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E-Text Research
February 7, 2012 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Grad school (or possibly career)-related question: Do you know about research involving e-textbooks and how students and educators might best use them?

After spending a lot of time reading on electronic devices (Kindle, iPhone and iPad), I've become very interested in how the design of these tools might be used in classrooms and independent learning settings. I'm particularly interested in the minutiae: everything from the effects of the color of the highlight function to how notes are stored and transmitted might affect the learning experience.

I've tried looking for research from the big HCI programs, but I haven't found many leads. Are there any MeFites studying electronic textbooks? Or does anyone out there know of places that are studying them?

Ideally, I'd love to get the names of researchers, institutions, or companies looking into these questions. I'm early on in the investigative process, so any leads will be much appreciated.
posted by graphnerd to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not peer-reviewed, mostly because the same company that authored the materials paid for the study, but maybe this will help get you going: HMH Fuse Pilot Program.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:44 PM on February 7, 2012


Here's a follow-on study that will be contracted by Virginia, and another story about a pilot project in El Paso.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:53 PM on February 7, 2012


With its combination of world-leading research, educational excellence, and proximity to Silicon Valley, Stanford University is uniquely capable of preparing the next generation of learning technology specialists. The Learning, Design and Technology (LDT) Masters Program was designed to confer the knowledge and skills necessary for developing new and better technology-based products, settings, and social arrangements for learning.

Have a friend there who was a school administrator. She's not an uber-geek, but it sounded as if they required everyone to know how to code (or take a programming course their first year). A lot of group projects and internships. She seems to be enjoying it.
posted by jng at 11:04 PM on February 7, 2012


My former boss went to work at this company that publishes textbooks for iPads - there may be something helpful there.
posted by bendy at 11:05 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you know about research involving e-textbooks and how students and educators might best use them?
Sure, the grand-daddy of all the portable computers, tablets and eBooks is Alan Kay's Dynabook project. Start there, and then check out the OLPC project.

Amazon's education group is certainly hiring (all of Kindle, and most of Amazon is), Apple is probably hiring, and Inkling is too. If you want this to be a part of your career, now would be a great time to jump into any of those three companies.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:38 PM on February 7, 2012


I've seen Stuart Shieber at Harvard give some really neat presentations on the design problems of e-book devices vs. e-books vs. books. This sums up a little of his work, I'm having trouble quickly finding the actual presentations online.
posted by lillygog at 5:29 AM on February 8, 2012


Out of Harvard Graduate School of Education: CAST & Universal Design for Learning, which is all about how to make educational materials more accessible to wider range of neurofunctionality in people. Not strictly e-book or tablet specific (although their hardware has affordances that make such things possible).
posted by smirkette at 7:01 AM on February 8, 2012


I don't have a lot of research on e-readers, but if you're at all interested in online learning, I have a ton of references to share.
posted by smirkette at 7:02 AM on February 8, 2012


This pilot program might be worth looking into.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM on February 13, 2012


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