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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
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Google Play Will Soon Let You Buy and Rent Textbooks

Google Play Will Soon Let You Buy and Rent Textbooks | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Google announced on Wednesday huge news for students: You can soon buy and rent textbooks for tablets via its Google Play store.

The company announced during a press event in San Francisco that it's adding a new channel for digital textbooks, starting in August and just in time for the school year. Users can access these textbooks via the web, Android and iOS devices.

 

Although no information was given about pricing, Google said we will see a "comprehensive selection of titles" from five major publishing houses. Textbooks can be purchased or rented for about six months. Content will also be available up to an 80% discount.

 

"Instead of a 400 page doorstop, Google Play books brings you awesome new features like search, bookmarks, highlighting, notes and even night mode, so you don't wake your roommate," Ellie Powers, Google Play product manager, told attendees.

 

Notes and bookmarks will be synced across all devices, whether a user is accessing it online or later on a smartphone or tablet.

Some of the major subjects coming to Google's textbook collection will include math, law, accounting and chemistry.  "For just the cost of one new Nexus 7, you can buy that and rent all of your textbooks instead," Powers said.

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Macmillan to launch two-year ebook library lending pilot

Macmillan to launch two-year ebook library lending pilot | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Big-six publisher Macmillan, which has kept its ebooks out of libraries until now, is launching a pilot lending program, the company announced Thursday.

The pilot is limited to 1,200 older titles from the Minotaur Books mystery and crime fiction imprint (part of Macmillan’s St. Martins division). Libraries will be able to lend out the ebooks for two years or 52 times, whichever comes first, before having to buy a new copy. According to Library Journal, each ebook will cost $25. The ebooks will be available through three different digital library distributors at launch: OverDrive, 3M Cloud Library and Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360.

 

Macmillan CEO John Sargent said in a statement, “Among the many titles we publish, mystery and crime fiction makes up one of the largest categories and Minotaur Books is the primary source. And, as the library market has always been one of Minotaur’s largest customers, we think that this pilot will provide books especially desired by library patrons.” Alison Lazarus, president of Macmillan’s sales division, told Library Journal that the company “will make assessments along the way as to whether to expand the title selection and whether to continue the program as launched beyond the two-year term.”

 

Publishers have been reluctant to offer ebooks to libraries in part because they fear that it will cut into sales. Sargent said “ we do not expect [the pilot] will heavily impact our retail sales over time.”

 

With Macmillan’s new offering, all the big-six publishers except for Simon & Schuster are making ebooks available to libraries in at least a limited way. Penguin is testing its own pilot with libraries in New York, Los Angeles and Cleveland (after previously pulling all its ebooks and digital audiobooks from libraries). Random House makes all of its ebooks available to libraries but sharply increased the prices last year. HarperCollins allows ebooks to be checked out 26 times before the library has to buy a new copy. Hachette does not make ebooks published after April 2010 available to libraries, and increased the prices of those that are available last year.

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Ebook Publisher Inkling Launches Its Own Online Store: An Amazon For Illustrated Learning Content

Ebook Publisher Inkling Launches Its Own Online Store: An Amazon For Illustrated Learning Content | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it
Since its launch in 2009, Inkling has been on a mission to reinvent publishing for the mobile, digital era by building engaging, interactive learning content from the ground up for the iPad.

 

Not wanting to be outdone by South Korea and others, which mandated the use of digital textbooks by 2015, earlier this year the FCC and the Department of Ed released the Digital Textbook Playbook to help accelerate digital textbook adoption among American schools. According to a recent report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), it’s not a matter of if this transition will happen, but when.

 

Since its launch in 2009, Inkling has been on a mission to reinvent publishing for the mobile, digital era by building engaging, interactive learning content from the ground up for the iPad. Initially focused on higher ed, this year Inkling has been expanding its scope, moving into consumer-facing titles and continuing education, along with making its content available on other platforms like the Web.

 

Today, Inkling continues that expansion with the release of the “Inkling Library,” an online store that will feature curated digital eBooks from a range of genres and proposes to serve as a one-stop shop where consumers can find hobby and interest-specific learning materials. According to Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis, the library is akin to Amazon for illustrated learning content and will feature 300 titles from categories like Travel & Adventure, Food & Drink, Arts & Photography, Music, etc.

 

By the end of the year, Inkling hopes to have 400 titles published to the library, with some of that content being exclusively created for Inkling, some of it familiar and published already (like “For Dummies”) and some of it augmented for the library — but all of it intending to demonstrate what’s possible now in the digital textbook market — for both indie and established publishers

 

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Coursera partners with Chegg and publishers to offer students free textbooks during its courses

Coursera partners with Chegg and publishers to offer students free textbooks during its courses | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

Online learning startup Coursera on Wednesday announced a partnership with Chegg, a student hub for various educational tools and materials, as well as five publishers to offer students free textbooks during their courses. Professors teaching courses on Coursera have previously only been able to assign content freely available on the Web, but as of today they will also be able to provide an even wider variety of curated teaching and learning materials at no cost to the student.

 

The high-quality educational content, as the company puts it, consists of eTextbooks and supplementary materials will be delivered via Chegg’s DRM-protected eReader. The DRM limitation will allow for the content to be offered gratis only during the duration of the course.

 

The list of participating publishers includes Cengage Learning, Macmillan Higher Education, Oxford University Press, Sage, and Wiley. This is the first time these publishers have made a commitment to online education of Coursera’s caliber.

 

How did Coursera manage to convince them come on board? The massive open online course (MOOC) provider is offering them at least two deals: the insight into worldwide usage data, as well as the option to sell full versions of their eTextbooks to students for continued personal learning.

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McGraw-Hill reveals the SmartBook: an 'adaptive' e-book for students

McGraw-Hill reveals the SmartBook: an 'adaptive' e-book for students | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning | Scoop.it

McGraw-Hill is taking on the one-size-fits-all approach to textbooks with its freshly unveiled SmartBook: an e-book that is claimed to adapt to student's learning patterns.

 

Aimed at college students, the SmartBook service peppers users with questions as they read and determines what topics it should present to reinforce learning. Come sometime this spring, the SmartBook will be available for more than 90 course areas starting at $20. It'll be joined by a handful of similar tools for driving home the curriculum, including something called LearnSmart Achieve, which is designed to serve up videos and other interactive embellishments in response to automatically detected areas of weakness. When you're ready to hit the books, just be careful they don't hit you back.

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