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Higher Education

Kno Me Dashboard Lets Students Measure Digital Study Habits

Education software company Kno has launched a new dashboard for students to measure how much time they are spending with each digital textbook they use on the Kno platform called Kno Me. Students can use the tool to map their study behavior, manage their time and measure personal progress.

Kno Me’s data is complied from Kno’s analytics platform and includes things like the average time a student spends reading a specific book or chapter within that book, as well as the percentage of pages in the chapter the student annotates.

The tool has social sharing features, so that students can share their stats with their friends and even follow other classmates.

“The question we want to help students answer is ‘How much am I really studying?’ If you’re a student, you don’t know the answer until you get your grade, and if it’s bad, it’s too late,” explained Osman Rashid, cofounder/CEO at Kno, in a statement. “Kno Me is like a personal learning GPS that helps you locate where you are in your studies and see where you need to go.”

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Digital Textbooks Still Not As Popular As Print At University Of Rochester

While the University of Rochester is embracing digital textbooks with a new digital book kiosk in its bookstore, eBooks aren’t as popular as print textbooks.

Campus Times explains that cost, format and functionality are the reasons that students haven’t been embracing the new technology.

Here is more: “UR Bookstore manager Maria Ferrante noted that, despite the widespread availability of e-Textbooks, the digital forms of many textbooks are much less popular than the hardcover versions. In practice, students who purchase e-Textbooks generally only do so when the bookstore has run out of hard copies and the student is desperate for the material. ‘I don’t use e-Textbooks because I like to highlight and annotate in my textbooks — it helps me understand the material better,’ junior Cindy Zu said.”

Kno Study Finds Students Prefer Digital To Print

Digital textbook publishing company  Kno released the results of a study this week in which they revealed that 95% of students find the Kno app very useful and will use it again.
Obviously since the company did the survey about themselves for their product, it should be taken with a grain of salt. But there are some stats in the report that are interesting. For instance, 3 out of 4 the respondents said that reading, annotating and search were all better on Kno than using a physical book, suggesting an affinity for digital textbooks over print among college students.
The study also found that 61% chose Kno for convenience and mobility of book and 97% of students have used one or more interactive features including video, interactive homework and images.

Apple Isn’t The Only One Distributing Digital Textbooks

Ever since Apple announced their entry into the digital textbook business, digital book distribution companies have been sending out press releases reminding the industry what they are doing with digital text books.

For example, digital book distributor Copia sent a press release saying that by spring they will be powering more than 900 eBook stores for universities across the country. These bookstores, which will all be up and running in the coming months, are individually branded by the schools that they represent.

University Publishing Online, a company that provides scholars access to digital texts from around the world, reported today new relationships with Anthem Press, Boydell & Brewer Group, Edinburgh University Press,

Nottingham University Press,

Pickering & Chatto and 
The University of Adelaide Press.

Cambridge University Press Launches University Publishing Online

Searching through academic texts has gotten easier, thanks to a new online database from Cambridge University Press.

University Publishing Online is a new digital database of aggregated content from the Mathematical Association of America (based in Washington D.C.), Liverpool University Press, Foundation Books (based in India) and Cambridge University Press. (Access to content from Edinburgh University Press and Nottingham University Press is coming in early 2012). This means access to more than 13,000 front and backlist titles through search and browsing tools. Users can control their searches and search across all University Publishing Online content or limit a search to select publishers

Researchers can use the new digital book database in two ways. They can either subscribe to the service to the service annually or they can purchase content individually.



MPS Launches eBook Platform For Adult Continuing Education

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) has partnered with MPS Limited, a Macmillan company, to launch an eBook store for its adult learning content.

The content will be hosted by MPS as the Institute expands the site’s eBook collection from its current base of 19 titles. The organization will also add enhanced eBooks to its collection in the future.

NIACE is selling these eBooks in either EPUB or PDF format. These eBooks will have an Adobe Content DRM applied to prevent piracy.

Rajiv K. Seth, MD and CEO of MPS Limited, commented: “As the educational publishing industry moves rapidly ahead with digital formats, we are delighted to be playing an active part in NIACE’s eBook program.”

Are eBooks Bad For Learning?

We have seen plenty of arguments as to why digital textbooks are good. They can be updated with the latest content; they can be cheaper to buy and students can even rent them; and they are a lot lighter to carry around than a backpack full of books.

But some argue that digital textbooks aren’t given the same attention as print textbooks.

According to The Kansas City Star, two-thirds of University of Washington graduate students who were given Kindles to study on abandoned barely used them by the end of the year.

The Kansas City Star has more: “In another recent study, 500 undergraduates at the University of California were asked to compare printed books with e-books. Most of the students said they still preferred reading from pages rather than from screens. According to a report on the study, many of the students ‘commented on the difficulty they have learning, retaining and concentrating’ when looking at a computer screen. In a typical complaint, one of the students said, ‘E-books divide my attention.’”

What do you think of this arguement? CEO Talks Digital Textbook Rental

Digital textbook rental is on the rise at universities across the country, as students are looking to spend less on textbooks and are beginning to adopt eReaders and eReading on PCs. Joining the likes of sites like and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Study, Amazon recently entered the digital textbook rental game. We caught up with CEO Alan Martin to discuss how this space is evolving.

EBN: How does Amazon’s entry into the space change digital textbook rentals?

AM: It’s probably too soon to tell since this is the first real swing at digital rentals, but it is definitely raising awareness of the textbook rental space. eTextbooks have always essentially been rentals since purchasers never own the textbook indefinitely. Students simply license the rights to access it for a period of time, after which, it simply goes away or is no longer accessible. Amazon just shortened that period of time to as little as 30 days, which makes it feel a bit more like a true rental. Textbooks rentals are not a perfect comp to the eBook market. There are different problems eTextbooks need to solve in order to effectively penetrate the market. Watching closely how the Kindle is adopted will help illuminate the challenges that need to be solved for eTextbooks to reach widespread adoption. Read more

McGraw-Hill now Offers Access to its Content From Any Campus Portal

McGraw-Hill Education announced this week that it had accomplished a minor milestone in platform integration. College students and instructors now have 1 click access to McGraw-Hill content from just about any learning management system on the market (and a couple that shouldn’t be).

McGraw-Hill Campus, its digital content platform, can easily be connected with an existing technology infrastructure, and it promises seamless integration for Active Directory, Angel, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, eCollege, LDAP, Moodle, Sakai, Shibboleth, WebCT, and more. This gives instructors true single sign-on, one-click access to McGraw-Hill’s high-quality content and tools from any place within their college’s system.

J. Brice Bible, CIO at Ohio University, had this to say: “‘We’re always looking for innovative ways to provide valuable information to our faculty and students. McGraw-Hill Campus goes beyond our expectations, not only offering unlimited access to the broad range of content and learning materials McGraw-Hill produces, but also integrating directly into our existing infrastructure, allowing faculty to instantly access the content from within a system they are already comfortable with, and are already using.”

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University of Rochester Launches eBook Series

The University of Rochester’s imprint Open Letter Books has introduced a new series international literature eBooks.

The current collection includes: Bragi Ólafsson‘s The Ambassador and The Pets, Jerzy Pilch‘s A Thousand Peaceful Cities and The Mighty Angel, Mercè Rodoreda‘s Death in Spring and The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda, Quim Monzó‘s Gasoline and Guadalajara, and Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov‘s The Golden Calf.

The imprint will be selling its eBooks in the Kindle store, Nook store and in iBooks, among other places. To help promote the launch, all of the eBooks will be priced at $4.99 through June 30th.