology spending because of tight budgets. One state official said many online resources are free and have the added benefit of being updated frequently -- compared with traditional textbooks that can become outdated quickly. (Maine) (1/4)


Future of eReading: Following your eyes?
As eReading devices and the software that runs them become more advanced in an increasingly competitive market, researchers are creating applications that could take reading to a whole new level, with tools such as Text 2.0--a reading technology. 1/2/2011 eClassroom News


Can eBooks help bridge achievement gaps?
As more traditional book content goes digital, educators are left wondering whether technology will make achievement gaps even wider--or whether electronic books might act as a bridge for students traditionally hamstrung by family circumstances and issues beyond teacher control. 1/3/2011 eSchool News


Toronto schools hope to save money with online textbooks
The school board in Toronto, Canada, is considering moving to digital textbooks by 2015 to fight the problem of outdated textbooks in classrooms and to cut costs. Some American history textbooks, for instance, identify Bill Clinton as the president of the United States. The school board now spends $8 million each year on textbooks and officials say they could save as much as $50 million over a decade if textbooks are digitized. Toronto Sun(1/3/2011)


Kindle passes "Harry Potter" book as Amazon's best-selling item said the latest version of its Kindle e-reader is its best-selling item ever, surpassing the seventh and final volume of the "Harry Potter" series. One analyst said Kindle price cuts likely ignited sales. (12/27/2010)


Students use iPod Touch devices to improve reading fluency
Third- and fourth-grade students at a Nebraska elementary school are using iPod Touch devices to improve their reading skills. During regularly scheduled reading blocks, students use the devices to record themselves reading and then listen to their recordings -- scoring themselves on their performance using a rubric. Students also listen to each other's recordings and assign scores. "The goal is to increase fluency because research says fluent readers are better at comprehension and understanding of what they are reading," one teacher said. York News-Times (York, Neb.) (12/20/2010) Real interactive ebook reading


What website has replaced textbooks in a Tennessee classroom?
A Tennessee elementary-school teacher uses the website WatchKnow -- rather than textbooks -- to access free educational videos and slide shows. The Internet search engine has been available since 2008 and now includes 22,000 videos. "What I discovered, especially in the area of science and social studies, is that those children aren't learning out of a book anymore," fifth-grade teacher Kerry Matthews said. The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) (free registration) (12/17)


Harvard researchers report on cultural trends using digital books
Harvard University researchers have developed a digital "fossil record" of humanity based on their study of 5.2 million online books -- discovering which words appear most frequently. Researchers accessed the books through Google, which has 15 million online books and used their data to quantify cultural trends. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free content) (12/16)

Survey: Most teachers pay out of pocket for e-books
The price of electronic books and e-readers may be keeping many teachers from using them in the classroom, according to a recent survey. A report found that school librarians were more likely to use e-books because, in most cases, they were paid for by the school. However, among teachers who purchased e-books, 70% say they had to pay for the books themselves. Education Week/Digital Education blog (12/14)


Publishers add interactive features to books for young readers
Publishers are creating books designed to appeal to children by turning reading into a multichannel experience. Scholastic is one of the first companies to sell the books, beginning with the series "39 Clues," which includes a website that makes readers part of the story. National Public Radio (text and audio) (12/15) melding virtual and print

Teacher: iPad applications engage students in reading
Three schools in a Kentucky district are testing the use of iPods, iPads or both in the classroom. One fourth-grade teacher says she's used iPads largely for reading instruction. During a recent class, students used the iPad application "Doodle Buddy" for a lesson on character traits, and the students also maintain a blog using the devices. "It takes a lot of work on my part just in terms of researching which apps will be useful to us and how we want to incorporate them, but at the same time it's saved me time because the kids are so excited," the teacher said. The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) (12/8)


Google's digital bookstore makes its debut
Google unveiled its long-awaited e-bookstore on Monday, offering hundreds of thousands of digital titles for sale and millions more free of charge as it gears up to compete head-on with Amazon and Apple for a piece of the $1 billion e-books market. Consumers can read digital titles from Google eBooks on computers, iPads and other devices and switch from one gadget to another without losing their place. The Wall Street Journal (12/6)

Survey suggests college students still tepid on eBooks
College students’ reluctance to use the nontraditional textbooks remains, if a new national survey is any indication. One in 10 college students said they have bought an electronic book in the past three months, and 56 percent of those who had purchased an eBook said it was for educational purposes, according to a study released last month by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) OnCampus Research Division. eCampus News 11/11/2010

Universities add open eBooks to iTunes U
Rice University has joined Oxford University and The Open University in contributing free, open eBooks to the iTunes U web site, using the burgeoning EPUB format that lets students read eBooks on a variety of eReader devices becoming more prevalent in higher education.  11/10/2010 eCampus News


Survey: Teachers choose technology over textbooks
A recent U.K. survey finds that nearly 70% of teachers believe that classroom technology is more important to teaching and student learning than the use of textbooks, and about 30% of teachers believe textbooks will eventually disappear from classrooms. The joint survey by the e-Learning Foundation and the Times Educational Supplement also finds that teachers assume that students have access to the Internet at home, which may leave those without such access at a disadvantage. Telegraph (London) (11/12/2010)


Opinion: Children need both digital and print books
There need not be a battle between digital and print books for students, writes Gabrielle E. Miller, the national executive director for the nonprofit Raising a Reader. Each option has benefits for young readers and both are needed to ensure that children are comfortable with e-book technology as well as with the simple act of reading a book. The Washington Post/The Answer Sheet blog (11/6)

eBooks moving up in markets
The latest 
US book industry sales figures from the Association of American Publishers show ebooks are now tracking at 9% of domestic trade book revenue for the 8-month period January to August 2010, up from 3.3% market share for the same period in 2009 and up from 1.12% of trade sales in calendar 2008.  eReport 10/18/2010 ebooks become more familiar to the public, we should expect to see pressure for growth use in schools.

Colleges Switch To EBooks To Cut Costs Even Though Students Prefer Traditional Textbooks
In an effort to help cut costs, some colleges have come up with a new model where students are required to pay a course materials fee that covers the costs of eBooks. According to eCampus News, Florida's Daytona State College is working towards being a "100 percent" eBook campus. The school is negotiating with publishers so that students can purchase electronic textbooks for $20 each. Additionally, the school will also offer affordable eReaders to the students. The goal of the initiative, said officials, is to reduce annual textbook costs by 50 to 80 percent. 10/25/2010

21st Century Classroom: Transforming the Textbook
In 21st century classrooms, blackboard chalk is on the endangered list, the pop quiz has been replaced with clicker questions, and bowling alley technology (overhead projector transparencies) has disappeared, thanks to digital projectors and document cameras. But if you're going to point to any aspect of the classroom that still hasn't covered much ground on its trip into the 21st century, it has to be the textbook.  In a world rich with alternative delivery content methods that are exemplified by digitized conversation, Google books, the Kindle and iPad, the textbook is the next classroom tool worthy of transformation. Read about how two school districts on opposite sides of the country and the economic spectrum are leading the charge to move digital delivery of information to students, resulting in lower textbooks costs and achieving 1-to-1 computing goals. THE Journal 
1:1 Computing Programs on the Rise with Netbooks Leading Adoption

iPads and netbooks are beginning to make significant inroads into K-12 education. According to the results of an ed tech survey released Monday by the National School Boards Association, 16 percent of schools that have 1:1 computing initiatives are incorporating iPads into their programs, while more than twice that number--35 percent--indicated they're incorporating netbooks into the mix. THE Journal 10/19/2010  I would expect that this would Increase the pressure to use more ebooks in schools that have this tech.

Will better digital texts require bandwidth upgrades?
Many schools lack the technology infrastructure necessary to upgrade their digital textbooks to more multimedia-rich texts, experts say. "Right now, as long as all we're doing is PDF files, the bandwidth and infrastructure in Virginia isn't going to be a problem," one official said. "But we're going to see books become multimedia extravaganzas, and the minute that happens, then suddenly the bandwidth is going to be pitiful." Education Week (premium article access compliments of (10/20)

Enhanced eBooks could entice a new generation of readers
The electronic book reader has turned the book industry on its head is well known. Younger readers are no longer content to thumb through a printed book. The 21st century iPad generation wants interaction and variety. Talk of the "ebook" that has dominated in recent years has given way in 2010 to excited chatter about the so-called "enhanced ebook", a mixture of the traditional book, audio, video and game.
Yahoo! News 10/6/2010

Social Networking Meets Reading
Billed as the industry's first "social e-reading experience," the Kobo app will also be the first e-reader integrated with RIM's BBM Social Platform. THE Journal 10/6/2010


IPads replace textbooks in some Va. classrooms
Four Virginia school districts are taking part in a pilot program to trade textbooks for iPad tablet computers this year through a pilot program called "Beyond Textbooks.". Students are using interactive lessons and supplemental materials such as videos and maps on the devices to learn history and other subjects normally taught from textbooks. Many teachers say their students are more engaged with the interactive lessons, but state officials will wait on results of the experiment before deciding to expand the program. WSET-TV (Lynchburg, Va.) (9/29) The Roanoke Times (Va.) (9/30)


Electronic books might encourage students to read
E-books might encourage more students to read, according to a recent study that found 57% of students were interested in reading books on electronic devices. About one-third of students said they would be more likely to read using e-books, the study found. However, the 2010 Kids and Family Reading Report also revealed concerns among parents that mobile devices and other technology would lessen the amount of time students spend with family or engaging in physical activity.Google/The Associated Press (9/29) Reuters (9/29)

Survey: Children like eBooks, parents not so much 
Children and teens are ready to try eBooks, with some thinking that a bigger selection of electronic texts would make reading for fun even more fun, according to a new study. But a majority of parents are not yet ready. Around 6 out of 10 of those between ages 9 and 17 say they’re interested in reading on an electronic device such as the Kindle or the iPad (n=1045). Around 1/3  from the same age group say they’d read more “for fun” if more books were available on a digital reader. 9/29/2010 eSchool News


Handwritten Greek texts to be available online
The British Library will make many of its handwritten Greek texts available online for free. The library has 1,000 volumes in its collection, and plans to post more than 25% of them. Library operators say the texts will be more accessible and more widely read if available on the Internet. Yahoo!/The Associated Press (9/27)


Are electronic textbooks ready for takeoff?
People have been expecting electronic textbooks to take off in a big way: They're cheaper than traditional textbooks, easier to carry around in a backpack, and seem like a natural progression for students who have grown up playing and working with digital devices. Despite all that, traditional textbooks have prevailed — until now. The game changer, according to Matt MacInnis, may be a little thing called the iPad. National Public Radio (text and audio) (9/17)

More students buying ebooks instead of traditional texts
Tom Stanton, director of communications at McGraw-Hill Education, based in New York City, said the company has offered ebooks to colleges and universities across America for 10 years. Right now it offers 1,300 higher education ebooks and plans to offer all its textbooks in digital format in the future, while still offering materials in print form. Recently there has been a "dramatic increase in demand" of ebooks, Stanton said. Digital books make up a small yet growing percentage of the company's yearly overall revenue in higher education sales, he said.  Citizens Voice 9/20/2010


Kindle e-book readers replace some textbooks at Fla. school
A Florida high school will replace some student textbooks with Amazon Kindle e-book readers as part of a pilot program that at least one student says will motivate his peers to study more. The devices will have electronic textbooks for math, English and some science courses. "Kids love their technology. We wanted to tap into that," the school's principal said. The Tampa Tribune (Fla.) (9/16)


 Virginia State Moves to Digital Textbooks in Business Program

Virginia State University recently purchased a digital site license for textbooks from Flat World Knowledge to be used in business courses. In place of traditional textbooks, students enrolled in the university's School of Business will be using the alternative publisher's books in digital formats. 9/15/2010 Campus Technology



 U Texas San Antonio Opens Bookless Library

The University of Texas at San Antonio may be able to claim a first: The recently opened Applied Engineering and Technology Library has no printed books in its collections--not a single one, other than those brought in by students and faculty.

9/15/2010 Campus Technology


 Put an e-book in every backpack: Kindles would save cash
As evidence of how the market for books has gone digital, Amazon now sells more ebooks than traditional hardcovers and paperbacks, and it provides access to more current information. The big savings come as we replace more books electronically for a much lower price than the hard copy. The best reason to switch to e-textbooks, however, is that they simply are a smarter way to teach in the 21st century.
New York Daily News 9/13/2010 Read more:

California tests use of iPad as replacement for textbooks
Four California school districts, along with education firm Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, are testing the effects of interactive digital technology on teaching through a program that replaces the algebra textbooks of 400 eighth-graders with Apple iPads. Students will be provided a digital version of their textbook and instructional videos, allowing teachers more time to help individuals. The Hill/Hillicon Valley blog (9/8)

Long Beach schools teaching algebra with iPads
Washington Middle and Hudson K-8 schools in California at both schools, about 150 eighth-graders in four classes were provided with iPads loaded with a digital interactive Algebra I textbook to use this school year. Long Beach Press-Telegram 9/9/2010

Report: E-Readers, LMS Driving Growth in Higher Ed Mobile Learning
Although it's still a small segment of the overall ed tech market in the United States, mobile learning is growing in colleges and universities. According to new data released by market research firm Ambient Insight this week, that growth is projected to be in the double digits in terms of dollar expenditures through 2014, driven by e-readers and mobile versions of learning management systems. Campus Technology 8/31/2010

E-books fail the classroom test
seven US colleges, including two business schools tested the online retailer’s large-screen Kindle DX e-book reader. Although the device allowed students to highlight text and make notes, many complained that it was difficult to use these features and said the Kindle was more suitable for casual reading than for the classroom.  
Apple's iPad 9/5/2010 Financial Times 

E-readers replace textbooks for all students at Florida high school
Students at Florida's Clearwater High School are using Kindle e-readers instead of textbooks this year as part of a new initiative. The students will have access to all of their texts on the district-owned Kindles, as well as additional features that allow them to take notes and highlight text as well as access word definitions and text-to-speech technology. The school opted for e-readers over laptops because of the lower cost, which is roughly equal to the price of two textbooks, the principal said. T.H.E. Journal


Are open textbooks gaining momentum in higher ed?

Officials from open-license textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge say more than 1,300 instructors at 800 colleges and universities will use their books this fall semester—doubling the 400 institutions that used Flat World texts a year ago. 8/26/2010 eCampus News


Principal promotes plan to use iPads in middle-school classrooms
The principal of a Pennsylvania middle school is proposing a two-year pilot program that would have six teachers and about 120 students using iPad tablet computers in the classroom. "With the iPad, our students would be able to jump on at any point to do a quick search or even use apps pertinent to what they are learning," Principal David Muench said, adding that the devices could also cut classroom-material costs including textbooks. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (9/2)

Report: E-Readers, LMS Driving Growth in Higher Ed Mobile Learning  Although it's still a small segment of the overall ed tech market in the United States, mobile learning is growing in colleges and universities. According to new data released by market research firm Ambient Insight this week, that growth is projected to be in the double digits in terms of dollar expenditures through 2014, driven by e-readers and mobile versions of learning management systems. Campus Technology 8/31/2010

CK-12 Foundation now offering FlexBook titles in ePub format for iPad use
CK-12 Foundation, working to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market in the U.S. and worldwide, is now offering beta versions of select FlexBook titles in ePub format for use with iPads from which can be downloaded and installed to iBooks using iTunes.


The ABCs of E-Reading: New Devices Are Changing Habits. People Are Reading More, Even While in a Kayak 
A study of 1,200 e-reader owners by Marketing and Research Resources Inc. found that 40% said they now read more than they did with print books. Of those surveyed, 58% said they read about the same as before while 2% said they read less than before. And 55% of the respondents in the May study, paid for by e-reader maker Sony Corp., thought they'd use the device to read even more books in the future. The study looked at owners of three devices: Inc.'s Kindle, Apple Inc.'s iPad and the Sony Reader. Some 11 million Americans are expected to own at least one digital reading gadget by the end of September, estimates Forrester Research. U.S. e-book sales grew 183% in the first half of this year compared with the year-earlier period, according to the Association of American Publishers. 
8/25/2010 Wall Street Journal


Textbooks for iPad progress with Inkling
Inkling (free) Is  a "textbook platform" for the iPad that uses social connectivity and the features of the iOS in a unique and interesting way. A unique feature lets you highlight text and create notes which can be shared over the air with fellow students or teachers. Once a note is displayed on another person's iPad, s/he can respond to the note's author. (blog) 8/23/2010


Texas schools see student access as one barrier to e-textbooks
School districts in Texas had the freedom to purchase educational technology with textbook funds for the first time this year, and yet many still favored printed materials. A lack of access to computers and the Internet for all students is among the barriers schools face when looking to increase the use of e-textbook technology, experts say. Austin American-Statesman (Texas) (free registration) (8/21)


e-Textbooks are on the way, but not dominant in classrooms yet

The digital revolution is slowly working its way into classrooms, reports the Austin American-Statesman—but when it comes to the e-textbook, schools haven’t quite arrived at the date when students can stop carrying printed textbooks around. For this first time, school districts in Texas had the option for the 2010-11 school year to decide what percentage of their textbooks were electronic or printed and could use textbook money to purchase things such as electronic devices or supplemental web-based educational materials. eSchool News (8/23)

Startup aims to make digital textbooks mainstream
While e-books are exploding in a host of genres, e-textbooks are falling behind. Inkling, a startup begun by a former Apple employee, is one of several new companies that are adapting textbooks for the iPad. The key, these companies say, is creating interactive texts that eschew big blocks of black-and-white text in favor of color pages and video that make the most of touch-screen technology. The Wall Street Journal


Questions still hang over the Taiwanese-American company that makes over 90% of the e-paper display, including the readiness of the marketplace to dispense with paper-based reading, in favor of relatively unfamiliar eReaders.
8/20/2010| AP | 


eTextbooks: Never mind iPad and eReaders, PCs still dominant

There are many benefits to students accessing their textbooks electronically, such as shared highlights and search capabilities. Surprisingly, though, it’s not the iPad and other eReaders that are driving the eTextbook market, but PCs and netbooks, ReadWriteWeb reports.  8/18/2010 New York Times

Lawmaker to push for open online textbooks 
While college professors and book publishers must abide by new rules aimed at reducing the cost of textbooks, the law's sponsor says he will push for another bill that would encourage the creation of open source textbooks. 7/27/2010 eCampus News [ Read More ]


Amazon Says E-Book Sales Outpace Hardcovers Inc. said it reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks over the past three months. "That is dramatic evidence of how powerful the e-book is now," said Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney.  Wall Street Journal 7/20/2010


Barnes & Noble to debut free textbook software
Barnes & Noble is launching NOOKStudy -- free software that gives students a place to store e-textbooks, study guides and other class materials on their PCs and Macs. The software, set to debut in August, has been tested in schools by students and teachers. (7/12)


SC magnet school to launch with 1:1 and digital texts

Whale Branch Early College High School, which opens in the fall, will offer ubiquitous computing, digital textbooks and post-secondary degrees. 6/16/2010 K12 Computing Blueprint


Whale Branch High students to get laptops, digital books
Instead of lugging heavy books through the halls, students attending Whale Branch Early College High School this fall will carry portable computers equipped with digital textbooks. 4/26/2010 Beaufort Gazette
Read more:

Reading assessments are done with iPod Touch at Oregon school
Teachers at an Oregon elementary school are using iPod Touch devices to administer reading assessments to their students. Using the devices, paid for by federal stimulus money, students read aloud and teachers follow along, using an iPod Touch to identify reading mistakes. What teachers mark on the device is transmitted to district computers. The assessment is more in-depth and diagnostic than previous tests, educators said. Statesman-Journal (Salem, Ore.) (free registration) (3/31) – not really reading with technology, but a great assessment of reading strategy


Educators consider effect of Apple's iPad on e-reading
The launch of Apple's iPad -- a mobile device that blends features of a smartphone and a laptop -- could pave the way for the use of digital books in education. The device, expected to have a starting price of about $500, offers more color capabilities than previous e-readers, some educators say. "I think this changes the picture for e-books considerably," says Larry Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium. "This has a lot of potential for higher education. ... [Apple] has really seemed to think through the book experience." eSchool News/The Associated Press (free registration) (1/28)


How to help students evaluate online news, information
Students can be inundated with information online, and should be taught how to determine fact from fiction when searching for news and information online. The News Literacy Project offers tips to help students evaluate what they read. Students should consider whether they are reading an opinion column, news article or blog post, think critically about what they are reading, recognize bias, use Wikipedia with caution and double-check information using reliable Web sites, such as or Snopes.comEdutopia magazine (4/2010)

Studies: E-readers are useful, but students miss traditional note-taking
This is a common issue for ereaders, if they are to be effective as textbooks it is necessary that there be some kind of annotation system. (2/23)

Ebooks Take Longer to Read: iPad and Kindle Vs Real Books
Some interesting news, a recent study by Jakob Nielsen found that it takes longer to read a book as an ebook on devices compared to printed text. CNN/Mashable 7/5/2010
Jakob Nielsen summary results 
Zealot’s issues with the study


Department of Ed Lays Down Law on Kindle E-Reader Usage
The United States Department of Education and Department of Justice have just issued a reminder calling for colleges and universities--as well as K-12 school districts--to make sure devices such as e-readers that are required in the classroom comply with accessibility laws. The federal action came on the heels of a settlement agreement made by Justice with five institutions that were running Amazon Kindle e-book readers as pilot programs. According to the agencies, Kindle devices aren't accessible to students who are blind or have low vision. CampusTechnology 6/30/2010


Feds: Make eReaders accessible to all students 
The federal government will help schools and colleges using eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle to comply with laws giving students with disabilities equal access to emerging education technologies. eSchool News 6/30/2010


Departments of Education and Justice Letter
Stresses the responsibility of colleges and universities to use accessible eReaders DOJ/DOE 6/29/2010 
As officials of the agencies charged with enforcement and interpretation of the ADA and Section 504, we ask that you take steps to ensure that your college or university refrains from requiring the use of any electronic book reader, or other similar technology, in a teaching or classroom environment as long as the device remains inaccessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision. It is unacceptable for universities to use emerging technology without insisting that this technology be accessible to all students.”  This is actually not any different than the requirement such as for physical textbooks, we should always have options and make accommodations.


E Ink Announces Pearl: Next Generation eBook Reader Display Platform
Display developer E Ink has updated its electronic ePaper display technology with a new version that reportedly offers a 50% greater contrast ratio. Tablet PC Review 7/1/2010


Amazon launches lower-priced Kindle DX
Amazon has released the newest version of its Kindle DX e-reader, cutting the price from $489 to $379. The device has gotten mixed reviews as a textbook replacement in education. At one university, students complained about the lack of a touch screen and said that any device should have a browser built in. An executive from a textbook publisher said he does not expect e-readers to replace textbooks soon. "When you take away color from a biology textbook, it sort of kills it," he said.The Wall Street Journal (7/2) - I'm still waiting for the $100 barrier to be broken.

Study explores the future of digital libraries 
Reluctant faculty members, challenges in scanning old texts, and conflicting ideas about whether information should be commodified or made free online have been barriers to educators and librarians who advocate for digital libraries. eCampus News 6/16/2010 |


Could the iPad become a valuable tool to improve student learning?
Envision Schools founder Bob Lenz, fresh from a conference on innovation and technology in education, considers in this blog post the role the iPad and other new technology will play in the future of student learning. Lenz sees the iPad -- in perhaps its next generation -- as a low-cost way to expand student access to books, research and other media and envisions a time when teachers may create apps instead of paper handouts or assignments posted on the Lenz's blog (6/9) I’ve always felt that anything that can expose more students to more books must be a good thing.


Not everyone ready for the digital textbook revolution 
Even though iPhones and BlackBerries abound: Research and a recent pilot program that put eReaders in college students’ hands suggest that most students aren't ready to read their textbooks electronically.  6/9/2010 eSchool News   


Sony: ebooks to overtake print within five years
Sales of ebooks will overtake print books within the next five years, Sony has predicted.  | reminds me of film photography – I remember the thoughts about that when digital cameras came out.


Florida high school trading textbooks for eReader devices

Clearwater High School next year will replace traditional textbooks with eReader devices, reports the St. Petersburg Times. The gadgets will be fully loaded with all the textbooks students need, minus all the paper. For rising junior Bennie Niles, 17, it could mean accessing English, math, and physics texts via a handheld device more on par with the technology he and his peers use every day. 6/2/2010 | St. Petersburg Times

Nonprofit tech group eyes $100 tablet computer for students
The nonprofit group One Laptop Per Child, which sought to create $100 laptops for poor students, is starting a new initiative: to offer tablet computers for under $100 to schools and health care institutions. The tablet computers would be equipped with video cameras, touch screens and Wi-Fi access. Google/The Associated Press (5/27)


Improving student learning with iPod technology
One California educator's idea to use student recordings on iPod devices to assess and improve reading fluency among English-language learners has grown into a successful nationwide program used in more than 100 K-8 classrooms, Milton Chen writes in this Edutopia blog post. The iREAD -- I Record Educational Audio Digitally -- program is just one example of how teachers and schools are using relatively low-cost iPod applications and technology to help boost achievement and excite students about reading, writing, math and more, Chen writes. Chen's blog (5/17)


Classroom incorporates technology ahead of Texas e-textbook plan
Texas officials are considering adopting digital textbooks for the state's schools as soon as next school year, but some educators are already incorporating technology to improve classroom lessons. One kindergarten class researched animals on the Internet and created digital drawings and voice-overs of short stories using computers. The teacher said she and her students also use the Internet to find the most recent information that is not contained in printed textbooks. KXAN-TV (Austin, Texas) (5/18) 
 eBook restrictions vex users 
As more and more eReading devices flood the market, users are beginning to feel the restrictions imposed by copyright and digital rights management (DRM)—restrictions that some fear could hold back the use of eBooks in education. [ 
Read More ]


Why universities should hate the iPad

If students embrace textbooks on the iPad, college bookstores might go away. As the higher-education industry plans for a future involving digital content delivery to devices college bookstores themselves  might become a thing of the past.

CNN Money 6/17/2010 |  

Reminds me of a book I just read about the changeover from scribes to printed books and how many fought to keep scribing and how a book was written on the topic – which was printed because of ease and speed of distribution.


Restrictions complicate educational use of e-books
Some doubt the feasibility of using e-books in education because of tight rules on copyright and digital rights management that limit how users are able to view and share digital content. Most e-readers -- including Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and the Sony Reader -- do not allow for the transfer of purchased books to other devices, and some publishers have declined to make their textbooks available digitally because of the restrictions. eSchool News (5/11)


Online textbooks let students share notes across the globe 
Florida State College at Jacksonville faculty have created 20 electronic textbooks that are accessible on a free online platform that lets students take notes in the margins, search for key terms, and share notes with... [ Read More ]


U Cincinnati and OhioLINK Research Digital Textbook Adoption
An Ohio research project is investigating just how students would prefer to get the text for their courses--whether in hard copy form, in versions suitable for mobile devices, or in some other digital format.


Florida House opens door for more technology in classrooms

House Bill 623 was approved by the House 112-2 on April 26 and is expected to give public school districts the latitude to purchase devices such as e-readers and other technology for delivering digital content to students. 4/26/2010 Tampa Bay Business Journal


Online books let college students earn credit-and cash 
Nineteen business majors are trying to sell the idea of free online textbooks to their professors in an internship program that pushes open content technology designed to counter escalating book costs.... [ eSchool News 2/23/10 Read More ]


Educators are wary of switching to digital texts in Texas
Policymakers in Texas are promoting a switch to digital textbooks in the state's schools, but some educators remain skeptical. Officials say they will ensure that electronic media used in schools complies with state academic standards, but some educators are worried about maintaining quality and ensuring equal access. "Some of the headaches that come with computers won't be any cheaper than traditional textbooks," the state's school board chairwoman said. The Dallas Morning News (4/19)


NYU Tries Digital Textbooks
In an effort to give students a greater choice in textbook ordering, New York University's four bookstores have been experimenting with the sale of digital textbooks this school year. 4/12/2010

School in rural Minnesota to buy iPads for all students
A rural Minnesota school is planning to provide an Apple iPad to each of its students next year as part of a technology upgrade. The school is adding wireless Internet throughout its buildings and will provide training for teachers and students in the new technology. "It's a tool to use in the classroom for learning, and the teachers are still going to be facilitators with outcomes and expectations," the principal said.WCCO-TV (Minneapolis) (4/12)


Texas governor promotes switch to digital textbooks
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is suggesting that schools begin replacing traditional textbooks with digital content, to allow students to have access to the most up-to-date information. Perry promoted the switch to digital texts in his speech at a computer-gaming education conference, supporting the notion that students learn through technology. Bloomberg BusinessWeek/The Associated Press (4/7)


Many iPad applications may be tools for educators
More than 150,000 applications for Apple's iPad are now available for download, and many have been designed for students and teachers. One application offers students a visual exploration of the periodic table, and one sponsored by the language-learning site allows users to study Spanish or connect with native speakers of that and other languages. One application offers users free access to a digital library of about 4,000 children's books in more than 50 languages. eSchool News(free registration) (4/5)

Every year, the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative produce an edition of the Horizon Report. The main purpose of the report is to identify academic applications of emerging technologies. Each report features six technologies and categorizes them into adoption horizons. An adoption horizon is a rough timeframe when the emerging technology is expected to reach mainstream adoption in higher education. There are three adoption horizons, each comprised of two technologies. In the 2010 report they identified Electronic books, or e-books, to be adopted on the two to three year horizon. E-books are digital books that can be viewed with readers like the Kindle, and the Nook. The report describes them as “. . . a cost-effective and portable alternative to heavy textbooks and supplemental reading selections.”  Several obstacles need to be overcome before electronic books will be ready for mainstream academic use. People are not used to the “feel” of electronic readers and still prefer to use traditional books. Another obstacle is standardization. There are a number of e-book readers and all titles are not available for all readers. Few textbooks are available as e-books, but the number is growing. According to the report, Amazon now has over 30,000 academic titles. Over time, these obstacles will be overcome, e-books have several advantages. For instance, one e-book reader can store all the books a student uses in their college career with plenty of space left over.  E-book readers allow users to set the font size and style, have simultaneous search and dictionary features,  and provide additionally functionality depending on the device. The most significant advantage is price, as e-books are typically less expensive than their physical counter parts.  The Florida Distance Learning Consortium’s  Orange Grove is focusing on adding open access textbooks to their collection this year.

Survey: ASCD educators believe digital textbooks are on the way
A survey of teachers attending ASCD's national conference showed that 65% believe a shift toward digital textbooks is imminent, but only 19% said their schools or districts are "totally prepared" for the change. While many schools are experimenting with digital course materials, hard-copy texts are still the standard in most schools. The survey was conducted for CompassLearning, an educational software company. San Antonio Express-News (3/9)

University library sees demand for Kindles soar 
For students looking to temper sober textbook readings with a literary escape into the world of vampires and zombies, Oregon State University is loaning out Amazon Kindle electronic readers stocked with the latest in popular books | 3/2/2010 eSchool News [ Read More ]Princeton students, profs give Kindle mixed grades 
Princeton University has released findings from its semester-long pilot of's Kindle DX electronic reader, and the results appear mixed: While students reduced the amount of paper they printed for their classes by nearly 50 percent, some students and professors said they felt restricted by the device. | eSchool News 2/23/2010

Colleges test Amazon's Kindle e-book reader as study tool
Now, as several major universities finish analyzing data from pilot programs involving the latest version of the Amazon Kindle, officials are learning more about what students want out of their e-reader tablets. Generally, the colleges found that students missed some of the old-fashioned note-taking tools they enjoyed before. But they also noted that the shift had some key environmental benefits. Further, a minority of students embraced the Kindle fairly quickly as highly desirable for curricular use.  2/23/2010 - USA Today


Indianapolis school integrates technology into curriculum
Students at an Indianapolis school do all their work on laptop computers, and hard-copy textbooks have been eliminated. Teachers deliver quizzes to students electronically and students use remote-control devices to provide answers that are automatically tabulated and added to students' grades. "I think it's more fun. It's more exciting because you get to learn beyond what books have," one student said. WXIN-TV (Indianapolis) (2/17)


Netbooks engage students of all abilities in science learning
An Ohio high-school science teacher is testing the use of netbooks in the classroom for students of varying learning abilities. Leslie Leverone says students with developmental disabilities in one ninth-grade science course are progressing at the same rate or better than her students without disabilities in the class, which is using the devices to research and learn science topics. Leverone says many of her students find visual images on computers more compelling than learning from words on a page, and she hopes the experiment will lead to more technology use in the classroom. The Cincinnati Enquirer

E-Rate and E-Books
Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) has submitted a new bill that would update the Federal Communications Commission's E-Rate program, which subsidizes computer equipment and Internet connectivity for schools. Markey's proposed 
E-Rate 2.0 act (H.R. 4619) would, among other provisions, set up a pilot program allowing low-income school kids to apply for "significantly discounted services and technologies for the use of e-books."

Is the iPad better than Kindle for education?
Apple's iPad may be a promising alternative to Amazon's Kindle DX as an electronic-textbook reader for students, according to this comparison of the two devices. The e-readers are similarly priced and have the same-sized screen, but the iPad has significantly more features -- such as games and Internet browsing that may be distracting for students -- and a color LED-backlit screen that can support images, diagrams and other sophisticated features of digital textbooks that the Kindle cannot. The Kindle, however, may be better suited for heavy readers. PC World/Today @ PC World blog (1/31

Blio could rival iPad as new e-reader choice for schools
Blio -- a free e-reader program due out this month -- may rival Apple's iPad as an attractive option for students and schools. Blio can be used on any computer or portable device and has the ability to support the original full-color font, layout and graphics of any book as well as embedded multimedia, according to its creators. The program also features text-to-speech technology that is useful for language learners and that does not require visually impaired users to navigate through text menus to activate the feature. eSchool News 


Can Apple’s tablet spark a textbook revolution?
Ed-tech experts are watching to see if Apple's latest gadget could bring a viable electronic reader to schools and colleges 1/26/2010

Principal: Web-based reading program boosts reading achievement
A principal in El Paso, Texas, has used the Web-based Lexia Reading program at three schools and says the program helps elementary-school teachers boost reading achievement among all levels of readers in their classrooms, particularly English-language learners. "I noticed early on that this program just got to the point, and that it remained consistent and positive in a way that would really appeal to kids," Pam Howard says. She attributes, in part, a significant jump in reading scores to the program. T.H.E. Journal (1/28)

N.J. district is digitizing learning materials, books for home use
Educators and parents in a New Jersey school district have begun to digitize classroom materials and children's books and make them available for free on the Internet. They are also available on an audio CD for those who do not have a computer at home. "We're looking to provide digital content for parents and students. You can download a lesson -- reading, math, Spanish tutorials -- to provide support at home if you can't afford a tutor. It can level the playing field and close achievement gaps," said the administrator who came up with the idea. Courier-Post (Camden-Cherry Hill, N.J.) (1/19)

Third-graders in Virginia are using Kindle in the classroom
Third-graders in one Virginia district may be among the first students ages 8 and 9 to use Amazon Kindle e-readers in the classroom. The technology allows readers of all levels to participate in reading groups and read independently, with functions such as text-to-speech audio helping struggling readers decipher difficult words. "It sort of levels the playing field," one teacher said. The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.) (1/18)


W.Va. to pilot digital textbooks with high school's social studies classes
Some students at a West Virginia high school will be the first to test the state's digital textbook project next fall. The state is providing the school with 30 laptops, while two teachers whose classes are involved in the program will choose electronic resources they think will improve their teaching of history, civics, social studies and Advanced Placement government. "A lot of times with social studies, your textbooks change daily," one teacher said. "The world changes daily."The Gazette (Charleston, W.Va.)/The Associated Press (free registration) (1/18)


Some Indianapolis schools to use digital content in place of textbooks
Twelve Indianapolis public schools are participating in a pilot program to replace textbooks with digital curriculum material -- including audio, video and other interactive resources -- created by Discovery Education. Participating schools will also have access to the company's MediaShare system, which allows teachers to share content and materials, and will receive professional development on how to best use the technology in the classroom. T.H.E. Journal (1/15)

Open courseware gains momentum
For years, tech-savvy educators and product developers have pushed for more open educational resources in classrooms as a way not only to engage students through technology, but also to save money in a time of tighter budgets. But does using open courseware really make a difference in spending? eSchool News 1/4/2010 | Read More 

Utah charter school uses open-source materials to customize learning
The Open High School of Utah, a virtual charter school, is among the first high schools to use unrestricted, open-access materials and textbooks -- offering educators new ways to tailor courses to meet the educational needs of gifted students or students who are struggling. Although the curriculum is aligned with state standards, teachers are free to revise or customize the materials because they are not copyrighted. "It helps us be more nimble and offer a more individualized approach," one teacher said. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (1/2)

Nonprofit offers successful literacy program at low cost
An Illinois nonprofit has created a math and literacy product for students in kindergarten through second grade that features educational software on hand-held computers. Seth Weinberger, the president of Innovations for Learning, says that TeacherMate, which costs $100, can be a cost-effective alternative to textbooks. Research shows that the gadgets have been successful in improving student reading scores, and a TeacherMate iPhone application is expected to launch next year. Chicago Tribune (12/28)

 Partnership a boon for alternative textbooks
Students who are blind, have low vision, or have a learning disability that requires computer-generated speech and highlighted text soon will have more resources after publisher Flat World Knowledge announced Dec. 14 that it will make its content available to Bookshare, the largest web-based library for people with print disabilities. eSchoolNews 12/15/2009 | Read More

Amazon's Kindle to get audible menus, bigger font Inc. will add two features to its Kindle eBook reader to make the gadget more accessible to blind and visually impaired students and other users.  12/08/2009 | Read More 

New digital reader could rival Kindle
Five of the nation's largest publishers of newspapers and magazines plan to challenge Inc.'s Kindle electronic-book reader with their own digital format that would display in color and work on a variety of devices. eSchoolnews |Read More 

Hybrid e-readers may be next step in digital textbooks
New dual-screen e-readers -- which feature traditional text on one screen and displays of color graphics on the other -- that are coming to the market may prove to be a better choice for digital textbooks than single-screen devices, analysts say. "Electronic book readers are great for reading novels, but they aren't right for textbooks," an analyst said. The New York Times (free registration) (12/5) 

Royal Society puts rare scientific manuscripts online
Historic manuscripts by Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, and other groundbreaking scientists will be published online for the first time, AFP reports. | Read More from 

Taiwan plans to roll out e-Readers in schools
Taiwan's Ministry of Education plans to offer e-readers to school kids on the island next year as part of its efforts to digitize schools and promote reading, PC World reports. | Read More at

Free digital resource centers coming soon
An effort is under way in several states to create digital teaching resource centers that are aligned with state education standards and connected with student data systems, so teachers can find free, high-quality educational materials to help them address their students' learning needs. Key words: digital resources, state resources, student data, teacher resources, council of chief state school officers, corporation for public broadcasting, education technology Full Story 

New application brings online research service to the iPhone
A new fee-based service allows students to read books and magazine articles on their iPhone or iPod Touch. Created by Questia, an Internet research portal, the application provides access to about 5,000 books. However, a Los Angeles Times technology writer questions the value of the niche service, which relies on cash-strapped students to buy in and has users reading books on relatively small screens. Los Angeles Times/Technology blog (11/18) 

USA Today tests online edition at colleges
Penn State, Indiana, and Missouri universities are the first schools to participate in a USA Today initiative meant to test how students respond to electronic versions of printed newspapers. 11/17/2009 || Read More 

Is Texas' move toward online material the final chapter for textbooks?
Textbooks could be going the way of slide rules within a few years in Texas classrooms, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: State legislation passed in the spring could put up-to-the-minute instructional content at students' fingertips, eliminating the mass-market hardback textbook. | Read More 

Schools protest Kindle's setup for the blind
Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader can read books aloud, but if you're blind it can be difficult to turn that function on without help. Now, two universities say they will avoid the device until Amazon changes the setup.  11/12/2009 | Read More 

Grant creates shared digital library for Georgia's colleges
Georgia Tech has received an $857,000 grant to create a digital library to be shared by colleges in the University System of Georgia, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 11/9/2009 | Read More    

Site simplifies text for students with disabilities
A new national online database is making it easier and quicker for college students with print-related disabilities, including blindness or dyslexia, to obtain the alternative textbooks they need for their academic courses. 11/10/2009 | Read More 

Texas textbook politics meet the digital revolution
Under new Texas state legislation, school districts for the first time can spend a portion of state textbook money on computer hardware and digital content -- and the state can stockpile open electronic material, making it available free to all schools. But some stakeholders, including State Board of Education members, fear the explosion of choice will produce an erosion of high-quality content, reports the Texas Tribune. 11/10/2009 | Read More 

Intel makes an eReader for the visually impaired
On Nov. 10, Intel will start selling a nifty new electronic reader that can snap pictures of books and newspapers and then read them back to people who have a hard time reading the printed page, PC World reports. | Read More 

Universities reject Kindle over inaccessibility for the blind
Syracuse University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have decided not to use's Kindle DX as a textbook replacement. The universities cited the Kindle's inaccessibility to the blind as the problem. CNET News  11/12/2009 | 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt enters new chapter in textbooks
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of the oldest publishers in the United States, plans to unveil the biggest deal in its history on Oct. 29: a $40 million, multiyear contract with the Detroit Public Schools. But this is not the typical agreement to sell a textbook to every student. Instead, Houghton will be providing a computer-based teaching system it developed with Microsoft Corp. that will connect teachers, students, and administrators, reports the Boston Globe. 10/29/09 |

New England boarding school switches to digital-only library
At Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, low circulation numbers at the aging library helped prompt school officials to switch to a fully digital collection and possibly become the first school to do so. The new library features 65 Kindle devices that circulate like library books -- librarians simply download your selections from millions of digital offerings. "There's this emotional attachment to books," said one teacher at the school. "But on the other hand, there's this possibility." USA TODAY (10/27) 

Amazon rolls out program to sync Kindle with PCs
Digital books ordered for use on's Kindle electronic reader soon can be read on personal computers, Reuters reports: Amazon said it will provide a software application -- available next month as a free download -- that can convert Kindle books to PC-readable ones. 10/23/09 Yahoo Tech| Read More t 

In some classrooms, books are a thing of the past
Slowly, but in increasing numbers, grade schools across the country are supplementing or substituting the heavy, expensive, and indelible hardbound book with its lighter, cheaper, and changeable cousin: the digital textbook, reports the Washington Post. 10/18/2009 | Read More 

Google to launch site for selling books online
Google Inc. is launching a new online service that will let readers buy electronic versions of books and read them on such gadgets as cell phones, laptops, and possibly e-book devices. eSchool News 10/19/2009 | Read More at 

Libraries and readers wade into digital lending
Kate Lambert recalls using her library card just once or twice throughout her childhood. Now, she uses it several times a month. The lure? Electronic books she can download to her laptop. Beginning earlier this year, Ms. Lambert, a 19-year-old community college student in New Port Richey, Fla., borrowed volumes in the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series, "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold and a vampire novel by Laurell K. Hamilton, without ever visiting an actual branch, according to a New York Times report. 10/15/09 | Read More 

Google to launch Google Editions platform
"The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access point of view and also from a geographical point of view. The Associated Press... 

Google editions embraces universal e-book format
Google will launch an e-book store called Google Editions with a "don't be evil" twist. Unlike Google's biggest competitors Amazon and Barnes & Noble that rely heavily on restrictive DRM, Google will not be device-specific -- allowing for e-books purchased through Google Editions to be read on a far greater number of e-book readers that will flood the market in 2010, reports PC World. | Read More 

Kindle shows promise but needs improvement, say students
Students liked having access to a semester's worth of reading in one book-sized device but did not like taking notes on its keyboard, according to feedback from college students using the Kindle e-reading device. Kindle devices loaded with digital textbooks were provided to 200 college students this fall by Amazon, which hopes to adapt the technology for academic textbooks. According to the students, other areas for improvement include bookmark organization and pagination that corresponds to the hard-copy textbooks. Google/The Associated Press (10/13) 

Kindle lightens textbook load, but flaws remain
It's an experiment that has made back-to-school a little easier on the back: gave more than 200 college students its Kindle e-reading device this fall, loaded with digital versions of their textbooks. But some students are finding they miss the decidedly low-tech conveniences of paper, reports the Associated Press (AP)--highlighting, flagging pages with sticky notes, and scribbling in the margins. eSchool News 10/14/2009 | Read More 

New 'hybrid' books include video, too
For more than 500 years the book has been a remarkably stable entity: a coherent string of connected words, printed on paper and bound between covers. But in the age of the iPhone, Kindle, and YouTube, the notion of the book is becoming increasingly elastic as publishers mash together text, video, and web features in a scramble to keep readers interested in an archaic form of entertainment, reports the New York Times. | Read More 

Embracing Electronic Textbooks 

Beyond the money-saving feature for students, electronic textbooks offer another benefit: They can be more convenient for professors, who can easily review a new textbook online, then make a quick decision to include it in a course. CampusTechnology 9/30/2009| Read More 

Students test Amazon's Kindle DX
At seven college campuses across the U.S., students are participating in a pilot program to test Amazon's Kindle DX. Professors and administrators say it is too early to make a determination on the academic applications of the device because students are still getting used to its features. The Wall Street Journal/Digits blog (9/28)

Electronic texts may be the future, but where will books fit in?
The tangible qualities of books -- their durability, ease of use and even their scent -- will be lost in e-books, writes Edutopia contributing editor Owen Edwards in a blog post. Words on paper have persisted for more than 18 centuries, and Edwards hopes they will continue to do so despite electronic competition. (9/25) 

Florida college students get free online books
The board that oversees Florida's state universities has launched a program that will offer free online textbooks to students; the program makes printed books available as well, for about half the price that students now pay every semester. eSchool News 9/28/2009| Read More 

Digital format more easily brings newspapers into the classroom
Some teachers in Florida can more easily access and read local and international newspapers because of a new electronic format that allows them to project a realistic version of the newspaper onto interactive whiteboards for discussion, reading practice or other uses. "The kids see it; it's there, it's a regular newspaper," one educator said. "We have access to all those papers, to front pages across the world that we could never access on paper, with the budget the way it is today." Naples Daily News (Fla.) (9/23) 

Tech giants offer ideas for charging readers online
Students, researchers, educators, and others soon could find it harder to get free access to news online, if the desires of a national newspaper association come to fruition: IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Google -- a company some newspapers blame for helping dig their financial hole -- were among the technology companies that have responded to a request by the Newspaper Association of America for proposals on ways to easily charge for news on the web, reports the Associated Press. | Read More 

Schools turning from textbooks to more versatile technology
More schools across the country are offering students laptops, e-readers and iPods rather than traditional textbooks. Schools are basing their decisions on the expected long-term savings of investing in technology that can be updated quickly with new information. "If we continue to prepare kids for their past, that's very expensive," a Harvard educator said. "Their future is largely going to be in new media. And textbooks are no longer preparing them for that future." ABC News (9/13) 

Books face extinction as schools go high-tech
Hitting the books is becoming a thing of the past, as more schools across Massachusetts implement virtual classrooms and equip students with laptops, the Boston Herald reports. | Read More 

Library in Boston prep school replaced by ebook readers

By Shawn Ingram  It seems like a far off dream that one day libraries will be replaced by ebook readers such as the Amazon Kindle and…... Gadgetell - 

Asus preparing cheap eBook reader 
Asus, which shook up the laptop market in 2007 with the introduction of the first inexpensive netbook, is planning to launch an electronic-book reader this year that would challenge the most popular eReaders on price, InformationWeek reports. | Read More 

Phones, PCs put eBooks within easy reach
Thanks largely to Inc.'s Kindle, eBook sales are finally zooming after more than a decade in the doldrums--and students at five campuses this fall will pilot Amazon's textbook-friendly Kindle DX to read electronic versions of their textbooks. But students without Kindles also have an increasing number of options for reading electronic books--and campus officials say the proliferation of eBooks will accelerate even further as the use of color and embedded video become paramount for eBook makers.  9/4/2009   | Read More 

Sony plans a Kindle rival with wireless downloads 
Sony Corp. plans to offer an eBook reader with the ability to wirelessly download books, injecting more competition in a small but fast-growing market by adopting a key feature of the rival Kindle from, reports the Associated Press. 8/26/2009 | Read More 

Google adds EPUB support to 1m+ ebooks
Google has updated their ebook project with the ability to download titles in EPUB format.
SlashGear Thursday, Aug 27th 2009 

Technology helps bring rare books back to print
Dozens of university libraries have made vast book collections available online, and University of Michigan library officials have begun selling hard copies of out-of-print books they have digitized in recent years--charging students as little as $10 per book. Key words: University of Michigan,, digital books, online books to read, education technology 8/19/2009  | Read More 
Digital Textbooks: 3 Reasons Students Aren't Ready
Digital textbooks exist, but are still important question about costs, formats and ebook compatibility issues, and ownership.  Mashable 8/17/09 
E-Textbooks -- for Real This Time? 
It's the central paradox of 21st-century college students: Despite embracing radically new ways of communicating with each other and learning about the world, they still remain wedded to the old-fashioned, paper-bound textbook. Inside Higher Ed, January 3, 2008 

eBooks Could Save State Millions
State of Florida spends 300 million dollars a year updating textbooks. 
Rob Weissert of Florida TaxWatch says the state should study the cost effectiveness of switching to eBooks in public schools.  8/14/09 WJHG-TV 

E-book market could expand with Sony decision
Sony has announced that it will offer content for its e-readers in the open ePub format, a move that could expand options for consumers. Amazon's Kindle uses a proprietary format for its content, limiting users' sources for e-books. E-book sales are increasing, and analysts say Amazon dominates the market. The New York Times (free registration) (8/12) 

Sony plans to adopt common format for eBooks
Some restrictions on the use of eBooks are likely to remain a fact of life. But some publishers and consumer electronics makers are aiming to give eBook buyers more flexibility by rallying around a single technology standard for the books, reports The New York Times. | Read More 

California lists state-approved digital textbooks
Following up on their plan to encourage the use of free, open digital textbooks among the state's schools, California education leaders on Aug. 11 released a list of resources they have determined meet state-approved standards for high school math and science classes. 8/12/2009  | Read More 

Electronic textbooks arrive on Apple's iPhone
An electronic publisher has made more than 7,000 academic textbooks available for viewing on Apple's iPhone, Apple Insider reports. | Read More 

Electronic textbooks, mobile check depositing come to Apple's iPhone 

iPhone application from an electronic publisher has made more than 7,000 textbooks available for viewing on the platform. 8/10/2009

Market Is Shifting Away From Amazon's Target
Forrester expects the market for e-book readers like the Kindle will explode by 2013. An analyst noted that Amazon's Kindle is the least open e-book reader. ...
 NewsFactor Network  See all stories on this topic

As Classrooms Go Digital, Textbooks Are History
Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions - or supplanted altogether. 9-8-09 NT Times 

A Campus-Wide E-Textbook Initiative

A typical college student spends up to $1,000 per year on textbooks, and many students don’t buy textbooks at all because they’re too expensive; E-textbooks can cost up to 50 percent less than standard textbooks while providing the foundation for integration of multiple learning resources into a single delivery system; E-textbooks and their enhanced interactive learning resources also have the potential to accelerate student learning. Educause Quarterly 

New Sony eBook reader is $100 cheaper than Kindle
Sony Corp. is determined to recapture consumers' attention with a smaller eBook reader that's also $100 cheaper than Amazon's Kindle, reports the Associated Press. | Read More 

Conn. teachers design their own algebra textbook online
Frustrated math educators in Connecticut penned an online replacement for algebra tomes that they say covered too many topics. Their work aims to focus on essential Algebra I and Algebra II topics and reduce overlap between the classes. Since revising the curriculum, the percentage of 10th-graders in the district receiving top scores on state exams has increased by eight points. The New York Times (6/8) 

The rise of digital textbooks
As schools shift to 21st century learning in a time of budget crunches, digital textbooks in classrooms are on the rise. To help educators and administrators efficiently implement digital texts, two diverse districts share their motivations, tactics, and goals for their textbook programs. Key words: digital textbook, living text, Schwarzenegger and textbooks, education, technology | Read More 

7 Textbook Publishers Move to Electronic Format

Several textbook publishers have recently joined the ranks of publishers offering their works in electronic format. Last week, seven, including Elsevier Science and Technology, SAGE, and Taylor & Francis signed on to offer their higher education textbooks through CourseSmart's eTextbooks service. More 

The rise of digital textbooks
As schools shift to 21st century learning in a time of budget crunches, digital textbooks in classrooms are on the rise. To help educators and administrators efficiently implement digital texts, two diverse districts share their motivations, tactics, and goals for their textbook programs. Key words: digital textbook, living text, Schwarzenegger and textbooks, education, technology 7/27/09 | | Read More eSchool News 

Experts split on 'Kindle in Every Backpack'
Education experts are split after a recent proposal published by some influential members of the Democratic Party suggested the government provide electronic reading devices to every student in the United States. Key words: Kindle, electronic reading devices, eReader, Democratic Leadership Council | Read More 

Call for a Kindle for every child gets mixed opinions from educators
A call to supply every student with an electronic reading device is getting mixed reviews from educators. A paper by the New Democratic Leadership Council pointed to the benefits of e-textbooks, including interactivity and the capacity to change as needed. Some teachers agree, but many point out logistical difficulties, such as initial investment, the cost of replacement and the pervasiveness of paper. eSchool News (7/24) 

Are electronic textbooks ready for prime time?
Electronic textbooks have received mixed reviews from some college students, with many complaining that they make reading awkward or inconvenient. Educators are also divided on whether electronic texts are cost-effective, because they carry a high upfront cost. One California superintendent said elementary-school students quickly became engaged in course work with electronic textbooks, but there are no indications whether learning improved. The Wall Street Journal (7/20) 

Should schools replace textbooks with ebooks?
He's begun the historical task of shifting education in California towards using ebooks and laptops instead of textbooks, this initiative may set the precedent for the nation. 4/18/09 - USA

Digital learning tools drive student success

College courses, departments, and in a few cases entire campuses are experimenting with going digital by replacing print textbooks with eBook versions. 7/17/09 |Creston News Advertiser - Creston,IA,USA 

Book Smarts? E-Texts Receive Mixed Reviews From Students
They say that digital reading comes with drawbacks, including an expensive starting price for e-book readers and surprisingly high prices for digital readers. 7/16/2009 |Wall Street Journal - USA 

Democratic group's proposal: Give each student a Kindle
Some influential members of the Democratic party want to give electronic reading devices to every student in the country, reports the New York Times. 7/15/09 |

West Virginia mulls textbook policy changes that would favor electronic materials
The West Virginia Board of Education is set to consider changes to its textbook adoption policy that would make it easier for the state to buy electronic textbooks, reports the Charleston Daily Mail. | Read More 

Amazon lowers Kindle eBook reader price to $299 cut the price of its Kindle electronic reading device to $299 on July 8 in an effort to attract more users and make the gadget a mainstream hit, reports the Associated Press -- though the larger Kindle DX, which is geared toward education and lets students read electronic textbooks, still has its original price of $489. | Read More 

Students like texting and iPhones, but are wary of eTextbooks
College students seem to love all things digital, with their iPhones, BlackBerries, and laptops. But when it comes to textbooks, it's still a paper world for now, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. | 7/8/09 | Read More 

Cell phones used to deliver course content
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says schools and colleges should deliver course content to the cell phones that students use to talk and text every day. Some campus officials are listening, and classes via web-enabled cell phones could be mobile learning's next evolution. Key words: Arne Duncan, online classes, Ball State University, Louisiana Community & Technical College System, education, technology | Read More 

Arizona State sued over Kindle eTextbook usage
The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind are suing Arizona State University over its use of Amazon's Kindle DX electronic reading device as a means of distributing electronic textbooks to students, because the new eBook reader's menu isn't accessible to the blind, Library Journal reports. | Read More 

2.5 Million Free eBooks: Worldbook eBook Fair Begins Saturday
Word from Michael Hart, the Founder of Project Gutenberg, that once again this year the World e-Book Fair will take place from July 4th-August 4th.  7/2/09 

Florida school boosts achievement by jettisoning textbooks

Math educators at a struggling Florida elementary school locked away their textbooks before the start of last year, rewriting the curriculum themselves in an approach that helped them post large gains on state tests and raised their school's grade from a D to a B. The teachers used a problem-solving approach with games and group projects to better engage students. St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) (6/30) 

Look Ma, no textbooks
Empire High School seniors are the first group of student to have started and completed high school without traditional textbooks. Tech&Learning | 6/22/09 |

Will free digital textbooks become national model?
California's exploration of open-source digital textbooks could prompt other states to try similar measures. Such an approach would keep materials more current, proponents say, but some question the anticipated cost savings, particularly in the short term, and schools' ability to ensure equal access to students without computers at home. San Francisco Chronicle/The Associated Press (6/10) ABC News (6/14) 

Twitter goes literary with 'Ulysses' performance
The micro-blogging service Twitter has gone highbrow with a performance from James Joyce's 1922 novel "Ulysses," Reuters reports. | 6/17/09 Yahoo!Tech   

Schwarzenegger: Digital textbooks can save money, improve learning
"Today, our kids get their information from the internet, downloaded onto their iPods, and in Twitter feeds to their cell phones. A world of up-to-date information fits easily into their pockets and onto their computer screens," writes California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in an op-ed piece for the San Jose Mercury News -- "so why are California's public school students still forced to lug around antiquated, heavy, expensive textbooks?" | Read More 

Connecticut district tosses algebra textbooks and goes online
Westport, Conn., teachers were frustrated at having to rush through the algebra curriculum only to find students didn't grasp important concepts, so they created their own online program, reports the New York Times. | 6/8/2009 | 

Free digital book plan is costly, educators say
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger believes schools can save hundreds of millions of dollars by using free digital textbooks, but educators are disputing that notion, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. | 

Next Up for E-book Readers: Social Networking, Online Sharing
E-book readers have turned into one of the hottest consumer devices of the year. Soon electronic book readers are likely to add the ability to access Facebook and Twitter, share book recommendations and rate e-books, and at least one company is already moving towards the idea. Wired News - USA 

Iconic texts still missing from e-libraries

A growing number of schools are embracing books in electronic format, but many classic titles that have become staples of the English curriculum still aren't available as eBooks.  Full Story 
Google turns to eBook sales but no device in sight
Google is set to free eBooks from proprietary handhelds by selling digital works readable on any device that can access the web. Tech Digest - London,England,UK 
Preparing to sell eBooks, Google takes on Amazon 
In discussions with publishers at the annual BookExpo convention over the weekend, Google said it plans to introduce a program enabling publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books directly to consumers, reports the New York Times. | Read More

Learn about free eBooks that can supplement or replace classroom texts 
"E-Books Directory" is an online resource that contains links to freely downloadable eBooks, technical papers, and documents, as well as user-contributed content, articles, reviews, and comments. Launched in 2008 as a free service to students, educators, researchers, and eBook lovers, the directory is a database-driven web site that uses PHP scripting language and the MySQL relational database. | Full Story 

California considers open digital textbooks
In what could be a first-of-its-kind statewide initiative, California education leaders are working together to compile a list of free, open digital textbooks that meet state-approved standards and will be available to high school math and science classes this fall. 
Read More 5/21/09  eSchool News 
Google book-scanning pact to give libraries input on price 
In a move that could blunt some of the criticism of Google for its settlement of a lawsuit over its book-scanning project, the company signed an agreement with the University of Michigan that would give some libraries a degree of oversight over the prices Google could charge for its vast digital library, reports the New York Times. 5/20/09 |   

E-Book Plan Proves Cost-Effective for UC Merced Library
With the transition to electronic resources, libraries are now finding creative and cost-effective ways to best accommodate their users.  According to Jim Dooley, Head of Collection Services at the University of California, Merced (USA), patron-selection plans offer an effective way to save on e-book purchases...Read More 5/15/09

California Legislature weighs proposal for electronic textbooks
The California Legislature is considering a proposal that seeks to make it easier for school districts to replace traditional textbooks with electronic materials. The state Senate unanimously approved the proposed bill, which soon will go before the state Assembly. Los Angeles Times (5/12)

Sony Developing Large-Screen eBook Reader | TopTenREVIEWS Blog
Sony eBook reader is expected to have a large screen reader like the new Kindle out by this year or early next – excellent option for e-textbooks. 5/11/09 TopTenREVIEWS Blog -

Students are skeptical whether Kindle DX can replace textbooks

Amazon will have to do much more than enlarge its Kindle to increase the eBook reader's appeal to college students, Wired reports: Many students polled on Twitter listed various reasons the DX would fail to replace their mountains of textbooks. | Read More 5/11/09

Braille E-Book
Braille E-Book is currently in development. Uses electromagnetic to simulate Braille text . 5/8/09 - it is not yet available but a project design.

New Kindle is textbook friendly 
Amazon Inc.'s Kindle DX electronic reading device will be piloted on five U.S. campuses this fall, when students will substitute their textbooks for the Kindle's new, larger screen that will allow users to highlight, take notes, and scour school libraries. 5/7/2009 | 
Read More

California to develop free digital textbooks for high school students

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on May 6 launched an initiative to make California the first state in the nation to offer schools free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students, reports the Lake County News. |  5/7/09

More books coming to students with disabilities 
 Students with disabilities often wait weeks or months for their textbooks to be specially formatted, but now a new higher-education partnership could make these books more widely available to students by scanning books and expanding an online library. | Read More  4/30/09

Digital lessons soon could replace books in West Virginia

According to the state's top education official, West Virginia public schools within a few years might switch from hardbound textbooks to digital lessons carried around by students on portable computers, reports the Charleston Daily Mail. | Read More

Rare and ancient written works go online

National libraries and the U.N. education agency put some of humanity's earliest written works online Tuesday, from ancient Chinese oracle bones to the first European map of the New World. Key words: United Nations, ancient works, Library of Congress, education, technology, online library | Read More 4/23/09

Sony eBook reader gets 500,000 books from Google
Google Inc. is making half a million books, unprotected by copyright, available free of charge on Sony Corp.'s electronic book-reading device in PDF and EPUB formats, reports the Associated Press. | Read More3/19/09

Signs of Significant Disruption in the Traditional Textbook Model
Refeining textbooks, and people just don't know the options. THE Journal Feb 2009 

eBook Program a Success According to Teachers
The Ebook project was more broadly adapted this school year when students at Warren and Brown Middle Schools, and Johnson Elementary, were assigned laptops ...  3/1/09 The Forney Post - Forney,TX,USA

Panel: Texas schools must embrace electronic textbooks 

Advocates for more technology in the classroom, and fewer textbooks, are stepping up their arguments for change this year, trying to convince Texas lawmakers that the future of electronic textbooks is now, reports the Dallas Morning News. | 3/6/09

Google's Book Search goes mobile

The newest version of Google Book Search gives iPhone and Android users instant access to more than 1.5 million public-domain books on their cell phones, CNET reports. | Read More

Millions of books, but no card catalog

Aided by a recent class-action settlement, Google's Book Search project promises to transform the way information is collected: who controls the most books, who gets access to those books, and how access will be sold and attained. And that has some librarians concerned, reports the New York Times. | Read More

Study: Technology alters students' learning
Computers, video games and multitasking may have helped improve people's visual skills, but they also appear to have contributed to an erosion in critical-thinking and analysis skills, according to new research published in the journal Science. Reading, however, develops the imagination as well as deductive, reflection and critical-thinking stills, said researcher and UCLA psychology professor Patricia Greenfield, who also directs the Children's Digital Media Center of Los Angeles. "No one medium is good for everything," she said. "If we want to develop a variety of skills, we need a balanced media diet." ScienceDaily (1/29/09)


The Buzz -- School Library Journal, 2/1/2009
The Foxit eSlick is a new ebook device, featuring a six-inch display and the same E Ink technology of those other guys. But the eSlick, which includes a 2GB ... 2/1/09  School Library Journal - USA


Plastic Logic content partner announcement Feb 9th: up against ...
However the Kindle service has focused more on ebook content than it has on magazines and newspapers, meaning there’s still room for the larger-screened ... 1/30/09 SlashGear - Scottsdale,AZ,USA

Follett Digital Resources Introduces ''Education-Friendly'' eBook ...
Centre Daily Times - Centre,PA,USA  Users will be alerted and directed to the Follett eBook Web site, for the installation. The new Follett Digital Reader is just software for you computer, but allows for interactions such as highlighting. 1/22/09

Follett's new eBook reader is all software

Follett, a distributor of educational materials, has announced that it has developed an eBook reader for education that is aimed at classrooms and libraries. Now, don't be mistaken. This isn't a portable eBook reader.

by Arun Venkatesan on January 21, 2009,

Toward an All E-Textbook Campus
Inside Higher Ed - Washington,DC,USA  But at Northwest Missouri State University, President Dean L. Hubbard hopes they’ll be an e-book only campus (or close to it) soon ― as soon as the market ... 1/15/09

University offers most textbooks electronically
Officials at Northwest Missouri State University are looking to save students' backs and wallets as they begin replacing traditional textbooks with electronic versions, reports the Jefferson City News Tribune. | Read More 1/14/09

University offers most textbooks electronically
Officials at Northwest Missouri State University are looking to save students' backs and wallets as they begin replacing traditional textbooks with electronic versions, reports the Jefferson City News Tribune. | Read More 1/14/09

Netbooks' popularity set to rise in 2009
Last year, so-called "netbooks"--smaller, cheaper versions of laptop computers--made their way into the hands of countless students and educators. Now, concerns about the economy are driving a further increase in the number of netbooks available to schools. Key concepts: netbooks, CES, Asus, Dell, HP | Read More 1/12/09

Help celebrate Read an E-Book Week. 
Mark your calendars for March 8 - 14 .  1/12/2009
eBook Week

Google hopes to open a trove of little-seen books 
Ever since Google began scanning printed books four years ago, scholars and others with specialized interests have been able to tap a trove of information that had been locked away on the dusty shelves of libraries and in antiquarian bookstores. | 
Read More 1/7/09

Accessible Books Launcher
Tool with liks to over a thousand books (flash/PDF/Switch Scan). Read more

Real books foster more learning than digital copies, researcher says
While new technology might lead students to read more, a researcher says that reading digital text does not offer the complete experience of handling a traditional book. The added steps of clicking and scrolling on a computer screen might cause students to retain less of what they are reading and become less involved with the text, according to Anne Mangen, an associate professor at the Center for Reading Research at the University of Stavanger in Norway, who researched new reading devices. Science Daily Magazine

Obama taps Arne Duncan for secretary of ED

Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan has focused on boosting classroom technology and presided over the launch of a high school that replaces textbooks with web-based course curriculum during his seven years as Chicago Public Schools CEO. | Read More 12/17/08


Reading students use iPod technology at the library

An idea that was originally hatched last year has become a success in student learning among Intensive Reading students at North Port High School, reports the Sun Newspapers of Florida: The use of iPod Shuffles has become a way for students not just to jam to the latest hits outside of school, but also to improve their reading skills while in school. | Read More 12/15/08

A new step for ebook readers <>

When I first read the news that Nintendo was moving to turn their hand-held DS game system into an ebook reader, I was pretty excited-Imagine, turning a wildly popular game platform into a Kindle competitor! Sadly, it's not as cool as ... <


Online, teacher-written chapters aim to modernize science textbooks
Most Virginia high-school physics textbooks ignore most of the past century of advances in string theory, nanotechnology and particle physics. Rather than waiting for more modern standards and books, the state's secretaries of education and technology are asking top educators to write their own chapters and put them online as free supplements. The Washington Post (11/30)


Idaho educator uses iPods to engage students
Teacher Richard Whittaker uses iPods to engage his sixth-grade students with video expeditions, books on tape and homework with an electronic twist. The devices allow students to work ahead when they can or review lessons when needed, Whittaker said. The Olympian (Olympia, Wash.)/The Idaho Statesman (11/22)


Amazon Kindle 2 coming in early 2009?
Boy Genius Report - NY,USA  For those who need a quick recap, were talking about the sexied-up successor to Amazons popular Kindle eBook reader, set to further popularize a new wave ebook reader, and they plan to have a student/school version for textbooks in 2010 11/26/08

 E-books Have A Future in iTunes
Wired News - USA  There already several e-book readers in the app store, including eReader, which reads books in a proprietary format purchased from  11/26/08

Senghor On The Rocks, e-book incorporates Google Maps (press release) - Frederick,MD,USA  Enter the Google Maps Novel.. no, it's not about google or maps but rather, this interesting e-book incorporates google maps within the story and within the map  11/26/08

Random House to digitize thousands of books

With eBook sales exploding in an otherwise sleepy market, Random House Inc. announced Nov. 24 that it was making thousands of additional books available in digital form, including novels by John Updike and Harlan Coben, as well as several volumes of the "Magic Treehouse" children's series, reports the Associated Press. | Read More 11/24/08

Digital texts may aid students with special needs
Students with learning disabilities may benefit from a new digital math textbook that reads problems aloud while highlighting the words on a screen, per the findings of the first year of a small two-year study. "All the students did improve in their algebra and pre-algebra skills," said University of Louisville assistant professor Debra K. Bauder. Education Week (premium article access compliments of (10/20)

Universities back up Google's library 
On Oct. 13, a group of major libraries that are participating in Google's Library Project said they are working together to create what amounts to a publicly accessible backup of the digital library that Google is creating, reports the New York Times. | Read More 10/14/08

Google To Digitize Newspaper Archives
Source: The New York Times - Google has begun scanning microfilm from some newspapers’ historic archives to make them searchable online, first through Google News and eventually on the papers’ own Web sites, the company said Monday. Read the Full Article 9/19/08

Don't buy that textbook, download it free 
A few college professors have started putting their textbooks online to protest the high prices that textbook publishers charge, reports the New York Times. |  | 9/15/08

Online textbooks: Hope or hype? 
Online textbooks have been touted in recent months as a way to bring relief to college students beleaguered by soaring textbook prices. Now, a study from the Student Public Interest Research Groups raises questions about whether online texts really are better than their printed counterparts--and publishers of online textbooks are firing back in turn. | Read More

Virtual environment boosts reading skills
For the past year and a half, students at Broad Creek Middle School in Newport, N.C., have used virtual reality technology to enhance their reading skills across the board--and the evidence suggests these efforts are paying off.  | Read More  9/3/08

Ohio students get a discount on electronic textbooks 
Ohio college students will get a break on the price of textbooks through a newly negotiated agreement with an online retailer, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. | Read More 8/29/08

N.C. officials suggest buying more online versions of textbooks 
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, N.C., school officials told the school board Aug. 26 that buying more online subscriptions for social-studies textbooks might be a necessary next step, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. |Read More 8/27/08

A Textbook Case for the Kindle
Amazon is eying the huge college textbook market as it develops next generation models of its Kindle eBook reader, an analyst who spoke the company has concluded. 
Wired News - USA 8/25/08

E-Textbooks For All
Source: Inside Higher Ed - Many observers, both in academe and in the publishing industry, believe it’s only a matter of time before electronic textbooks become the norm in college. Some campuses in particular may already be getting a glimpse of the future through partnerships with individual publishers or with consortiums. Read the Full Article 8/14/08

Open Textbook Meets Community Colleges
Source: Inside Higher Ed - Proponents of the open textbook movement have long envisioned a world of free (or almost free) educational materials, available to print or download, written by experts for others to read, share, improve or modify as they see fit. 8/12/08

Libraries step into the age of iPod 
Hoping to draw back readers, libraries nationwide have vastly expanded their lists of digital books, music, and movies that can be downloaded by patrons to a computer or MP3 player, Reuters reports-and it doesn't cost a cent, unlike, say, media from Apple Inc.'s iTunes or | Read More from Yahoo News  8/7/08

Leapfrog's "Tag" system aims to help kids enhance their reading skills
By tapping unfamiliar words with a penlike device, children using the new Tag Reading System can listen to a word read aloud or have the whole page or book electronically read to them. Scavenger-hunt-type games that help with word recognition are also built in. ABC News:;page=1  (8/4)

Open content allows students to take charge of learning
By using a classroom wiki, educator Ardith A. Stewart helped provide her students with more up-to-date educational content, available online and free of charge from suppliers who encourage the materials to be shared. Education Week (

First It Was Song Downloads. Now It’s Organic Chemistry.
Source: The New York Times - Between used books and pirated copies offered for illegal download, the textbook industry has begun to transition to other models of distribution and sales. 7/29/08

Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?
Source: The New York Times Books are not Nadia Konyk’s thing. Her mother, hoping to entice her, brings them home from the library, but Nadia rarely shows an interest. 7/29/08 (I believe that this is the same argument that was used about reading paperbacks, newspapers, and comic books)

Online reading: A blessing or bane to literacy?
Nadia Konyk, 15, doesn't care much for books, but she spends hours online daily reading fanfiction. Critics say such habits destroy attention span and prevent young people from spending time with classic books, but proponents say the Internet is at least better than television and may engage some children -- especially those with learning disabilities -- in ways that the traditionally printed media can't. The New York Times (7/27)

Copyright fight looms over college textbooks
The high cost of college textbooks has spawned a new battleground in the fight to keep students from downloading copyright-protected materials over the internet: textbook file sharing. | Read More 7/25/08

Google unveils online reference tool
For better or worse, Wikipedia--the online reference site that lets anyone add to its ever-growing body of knowledge--has changed the nature of internet research. Now Google is taking the wraps off a free internet encyclopedia of its own, designed to give people a chance to show off--and profit from--their expertise on any topic. | Read More  7/24/08

New iPhone apps aim to enhance education
Flash-card programs, eBook reading software, and science and math simulations are among more than a dozen educational software programs developed for Apple's iPhone that appear in the new App Store, which debuted July 11. | Read More  (7/22/08)

Third Annual World eBook Fair:         

World eBook Fair: July 4th to August 4th

From July 4th-August 4 2008 visit the Third Annual World eBook Fair. The Fair provides free access for a month to One Million eBooks. During the rest of the year you may continue to download your selection of about 500,000 PDF eBooks by joining the World Public Library (Annual membership $8.95/year).  6/08

Despite technology's popularity, children still enjoy books
Today's kids aged 5 through 17 still enjoy reading for pleasure, although the percentage of those who read for fun declines as they age, with the drop-off starting to manifest itself after age 8 and continuing its decline through the teen years, according to the 2008 Kids and Family Reading Report from Scholastic and research firm TSC. The study also found that Internet use can actually help extend reading. "High frequency Internet users are more likely to read books for fun every day," said Heather Carter, director of corporate research at Scholastic. Publishers Weekly (6/11) School Library Journal (6/12/2008) Reading is reading, lots of fun books to read online.

Open content allows teachers to move beyond outdated textbooks
By using a classroom wiki, educator Ardith A. Stewart helped provide her students with more up-to-date educational content, available online and free of charge from suppliers who encourage the materials to be shared.Education Week (premium article access compliments of (7/10)

Online 'textbooks' see college doors opening 
As textbook prices skyrocket, college students and faculty seeking more affordable options increasingly are turning to "open textbooks" as an alternative, USA Today reports. | Read More

Learning from a book that is not really a book 
Colorado Community Colleges Online just signed a deal with the Pearson Publishing Company to start getting required textbooks over the internet--a trend that one official predicts will spread to traditional classrooms within a few years, Colorado's 9News reports. | Read More  7/9/08

Dual-display e-reader opens new chapter 
As prices for Amazon's Kindle and other conventional e-book readers continue to drop, it may be cheaper to just get two of them instead.CNET News - San Francisco,CA,USA 
<> 6/27/08

How Building Wings Helped Special Ed Students to Soar
An AudioBook provides a group of Special Ed elementary-school students with a lot more than just an enjoyable story. techLearning - 6/12/08

Penguin Books - We Tell Stories:
Penguin books has created an exciting variety of newly created short stories matched with classics. Includes a Google map story, some Choose Your Own Adventures, a presentation story, a story told though twittter, and a simultaneous written story. 6/12/08

Now professors can get their star rankings, too 
The New York Times reports on the Social Science Research Network, an increasingly influential web site that now offers nearly 150,000 full-text documents for downloading and gives academics the chance to see how popular their writings are online. | Read More 6/9/08

Schools see declining yearbook sales, thanks to technology 
Hello Facebook, goodbye yearbook: At a time when teens are logging onto web-based social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace in droves, more and more are declining to pick up a copy of that tried-and-true memory keeper, the high school and college yearbook, the Toledo Blade reports. | Read More  (6/6/08) – isn’t a personal or school such page a eYearbook.

Microsoft, DAISY Make Reading Easier for People With Print Disabilities 
Users of Microsoft Office Word can now produce content in the world's most widely used assistive technology format. Read this news release. 6/5/08

 Research libraries begin to embrace eBooks 
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 69 percent of university research libraries plan to increase spending on eBooks over the next two years, according to a recent study published by Primary Research Group Inc. | Read More 6/4/08

Learning with laptops - Madison Park, Baltimore Sun 
Instead of flipping through pages and lugging books in their backpacks, the sixth-graders at the Trinity Lutheran School will get clicking on a different type of textbook in the coming year. This fall, each incoming sixth-grader at the Joppa private school will get a new laptop, eliminating the need for textbooks in three core subjects - science, math and social studies. "One advantage to middle-schoolers is that it's a big reduction in their backpack," said headmaster John Austin. "Now they get a laptop with a textbook online."  Sunday, February 13, 2008

Proposal Would Replace Classroom Textbooks with Computers
May 23, 2008  by The Associated Press

Research libraries begin to embrace eBooks 
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 69 percent of university research libraries plan to increase spending on eBooks over the next two years, according to a recent study published by Primary Research Group Inc. | Read More 6/4/08

One Laptop Per Child - an eBook Reader
The next version of the inexpensive laptop for the One Laptop Per Child Project is being designed to be used as an eBook reader. The striking thing about this next laptop is it’s cost, they’re aiming for $75. One Laptop Per Child eBook ...

New version of One Laptop Per Child machine to debut in 2010
A smaller OLPC machine with two touch screens instead of a keyboard is slated for a 2010 debut and will be priced at $75, officials say. The second-generation machine's hinged design will allow it to be read like a book, used as a traditional laptop or serve as a larger tablet when laid flat. Technology Review (5/21)

Apply technology to textbooks to better differentiate learning
Collaboratively written "wikitexts" that embed multimedia and include the latest research could help educators move beyond the expensive, hefty and often outdated traditional textbooks, this columnist writes, adding: "Imagine if textbooks were alive ... living, changing, evolving and improving." Paul Bierman, a University of Vermont professor, adds, "Textbooks have yet to respond to changes in technology, teaching philosophy and student life." LinuxInsider (5/18)

Darwin's private papers go digital 
The works of one of the most towering figures of modern science are now available to anyone on the web, CNET reports. 4/17

 Publishers sue Georgia State on digital reading matter
Three prominent academic publishers are suing Georgia State University, contending that the school is violating copyright laws by providing course reading material to students in digital format without seeking permission from the publishers or paying licensing fees, the New York Times reports. | Read More  4/16

E-Texts In The Classroom
E-text readers designed for use in higher education will reduce textbook pricing and address environmental concerns. EDUCAUSE 4/15/08

Next Chapter For E-Books
That great new book is timed for release this summer, and you