Books Magazine

What Are Companies Doing Now to Revolutionize Textbooks?

By Gumptionent @gumptionent

What are Companies Doing Now to Revolutionize Textbooks?What are companies doing now to revolutionize textbooks? Well, they are re-engineering them to be used on cross-platform technology. In my previous blog post I wrote about the current trends of book publishing, distributing, and licensing; however, I touched lightly on the technologies that companies are developing and unveiling.
Again, it has become a heightened concern that many print books are going to be completely replaced by e-books. However, a study done by Kathryn Zickuhr and NPR’s David Greene, shows that young readers do not want print books to be replaced by e-books and that they are actually reading more than expected.
Kathryn Zickuhr and David Greene share their research on the reading habits of young Americans:
“We found that about 8 in 10 Americans under age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about 7 in 10 adults in general, American adults. So, they’re reading – they’re more likely to be using their library.”
This is good news, I think. It just proves my point from my previous blog post that even younger generations are still going to love print books, not just older generations. I don’t want print books to go away. And I really don’t think they will become obsolete (at least for a very long time). We might not use or print them as much, but there’s still a satiable need to have them. What do you think?
That being said, publishing companies are beginning to transform the way textbooks are created. Being very innovative, publishers have released cross-platform technology for textbooks that enhances a student’s learning experience. Research also shows that even though content is becoming more and more available on the web, users do not necessarily consume it effectively.
Research teams have been designing prototypes to maximize a user’s experience when reading content on the Internet. They have based their prototypes off of three principles: readability, discoverability, and extensibility. They have found that people read web pages in an F-pattern. This F-pattern consists of two horizontal lines followed by a vertical stripe, which means that authors of web content must consider how their content is displayed.
Moreover, the publishing company, McGraw-Hill, launched SmartBook, which is a new textbook platform that allows students a more dynamic experience. The SmartBook technology adapts to the student’s interactions and learning patterns. The press release from McGraw Hill that Alexis Santos shares claims that there are many benefits from this adaptive learning method:It continually assesses students’ knowledge, skill, and confidence levels

  • Allows students to focus their outside-of-class study time on topics and concepts that are challenging to them
  • Provides a photo-realistic virtual lab experience that uses adaptive technology
  • Pinpoints areas of weakness and supplies students with targeted content
  • Benefits instructors to better prepare their students for class on advanced concepts and high-level discussion

There are many more benefits to these cross-platform technologies and methodologies, but it gives you a general idea. If you’ve ever been to a new technology convention, you may have seen stuff like this being showcased. The economy is obviously heading in a very innovative direction and I think it’s pretty exciting to say the least. Besides the fact that I still love hard copy print books, I think it is awesome to live in the era of such innovative technology. Simulation, holograms, and interactive glass (Corning Inc.) are other new trends amongst us, so we have to think about how impactful these are going to be for reading, learning, and interacting. Will we live in a world one day where print books are completely obsolete?

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