TechWatch Report on eBooks in Education: Call for Comments

JISC Observatory has released a preview version of a forthcoming TechWatch report: Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education. Comments are welcome on this report to help shape its coverage and guidance to Higher and Further Education sectors. The feedback period is open from 27 September to 8 October 2012.

While ebooks can justifiably be described as mainstream in the consumer realm, this report considers their enormous potential to Further and Higher Education institutions over the next five years. Specifically, this report: 1) introduces the historical and present context of ebooks; 2) reviews the basics of ebooks; 3) considers scenarios for ebook adoption and usage; 4) addresses current challenges; and 5) considers the future.

Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education updates previous research on the usage and adoption of ebooks within academic institutions, examining recent developments. Many institutions, conscious of the uptake by their students and staff of ebook technologies, are considering how to adopt ebooks and organise their support more effectively in a number of contexts.

This report provides an overview of many ebook technologies currently adopted within Higher and Further Education institutions as they start to embed the use of ebooks. It also takes into account various consumer ebook technologies that have developed rapidly over the last few years, as these consumer technologies have increased demand for ebooks within academic contexts by learners. The report also examines: how ebooks are being adopted within academic libraries; how ebooks are being used for learning and teaching; how ebooks have practical impacts on a broad range of areas, including scholarly publication. In so doing, it also addresses key technical and cultural issues likely to be faced by institutions as they respond to opportunities and challenges in adoption of ebooks.

Thom Bunting and Richard Waller (UKOLN ISC) have been responsible for the project management and production editing of this most recent in a series of TechWatch reports. In their work on this forthcoming TechWatch, they liaised closely with its author James Clay (ILT Learning and Resources Manager at Gloucestershire College) as well as more broadly with many others in the JISC Observatory team (notably Li Yuan, Scott Wilson, and Phil Barker of JISC CETIS) and in Higher and Further Education institutions across the UK and internationally to coordinate input into this report.

If you would like to read Preparing for Effective Adoption and Use of eBooks in Education, and send your views on its content, see the JISC Observatory Web site for explanations of how to provide feedback.

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