Publishers Launch First Digital-Only Textbook for K-12

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When will textbooks be a thing of the past?

McGraw-Hill launched its first all-digital, cloud-based textbook for the K-12 market on Monday at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

Unlike the company’s previous digital efforts for this age group, the books are intended to be used as primary texts (other McGraw-Hill digital texts have been sold as a companion of physical textbooks). This is the first time a major publisher has launched such a platform…

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McGraw-Hill Preparing for an e-Book Boom in China

beijing book fair

Book fair in Beijing, China.

Several years from now, none of China’s millions of students may have to carry bags loaded with heavy books.  Indeed, they may not need to visit libraries or museums, darken the doors of a school, or even be required to talk with teachers or fellow students.


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The Printed Version of the Oxford English Dictionary Being Phased Out in Favor of the Digital Version


Oxford English Dictionary

It weighs in at more than 130 pounds, but the authoritative guide to the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may eventually slim down to nothing. Oxford University Press, the publisher, said Sunday so many people prefer to look up words using its online product that it’s uncertain whether the 126-year-old dictionary’s next edition will be printed on paper at all.


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Texas Textbook MASSACRE: ‘Ultraconservatives’ Approve Radical Changes To State Education Curriculum

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The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum’s world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”

Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state. Curriculum standards also will describe the U.S. government as a “constitutional republic,” rather than “democratic,” and students will be required to study the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.

“We have been about conservatism versus liberalism,” said Democrat Mavis Knight of Dallas, explaining her vote against the standards. “We have manipulated strands to insert what we want it to be in the document, regardless as to whether or not it’s appropriate.”

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Fotomoto Lets Photographers Sell Photos On-Site Without The Hassle


A whole new way to deal with your photos

A couple lines of code. That’s all it takes for photographers and publishers with large inventories of images to start selling their work on their own websites, thanks to an ambitious fledgling company. You’d think that something so simple could be pulled off by many a startup, but in reality I’m having trouble finding other companies that do it the way the recently launched Fotomoto does it (i.e. the right way). Sure, there are multiple ways for photographers to sell photos on other websites, but that usually requires both them and buyers to have a separate account with the provider of the marketplace service.

Fotomoto does things differently: photographers only need to insert a few lines of codes in their website, after which the images on his or her website will automatically be indexed and automatically provided with a ‘purchase photo’ link. Sellers can tweak the settings so the ‘buy’ links appear completely integrated and branded to match their sites’ look and feel, and the back-end of the tool enables them to set the availability next to the sizes and pricing of the photos. When visitors click the link to buy photos, a Fotomoto widget pops up and enables them to instantly purchase images through PayPal (with the ability to pay by credit card coming later this month). There’s also a sharing link, which lets people send the picture to others as an e-card, with the ability to push to social networking and bookmarking services coming in a couple of weeks.

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Don’t Buy That Textbook, Download It Free

Don’t Buy That Textbook, Download It Free

Will these overpriced textbooks go away anytime soon?

In protest of what he says are textbooks’ intolerably high prices — and the dumbing down of their content to appeal to the widest possible market — Professor Preston McAfee has put his introductory economics textbook online free. He says he most likely could have earned a $100,000 advance on the book had he gone the traditional publishing route, and it would have had a list price approaching $200. “This market is not working very well — except for the shareholders in the textbook publishers,” he said. “We have lots of knowledge, but we are not getting it out.”

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