e-Books and e-Textbooks
This page provides links to some resources about e-books and e-textbooks and the part they can play in education and training.
Articles in date order, most recent first.
Submit a new Library item
"Somewhat of a card catalog (database), union catalog, "books-in-print"(tm) for full-text books that have been digitized and are available through the internet. Indexes 1800 sites, including the British Library Item, Havard, Univ. of Michigan, Cornell, Univ of Gottingen, Yale, Digital Library Item of India, etc. etc. Can be searched by Author, Author & Title, Subject, or Publisher (ie, hosting site)".
Added: 6 March 2007
Membership required to access the catalogue.
"E-books are commonly perceived as offering great potential for learner support but also as struggling to compete with print due to poor on-screen presentation, restrictive licencing and limited range of titles offered. The experience of a group of Irish university libraries shows that, with the right combination of product and subjects, e-books can thrive among students and faculty, while librarians can create more dynamic, relevant and flexible collections than for print. Subscription management is demanding for libraries, however, and licencing issues remain highly problematic, representing a formidable obstacle to full exploitation." John Cox, National University of Ireland, Galway in D-Lib Magazine, October 2004
Added: 19 October 2004
"This article reports findings from library and user perspectives, seeking to relate them to other studies and services and to future e-book development. It begins with an overview of the Safari service."
"In order for an online course to be truly digital, all aspects of it must be converted so the student has similar experiences within this delivery system. Although some individuals feel that a traditional textbook is more appropriate, the difference in look, feel, and quality is almost the same when electronic books are adopted. Students have an option of downloading and printing the electronic materials or of just reading the material while connected to the Internet. Barry W Birnbaum, e-Learning Dialogue, Syllabus Magazine, 23 June 2004
Added: 1 July 2004
Barry believes "e-books are the wave of the future"
"Researchers at Hewlett Packard have developed a prototype electronic book which can hold a whole library on a device no bigger than a paperback." Jonathan Fildes, BBC News, 24 August 2003
Added: 30 August 2003
BBC's review of this new device from HP
Added: 30 August 2003
Reviewer's Note: Ask Bruce at BBC Webwise for a quick answer
"A step-by-step guide that covers th basics of creating and optimising Adobe Portable Document Format files so that they can be viewed as electronic books (eBooks)" (Available in PDF format)
Added: 10 July 2003
Useful for anyone wanting to create an e-Book using Adobe Acrobat
"This guide explains the various types of books that Microsoft Reader can handle and provides sample code for common layout features, from tables of contents to drop caps, and from poetry to cookbooks." (Available in Word or Reader formats)
Added: 10 July 2003
Useful for anyone wanting to create an e-Book for the Microsoft Reader
"The need for best practice guidelines for the design of electronic textbooks arose from the growing availability of learning and teaching material for Higher Education in electronic format, to which students are increasingly turning as a first port of call when seeking material to support their studies." Ruth Wilson and Monica Landoni, Computer and Information Science Department, University of Strathclyde, UK, 28 March 2002
Added: 10 August 2002
Available in HTML, PDF or Word formats
"The many attempts at science education reform have left the science textbook virtually unchanged. It has become more slick, colorful and stylish. Today's college student would label reading a textbook as a passive activity ... These limitations can be overcome with an electronic textbook." JD Myers
Added: 21 June
An excellent overview of how to create a truly interactive e-book.
"The Open eBook Forum (OeBF) is an international trade and standards organization. Our members consist of hardware and software companies, publishers, authors, users of electronic books, and related organizations whose common goals are to establish specifications and standards for electronic publishing. The Forum's work will foster the development of applications and products that will benefit creators of content, makers of reading systems and, most importantly, consumers."
Added: 25 May 2002
"the Leading International Trade and Standards Organization for the eBook Industry"
"As digital rights management matures as an industry, delivering secure electronic content is becoming more than a virtual reality for intellectual property owners. Publishers, who for years were reluctant to venture into online content distribution for fear of losing control of their assets, are beginning to partner with content delivery vendors to sell course materials online." Randol Larson, Syllabus, May 2002
Added: 25 May 2002
An example of a professor's use of ebooks in his classes
"text-e, the first entirely virtual symposium dedicated to investigating the impact of the Web on reading, writing and the diffusion of knowledge"
Added: 20 December 2001
The Bibliotheque publique d'information (BPI), Centre Pompidou, the Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS), and EURO-EDU have combined forces (with the help of GiantChair.com and UNESCO) to set up this virtual symposium.
"In early May 2001, in preparation for the EPSG conference 'Turning over new leaves', I raised a question on the InfoDesign-Cafe email discussion list on the Internet, for people interested in information/interaction design and usability. I asked: how useful might an e-book be, what usability problems need to be overcome, what fundamental limitations might e-books have, and what could they potentially deliver?"
Added: 10 November 2001
Some thoughts on: Readability, resolution and type; the illuminated page and electronic paper; how big is a book? etc
"This paper argues that the evolution of e-book technology is related to the penetrating impact of networks and information technology on society. It defines the concept of e-book and describes some aspects of e-book technology. By focusing on book production processes, the paper examines what probable consequences the development of e-books and a global network economy will have for publishers and book industries. E-books, along with other electronic formats, will trigger major changes as the digital products and distribution channels will force the logic of the network economy on the book publishing industry." Terje Hillesund, first Monday, Vol 6 No 10, October 2001
Added: 12 October 2001
A comprehensive article on e-book publishing and its future
"Electronic books, or e-books, are portable computer devices about the size of a paperback but slightly heftier, designed for the convenient storage and display of reading material. E-books offer many features that make them suitable for these tasks, such as lightweight design, ease of use, the ability to store large amounts of material, and high-quality backlit screens for comfortable viewing in any lighting situation. E-books offer great promise as an emerging educational technology, but to date this potential remains largely untapped."
Added: 24 September 2001
This article outlines the pros and cons of e-books
"The eBook phenomenon has been hyped by the press as being about popular trade paperbacks ... In reality, eBooks can span a vast range of types of content. Short stories, plays, research reports, manuals, textbooks, speeches, white papers, course packs, and distance learning materials all make great eBooks ... Admittedly, we're a long way from the replacing the aesthetic feel of a printed book; however for readers who read for inforamtion and who are mobile, the benefits so outweigh the disadvantages as to ensure that the era of the eBook has begun." Michael A Looney and Mark Sheehan, Educause, July/August 2001
Added: 25 August 2001
A look at how eBooks add value to education and what will make eBooks successful in education: content, accessibility and readability.
"When students at the University of Phoenix return to school this fall, many of them won't be carrying books in their backpacks. Instead, they will download digital textbooks, multimedia simulations and PowerPoint presentations from portable e-book readers and desktop PCs. These students are part of the university's plan to phase out traditional textbooks and become a "bookless college." Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, 23 August 2001
Added: 24 August 2001
The benefits of e-books for students and universities
"No more homework, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks. Well, one out of three isn't bad. This school year could be the greatest market test yet for enhanced electronic books, which will infiltrate campuses in a variety of formats, from downloadable textbooks to e-book readers and other handheld devices." Kendra Mayfield, Wired News, 15 August 2001
Added: 23 August 2001
Some general information about the e-textbook market
"On college campuses and high school classrooms, the full-blown digital revolution is still a few semesters away. Currently, there are textbooks available on CD-ROM. But the big change will come in early 2001 when students start using their laptops to read interactive Web-based textbooks enhanced with multimedia content surrounded by tools for communication and study." M J Rose, Wired News, 15 August 2001
Added: 23 August 2001
General info about e-textbooks
"This report intends to examine two emerging technologies, E-Learning, and within that the expansion of the E-Book phenomenon. Through the study of various resources, for example academic journals combined with web information, it is hoped to identify current difficulties faced by those at the forefront of the Information Era. In addition, examine the growth industry and future trends of such technologies. The report makes no distinction between educational and corporate uses of E-Learning methods, but rather seeks to encompass both under the same umbrella. From this conclusions will be drawn." R Hamilton, C Richards and C Sharp, SoCBytes (a peer-reviewed ITT learning resources written by students), June 2001
Added: 30 July 2001
Good coverage of the area of e-books and e-learning
"There are many that believe the number of articles, reports, conferences and advertisements about the e-book these days are quite disproportionate to its significance. It is important to separate business spin and actual facts. Ultimately, e-books are yet another format; like audio books. As yet, the e-book certainly has not proved itself to be a major threat to the future of the book in its traditional format, though this could change. The following piece considers the current situation with regard to e-publishing in the international publishing industry as a whole, considering quotes by leading innovators in the e-book sector to heads of large uk publishing houses, everybody has an opinion on how development may proceed but who is right? What stage are we at with the development of e-books and what future trends are we likely to see? This paper attempts to provide a stimuli for further discussion on the subject of the e-book - is it a case of here today, gone tomorrow or could it prove to revolutionise the traditional publishing world as we know it?" Katy Davies, Anita Fitzsimons, Eleanor MacLeod, SoCBytes (a peer-reviewed ITT learning resources written by students), June 2001
Added: 30 July 2001
A good introduction to e-books