Spent some time today on e-books and the future of publishing in education. The best part of that activity was an e-mail from a colleague I hadn’t heard from in some time. Dr. Frank Lowney works in the Digital Innovation Group at Georgia College and State University. Lately he’s been considering the role of ePub and e-texts in higher education. He’s written a number of articles in his blog “Thinking About Tomorrow” on this topic, and all are worth reading.
The ePub Standard and the iPad addresses the potential of ePub for education, including podcasting ePub documents, enhancing the ePub standard, and how ePub completes the personal publishing revolution that began with desktop publishing and the laser printer.
Why iTunes U Needs to Support the ePub Format makes the case for delivery of ePub through iTunes U.
Wither the Interactive eBook? deals with the shortcomings of the ePub format, including the lack of multimedia and interactivity. Frank also proposes a “HyperLit” model, based on HTML 5, to address many of these shortcomings.
Finally, in Can eBooks be Podcast? he not only asks the question, but offers a working prototype for the iPad. Thus Dr. Lowney, over a period of several weeks, moves from concept to proof of concept, and through his blog posts, we get to share in his thinking and production.
Editorial: Often in higher education, academics propose, conceptualize or criticize without offering a reasonable alternative or practical application. I know, because I’ve been there and done that. Dr. Lowney offers us more than a model for ePub in higher education. He offers us a model for academic behavior.