Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cengage's MindTap and TED enters education

Two interesting pieces in the Chronicle's Wired Campus last week.

The first article comments on Cengage's announcement last week to create a more "app-based" platform for digital course materials. Called MindTap, this is probably the first app-market specifically for education-oriented apps. More importantly, this is yet another step to a future of the textbook where the "PDF equivalent" is just part of a larger interactive learning environment. The system is being piloted at 9 undisclosed campuses. One paragraph from the article is worth noting here for bookstores:

The move is the latest in a growing platform war among textbook publishers, as traditional textbook companies seek to define what a textbook should be in the digital age and possibly even control the online storefront for textbook publishing.

The second article noted that TED would be looking to provide short TED talks, and ultimately contribute to the revolution of education by using video and other technology. As part of the project new content will be generated, in addition to reclassifying the 900+ existing TED talks to align with academic disciplines.

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