Turning the e-page

Symtext, a company which has been selling its own Liquid Textbooks since 2008, is currently working with 25 professors in Canada and the U.S., and that number will rise to 100 in the fall.

It will be interesting to see where this goes. Some textbook publishers currently offer electronic versions of textbooks, however I have been told by teachers that students like the ability to use their books hands on, whether for reading, making notes in them, or keeping them for future reference material.

The advantage with the Liquid Textbook, is that texts can be customized including portions of other books. Symtext would work with the publishers with regards to royalties. Teachers and students could also communicate with eachother in the interactive environment.

Students (of any age): What are your thoughts ? Would you appreciate the portability and flexible use of the books ?

Symtext information:

Turning the page

Symtext aims to disrupt the $10 Billion textbook industry

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  1. Akshay
    June 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I find this to be an interesting development as I definitely fall under the category of people who’d like to be hands on and get a ‘feel’ for the book that they’re reading. I’ve often in the past had difficulty with my e-textbooks in terms of highlighting important sections of a lesson etc. I’ve had to be innovative and use separate software that can be found on the internet to go along with the e-text in order to make my reading experience more fruitful.

    I just hope that this new form of liquid textbooks doesn’t end up costing a fortune as that would probably put a lot of students/users off.

  2. JB
    June 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I am not surprised by this new development considering our extreme reliance on computers and the internet. This transition seems inevitable!

    As for me personally, I will continue buying textbooks as long as possible. We spend too much time as it is staring at computer screens. When studying, I find it much more efficient to have a book in front of me that I can flip through and highlight and jot notes in. Also, to me it is more convenient because you can bring a book with you anywhere. You don’t get that luxury with computers or even laptops for that matter. The battery may die, the computer may crash, the e-text may be difficult to navigate.
    More importantly, while it may seem like the norm in this day and age, not EVERYONE has access to a computer and/or the internet. Some families cannot afford the investment.

    I can only hope that e-textbooks won’t ever completely phaseout the old-fashioned, paper-filled textbook. It will be a lot less comfortable to curl up on my couch in front of the fireplace with a computer….

  3. Romola
    June 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I like having a textbook and having access to an online textbook for when I can access it at work. I think online versions of textbooks would be a great idea if they have alternative formats for teaching the same content, for example, I know some students are visual learners and some are auditory learners, and therefore graphics or presentations or documentary style content, and maybe audio clips / or audio textbooks – these would be nice to have versions. Having said that I like having a textbook to carry anywhere too.

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