Educational Technology

March 9, 2012

Economics of e-textbooks

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

by Quentin Casey, FP Entrepreneur

Matt MacInnis envisions a day when university and grade school classrooms are completely free of paper textbooks. His Silicon Valley-based company, Inkling, is working to bring that vision to fruition. Launched in 2009, Inkling publishes digital books for the iPad. Some of the company’s titles are simply electronic versions of the printed edition. Increasingly, though, Inkling is producing e-texts that incorporate audio, video and other tools that aid the learning process. Take, for example, an Inklingproduced biology text that generates 3D models of molecules and contains high-definition videos, or the undergraduate music appreciation text that weaves audio samples from live performances with descriptive text. “There are so many things we can do that simply aren’t possible with paper. That was the impetus. How do we take this one last bastion of the 20th century and drag it, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century?” says Mr. MacInnis, a Harvard engineering graduate who grew up in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.

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