Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of Ebooks in Education

Title: Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of Ebooks in Education
Author: JISC (James Clay commissioned writer)
Status: Version 1.0
Report Link: Final version (PDF format)
Bit.ly link: http://bitly.com/jiscobs-tw4
Repository copy: [About] – [PDF]

The final version of the JISC Observatory TechWatch report entitled  Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of Ebooks in Education was published on 20 December 2012.

When referring to this TechWatch report, please cite the URL of this page on the JISC Observatory Web site (rather than the URL of the PDF version of the report, which is subject to change).

Note that the report  was made available for public comments on 27 September 2012. The report has been updated in light of the feedback received, including the comments given below.

18 Responses to Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of Ebooks in Education

  1. Pingback: Preview version of TechWatch Report on eBooks in Education Available for Comments | observatory.jisc.ac.uk

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  6. Zak Mensah says:

    A few comments for your attention re preview version:

    “In June 2012 Amazon went on to release a Kindle App for the iPad, allowing Kindle users to read their Kindle books on the iPad.”

    *** may be worth being clearer that this means you do not need to own a kindle e-reader.

    p10 (of pdf)
    FHE institutions, planning discussions should be based on a solid grasp of technical fundamentals.
    *** assume that “FHE” should be “FE/HE”

    p12
    As with many other forms of digital content, there is no standard ebook format. Formats have largely evolved alongside the development of ebook readers. At the same time, application developers and publishers have employed different formats to operate on various platforms.

    I disagree – epub IS the standard format for publishers and self-publishers. the ibooks and kindle file formats are typically produced from a source epub in publishing land. I would suggest that epub is the standard but then if your audience are in ibooks and kindle stores you can offer versions their too.

    p14
    Whereas the reflowable nature of EPUB is often viewed as a positive characteristic, it is worth noting that academic books with lots of tables and equations often work better in fixed-width PDF format given that reflowable formatting does not always display tables or equations correctly.

    epub now offers fixed-width ebooks. Also the above implies that PDF is better for textbooks due to table handling when in fact this is only useful if viewed on a desktop/large tablet. PDF is useful for most small tablets, mobile phones and e-readers. Furthermore in a recent test at UOB most of our PDF sample failed to open on anything other than a desktop.

    Most people would make the tablets/charts images in a EPUB (not ideal but often works fine). The current continued use of PDF is a major failure for the use and community.

    p18 Comparison table: e-reader support for ebook formats
    *** Missing the 4th Gen Kindle Touch. could also be worth noting that this is the latest version.

    p23
    Web-based platforms (and some other ebook applications) also often require Internet access in order to perform most functions including ebook reading, so they are unable to provide off-line access to ebooks.

    *** may be worth being clear that some DRM requires web access to verify your usage or it won’t open the book at all. ouch.

    p43 Recommendations
    Would suggest that library folk actually use ebooks and see what the common pinch points are. amazed at how few have attempted to use these ebook services. Would also recommend epub, mobi and then pdf for self-publishing

    Notes

    Mention of ebook apps for reading?
    Mention the new wikipedia to epub service?

    #ABOUT CC-BY LICENSING OF THIS REPORT
    Image use may be an issue?

    Assume a EPUB and mobi version will be made available of final report

    No real mention of ‘uniquely digital’ uses for ebooks

    May be worth mentioning epub3 vs epub 2 (epub 3 is only supported in iPad really)

    This will be a great reference resource so thanks!

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  17. Martin Wynne says:

    It might be useful to get a historical perspective on this issue, you can see what JISC reports were saying about the potential use of ebooks in higher education a few years back, in the reports cited at:

    http://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/reports/e-book-working-group-reports/

    Unfortunately, the links there don’t go to the reports, which may be why the new report doesn’t refer to them. The one which I co-authored, on free ebooks, is available at:

    http://www.ota.ox.ac.uk/documents/ebooks/

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