Podcast: The Future of the Textbook, as Seen by Publishers

“An e-book is not an engaging experience, merely replicating a textbook,” say William D. Rieders, executive vice president for new media at the publishing company Cengage Learning. At the 2011 Higher Ed Tech Summit, he said this major publisher sees little future in e-books, despite the proliferation of Kindles and other e-book readers, and tablets like the iPad. The biggest areas for Cengage, he says, are software programs like homework solutions and assessment tools. Print textbooks are still healthy, but they function now as a reference for professors and students, while these other materials are taking center stage in the learning experience.

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