Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, magazine and newspaper subscriptions with color photos will be available on the device. In addition, according to a posting on the Bits Blog, B&N has also introduced a new feature called Nook Friends that will allow readers to share content and notes with friends via social networks.
It will be interesting to see how this new type of device does this holiday season. B&N is expected to begin shipping the devices on November 19th.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
While the blog highlights many of the digital happenings affecting our industry, there is often more going on than we have a chance to cover. Here are some links to interesting articles from the past few days.
- Apple sold 4.19 million iPads last quarter bringing its total sales to almost 7.5 million since April. Interestingly, the iPad sales last quarter were greater than the sales for the entire line of Macintosh computers which also hit a record high at nearly 3.9 million units. Some analysts are now predicting that Apple will sell up to 40 million iPads next year.
- According to an article from Adage, Apple has also expanded distribution for the iPad to retailers such as Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Best Buy. Previously, the iPad was available at 300 Apple stores and now it will be available at 8,000 stores across the country.
- A recent survey of students by the Associated Press and mtvU found that 57 percent of students said that life without computers and cell phones would be stressful but 25 percent said it would be a relief.
- An article from The New York Times says that Sharp is scaling back its laptop operations to focus on tablets. Sharp plans to launch 5.5-inch and 10-inch screen Android tablets in December. In addition, Sharp will launch an e-book store that will give users access to 30,000 e-books, newspapers, and magazines. A second article from MacWorld provides more information about the tablets.
- According to a TechCrunch article, Amazon says that it continues to sell more Kindle books than print books. Amazon says that it has sold more than three times as many Kindle books from January to September of this year than it did for the same nine months of 2009. Amazon also says that sales for its latest Kindle device have already surpassed total Kindle device sales from the holiday season last year (October through December 2009).
- A recent article from Publishers Weekly discusses the challenges associated with formatting e-books.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Amazon also announced that it will make Kindle newspapers and magazines available for reading on the Kindle apps. This functionality will be available for Apple devices initially and for Android devices or other apps in the future. This functionality may encourage users to stay within the Kindle app for all of their reading on various devices.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Here is a link to a video demo with additional information.
Friday, October 22, 2010
In an email about the webinar, Steven Keith Platt, PRI Director and Research Fellow, noted, "Our research study found that 97 percent of students prefer to receive information via digital channels, rather than from non-digital sources. Overall, text messages were found to be the most effective distribution channel, followed closely by digital signage."
For those interested in attending, you can sign up here.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Neil Patterson, director of Life on Earth, commented on the effort to revolutionize science education. Patterson noted, “Motion and film are powerful ways of teaching. We’re trying to exploit the human brain, like videogames do, and it’s not a small matter to use technology now available to us.”
The digital book will contain 59 chapters and will be extremely expensive to create so university level editions will be sold for about 10 percent of the cost of an average print textbook. The foundation will also need donations to support the effort.
The Wired article also includes a couple of videos that are worth watching. The first video is a demonstration of the first chapter of Life on Earth and the second video provides more information about the initiative.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
In regards to texting, teens between the ages of 13-17 far surpass every other age group. Teens send an average of 3,339 texts a month or about six texts for every hour that they are awake. Young adults between the ages of 18-24 come in second at about 1,630 texts per month or about three texts per hour. For both age groups, voice activity has decreased since last year.
According to the report, these age groups are now relying on their phones for many tasks in addition to texting including: the Internet, e-mail, multimedia, games, and apps. Since the second quarter of 2009, data usage among teens (ages 3-17) has quadrupled and among young adults (18-24) it has tripled.
The increased reliance on mobile devices among these age groups presents many opportunities for the mobile industry in the future.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
- 85% of all Americans and 96% of 18-29 year olds own a cell phone
- 52% of all Americans and 72% of 18-19 year olds own a laptop computer
- 47% of all Americans and 75% of 18-29 year olds own an mp3 player
- 42% of all Americans and 62% of 18-29 year olds own a home gaming system
In regards to e-readers and tablets, 5% of all Americans own and e-book reader and 4% own a tablet computer. The report notes that these devices are new but they are proving to be popular with early adopters. The ownership rates of these devices among college graduates and the affluent are roughly double the national average.
The full report is available here
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
A recent article from AZCentral.com discusses the pilot at ASU. McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and Cengage Learning have all made a limited number of titles available for the pilot. Some professors who own the rights to their books have also made the titles available for printing. As a result of the pilot, the textbook prices for several courses have reduced. Dennis Mekelburg, associate director of ASU Bookstore, estimates that students could save about a half-million dollars each semester if five percent of ASU classes switch to print-on-demand.
In another article Estella McCollum, director of the KU Bookstore, commented on the pilot at KU. She noted, “With this, we’re essentially never out of stock on the printable titles. We just have a more efficient option for purchasing.” The KU Bookstore hopes to expand the print options next semester to include: student projects, books, portfolios, cookbooks, and other projects.
An article about the pilot at Portland State University points out that the program is good for students, the store, and the earth because it reduces prices for students, keeps sales at the store, and reduces wasteful printing and transportation. The store hopes to get more publishers on board by next semester so that they can increase the amount of content that can be printed.
More information about these pilots will be available prior to CAMEX in February 2011.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Some of the Student PIRG data that contributed to this conclusion matches data from the NACS Student Watch study however, there are some differences. For example, in regards to student preferences, the Student PIRGs data shows that 75 percent of students prefer print while 25 percent prefer digital. The NACS study found a similar statistic but when students were subsequently asked the primary reason for purchasing print over digital only 42 percent indicated that their preference for print was the primary reason for their purchase choice. The next two reasons were: lack of inventory (19 percent) and that the professor used the print copy (13 percent). This shows that while a majority of students may prefer print to digital, that preference is decreasing in its relevance as a reason not to purchase digital -- suggesting that the preference for print over digital may be lessening in significance. If the content is available and if the faculty chooses digital more students may be ready to switch. Preference for print may have been definitive before but it is more marginal now.
The Student PIRGs report also estimates that students would spend an average of 80 percent less on textbooks each year if they moved to all open textbooks. This compares to 61 percent less for rentals, 52 percent less for e-textbooks, and 39 percent less for e-reader textbooks. While open textbooks may be more affordable now, the model may not be sustainable over the long term. As more faculty adopt open course materials, it may have an impact on overall educational affordability because revenue that goes to support financial aid, tuition sustainability, and other institutional expenses will be lost. This is not an argument against seeking lower cost course materials. Rather, it is an argument that open source still presents enough shortcomings that it is not yet a panacea for the textbook affordability problem.
While open textbooks will certainly play a part in the future, the associated limitations need to be worked out before they can be widely adopted. College Stores should be thinking about ways to incorporate open textbooks into their offerings. College Stores have an opportunity to provide access to the digital versions and offer printed versions through print-on-demand so that the store remains the primary source for student content needs, regardless of format or source.