Thursday, June 11, 2009

Liquid Textbooks: Coursepacks in a Web 2.0 Digital World?

Symtext is a start-up company based in Toronto that is promoting Liquid Textbooks.

This is how they describe Liquid Textbooks to academics (excerpt from their site):

By comparison, Symtext enables you to teach better courses by assembling best of breed digital content from multiple publishers into dynamic, continuously evolving "Liquid Textbooks", thus ensuring the highest possible quality content for students. Unlike traditional materials, Liquid Textbooks include not only traditional content like chapters, cases and articles, but podcasts, videos, presentations - curated Flickr feeds - data files, and many other types of digital files. (We'll clear the rights and do the work to make sure your students gain access to your Liquid Textbook through your School's Learning Management System.)

Web 2.0 approaches to digital content, such as this effort, may eclipse the focus on static digital textbooks (i.e. digital versions of hardcopy textbooks) sooner rather than later.

Digital initiatives, whether applications or hardware, are emerging and evolving at a increasingly quicker pace. Where it is going to end up, nobody knows at this point. But we can't wait until the dust settles. Campus stores need to quicken efforts to adapt to the digital future, and a changing role within that future.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

E-reader devices: The fun is just starting

This is an excellent update on what is happening with e-readers.

E-reader devices: The fun is just starting Between the Lines

In particular, this was interesting:

The key element player in the market—and driving down the price will be China.
Consider the textbook tipping point:
The textbook tipping point won’t come
from Harvard, MIT,or even Stanford: We think it will come from developing
nations like China and India, whose universities will use technology
to leapfrog ahead of Western counterparts. China especially is already a
fast-growing market for eReaders like Jinke Electronics’ HanLin eBook,
which sells for US$299 and includes 600 free books. We expect the textbook
eReader market to start this year with modest sales of content
through the Kindle DX, with greater adoption starting in 2011 and reaching
more sizable numbers by 2013.

Friday, June 5, 2009

University of Saskatchewan Bookstore begins renovations

This is the first post of a series that will follow the renovations to the Bookstore at the University of Saskatchewan. As you can see in the above picture, these shelves have been emptied and will soon be moved out. The area shown here will be gutted and redesigned into a more modern and efficient retail space.
Renovations will take place now through till mid December. The plan is to renovate our main cash out area, some offices and retail space for clothing, art supplies and stationery from now till mid August. Work will then be put on hold till the end of September when we renovate the book selling floor and the rest of the offices. The Bookstore will remain open during the renovations.

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