Apple iBooks 2 license agreement gets icy reception in higher education

A blogger who tracks Apple products called the iBooks 2 license agreement 'Apple at its worst.'

Advocates for open-license textbooks in higher education, while largely unhappy with Apple’s new iBooks 2 platform, say the technology behemoth has done a favor for their movement: Apple’s pricey, limiting approach to digital textbooks is in stark contrast to the textbook model that aims for low-cost or free college texts.

iBooks 2, announced to great fanfare during a flashy Jan. 19 press conference in New York City, offers iBooks Author software that enables instructors and others to create and publish their own interactive digital textbooks in the Apple iBooks Bookstore.

Some campus technology leaders hailed the new iBooks platform as a revolution in digital publishing.…Read More

Are open textbooks gaining momentum in higher ed?

Flat World Knowledge will expand its book offerings this school year.
Flat World Knowledge will expand its book offerings this school year.

Officials from open-license textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge say more than 1,300 instructors at 800 colleges and universities will use their books this fall semester—doubling the 400 institutions that used Flat World texts a year ago.

New York-based Flat World Knowledge also announced a partnership with Virginia State University that could prove to be a model for how institutions can provide affordable textbooks for students who often decide not to buy expensive books that can add as much as $1,000 to an annual college bill, according to national estimates.

The proliferation of Flat World’s low-cost online books owes in large part to word of mouth in the halls of academia, said Eric Frank, the company’s founder and president.…Read More