The goal of the JISC Report into the ’Challenge of eBooks in Academic Institutions’ project is to help “orientate senior institutional managers and to support institutions in the effective adoption and deployment of eBooks and eBook technology. As a consequence the project helps to support the wider ambition to enable improvements in the quality and impact of teaching, learning and research and meet rising staff and student expectations.”
“At present, for academic institutions, the ebook paradigm largely remains one of PDF format ebooks consumed using PCs. This is now dissolving. The ebook landscape is changing rapidly, driven to a large extent by developments in ebook readers and tablet devices which have enabled better ways to consume econtent.”
If, like me, you like to watch your films or listen to music on more than one device (in more than one location) then you’ll have had to copy/digitise/rip it, which is not always legal.
But it can be done. For your CDs you need to just put them in your computer and iTunes or other music library software will offer to rip it for you. Connect your digital audio device and copy the file across and you can listen to your CD in the car, gym, bus, or at work or walking the dog. It’s slightly more difficult for your DVDs but there is software that can rip it into an MP4/M4V or MOV or WMV file which will play on your laptop, tablet, etc. and you can watch on the train, bus, plane, or in the shed or bath (wherever you want).
But what about your extensive library of books you’ve been collecting. If, like me, you also want to be able to read these electronically then it’s a lot tougher to digitise. So why can’t you get the electronic copy at the same time as the physical one? You can do this with your DVDs and with some CDs now (some DVDs come with the Ultraviolet digital copy), so why not books? Continue reading
I have used three different systems to generate and monitor my QR Codes over the past five years or so. My current favourite is linked to the shortened URL generator from Google - goo.gl.
For each shortened URL you create on goo.gl you can have a QR Code too, all you have to do is add .qr to the end of the URL.
For example, the shortened URL for my eBook on QR Codes in Education, generated for this blog post, is http://goo.gl/rYNr4v. If you added .qr to the end of it you won’t be directed to the page but shown the QR Code for it: http://goo.gl/rYNr4v.qr. And here it is:
The Educause Centre for Applied Research (ECAR) has recently published their “ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013” report.
The report summary has the following key points and recommendations:
- Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
- Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
- Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
- Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.
“In the future, e-books will act just like social networks. We’ll use them on our phones, share and comment right inside e-reader apps, and publishers will use our data to help them make better marketing decisions. If you think digital reading is exploding now, just wait.”
So says Michael Grothaus in his article for the FastCompany website: “E-Books Could Be The Future Of Social Media”.
“In the future, e-books are going to explode beyond just containing stories, becoming niche social networks where we discuss our favorite passages with other readers and even authors and publishers buy our data to make more informed decisions. So hold on tight, book lovers. Reading as we know it will soon change, forever.” Continue reading
Those of you know me will know I published two eBooks earlier this year. This post will deal a little with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ I did it, but also I hope it’ll help you think about whether it’s something you want to do for yourself.
Self-publishing isn’t just about fiction or recipe books, it isn’t just about making lots of money or becoming a house-hold name. It’s about control over your knowledge, control and influence over availability and presentation of your work, and above all it’s about your name and your ‘brand’.
Just so you know I’m talking from experience, here are the details of my two self-published works (to date) – I have grown and strengthened my reputation based around my work as Learning Technologist and with QR Codes, and I write here on these topics frequently:
- QR Codes in Education: “These black and white squares have appeared everywhere from billboards at the side of the road, roof tops, cola cans, buses, magazines, etc. So why not in your library, textbook, assignment, project, or classroom display? The ability to use them to direct students or colleagues to online resources (presentation slides, websites, video, book location, etc.) is powerful and engaging and, when well implemented, can offer a level of interaction and engagement. It’s not about what they are but about how we use them and what they can offer me in an educational setting.”
- What is a Learning Technologist?: “My journey as a Learning Technologist started in 2007 and has taken many turns and overcome many obstacles. What has remained throughout is the question of ‘what is a Learning Technologist’? Looking at published work and personal experience I have collected my blog posts together in this eBook and added further commentary and notes to provide the background to the posts and the work I am engaged in.”
I’ll deal with the first real questions about writing an eBook … why? Continue reading
The question as to when (or if) paper textbooks will be replaced with digital editions keeps cropping up, and I was asked this again on twitter today by @SteljesEdn: “Are textbooks coming to the end of their life? what do you think”: read the discussion we had on the link.
So, will they? I don’t think so, not any time soon at any rate. The digital editions of textbooks currently available are little more than a PDF of the printed version, and for publishers that literally provide a PDF and call it an eBook .. shame on you! An eBook doesn’t have pages as the text is defined by the eReader device or software and can be altered by the individual: you cannot change a PDF text size except by zooming in/out.
In order for digital textbooks to really surpass the paper editions they need to offer more, and by more I mean embrace the technology and have embedded video, links, question & answers, and even link (in real-time?) readers from all over the world. Continue reading
This is the first book on MOOCs I’ve been inclined to read, purely because Igne Ignatia de Waard (@Ignatia) is someone I respect through our shared interest and conversations on Twitter – “MOOC YourSelf – Set up your own MOOC for Business, Non-Profits, and Informal Communities”.
Self-published through the Amazon Direct Publishing process Ignatia looks at the different options/formats for MOOCs and fits them in to best online learning practices and offers design and learning options. In the book she also looks at the pedagogy surrounding MOOCs and the options currently available for the often-criticised certification routes.
“The challenges and benefits of MOOCs are highlighted and guidelines on how to build an optimal MOOC experience are shared. Online learning best practices’ are listed with a focus on MOOC specific learning characteristics, certification options and pedagogies.”
The background and history to the current MOOC hype(first section of the book) is not for me, but it is worth reading as the basis for the cMOOC and xMOOC approach are explained well and are vital if you are to get the most out of the rest of the book. Continue reading
“Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader … I say, Hardwick, this sure is an impressive library.”
Image Source: Jeffery Koterba’s cartoon: “Impressive Library”
Last week I was interviewed by Zak Mensah (@zakmensah) on the subject of eBooks, QR Codes, and the wider subject and community of Learning Technology.
Listen to Zak’s recording on his website or the embedded audio Soundcloud below: