'New class 10 ICT textbook with animation and GIS'
For the first time in the country, class 10 students in Kerala
would be taught cartography using the detailed geographical
information system (GIS) and will also be able to create their own
The new text book has been prepared by the state's
Los Angeles: As
California State University (CSU), the largest public university
system in the US, starts renting digital textbooks to students,
the indisputable dominance of printed textbooks in US schools may
Erik Fallis, spokesperson for the chancellor's office of the CSU,
told Xinhua Monday that digital textbooks have won the preference
of professors and students with their rich video, audio and
animation contents and interactive functions such as note-taking
The CSU has announced partnerships with publishers including
Cengage Learning, CourseSmart and Follett and will provide more
than 5,000 of the most popular e-textbooks at discounted prices as
part of a digital textbook rental programme that covers the whole
According to Fallis, beginning in the fall, students at the CSU
can start renting digital versions of texts -- e-textbooks -- and
save 60 percent or more on book fees, compared with purchasing the
same text in new printed version.
By renting the e-textbooks, students will have access to the
digital material for the length of an academic term and also have
the option to print out the material.
E-textbooks can be rented conveniently by CSU students through
their campus bookstore supported by the three publishing partners.
Once rented, e-textbooks and other digital materials can be
accessed online or off-line through laptops, desktops, tablets and
various other devices.
It's up to the professors now whether they will use print
textbooks or digital ones in their courses, Fallis said.
The university, along with its partners, will provide training
opportunities for the teaching staff on interactive capabilities
of the e-textbooks to help improve learning outcomes of students.
CSU's digital rental programme is one facet of the system's
Affordable Learning Solutions Initiative which was launched in
2010 and aimed at providing students with more affordable course
materials while offering greater access to no-cost or low-cost
academic content for faculty under the principles of choice,
affordability and accessibility, said the university's website.
Under the initiative, the CSU have saved students approximately
$62 million this school year by providing lower and no-cost print
and digital alternatives to textbooks. With the wider
implementation of the e-textbook programme, the figure is expected
to increase to almost $118 million, the website added.
As the largest system of senior higher education in the United
States, the CSU has approximately 427,000 students and 43,000
faculty and staff on its 23 campuses.
According to the National Association of College Stores, in the
US, digital textbooks are expected to account for 10 percent to 15
percent of course materials sold in the fall of 2012, representing
a 500 percent year-on-year increase in market share.
Price differences for e-books vary depending on publisher and
demand. At a Northwestern University bookstore, a new printed
microeconomics textbook costs $94 while its digital alternative is
more than 30 percent cheaper at $62.
Currently textbooks in prints still dominate the market, but
statistics collected by the Pew Research Center, a Washington
based think tank, indicate the market is poised for a digital
According to Pew's recent study on tablet ownership, the share of
adults in the US owning tablets or e-book devices nearly doubled
from 10 percent to 19 percent from November to mid-December last
year and bumped up again to 29 percent in mid-January this year.