The second half of our interview swap (at least part 1 of the second half–we have a lot to say) with online magazine Fringe is now available on the Fringe blog. Thanks a lot to Lizzie Stark and the others at Fringe for doing the interviews and asking some great questions. Check out their questions and our responses here.
According to a Missouri local newspaper, representatives from McGraw-Hill met with faculty from Northwest Missouri State University facutly this week to discuss how things are going with the pilot ebook program and no doubt investigate how they can great more desirable digital textbooks. One suggestion:
Meeting with a group of philosophy professors Thursday afternoon, the publishing representatives learned that students and teachers would prefer to have online access to the books they use, as well as the downloaded versions, on the university laptops.
Let’s hope this means a next iteration of digital textbooks (and perhaps ebooks of the near future) that takes user needs interaction and connectivity seriously. In a previous post, Nico pointed out the school’s plans for using digital texts and their unique position due to their textbook rental policy (a great idea for sparing students the outrages prices of collegiate text books, especially used ones: schools should do better than to fleece their students like they do). You can read the whole article about the publishing reps’ visit here.
It’s a little disheartening that they didn’t seem to find any great shakes with the ereader devices, but it’s easy to understand how the limited functionality of current-gen ereaders doesn’t capture the attention of the multitasking young college student majority. The connectivity and sharing potential of the Vital Source program and note-sharing capabilities mentioned are many, however, and hopefully other publishers like McGraw-Hill are thinking seriously about improving their digital products for “voracious” customers, and building a viable epublishing model, rather than merely dumping text into digital formats for quick profits as too-often seems to be the current trend.