Talking Takeaways

Some very quick take-aways from this morning’s textbooks panel at Tools of Change Frankfurt:

  • For the first time in my recollection I heard the word “pedagogical” at a publishing conference. It seems to me that digital ¬†tools are driving a deeper engagement with ¬†learning outcomes. The Open Universities of the UK and Israel used to be outliers in the educational publishing world. Now they provide exemplars of best practice.
  • The construction of journals lends itself better to this new world because the journal content is made of components with attached metadata. Book publishers could learn a lot from from journals publishing.
  • As Michael Cairns pointed out, academic publishers are seeing a rise in permissions income. This is related to the disaggregation of textbooks.
  • Digital models where the product is in some way baked into the delivery of the course are currently providing the most secure business models/ revenue streams
  • Amir’s use of the word “learning objects” struck me forcibly. The book used to be the learning object. Now the learning object is an element of an overall package.

Which leads me to my key takeaway question: How long can publishers carry on commissioning textbooks, not learning objects for collation?

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