Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This morning, The New York Times ran this article about textbooks that professors can rewrite digitally. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/business/media/22textbook.html?ref=todayspaper

The article details the decision of Macmillan Publishers, which is one of the five largest publishers of textbooks, to introduce a software called DynamicBooks, which will give college instructors the ability to edit digital editions of textbooks and customize them for their individual classes. Professors will have the ability to reorganize or delete chapters, and insert course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs and rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations.

In class, we spoke briefly about academia's hesitance to embrace Wikipedia. I wonder if the collegiate community will be more willing to accept this type of "Wiki," since revisions and changes are on their terms, from their academic disciplines, not from ordinary people.


  1. This is really interesting. I wonder, however, what will be the authors' response to this if it catches on and becomes successful. I can forsee many copyright issues erupting.

  2. I think this would be a great idea! It would really benefit the student to have the resources already implemented in the customized textbook. But, I also predict many copyright issues.

  3. Note that this uses the Wiki format, but is not an openly edited site like Wikipedia, but just an customizable textbook. This sort of thing has been in existence in different forms earlier on, going back to Kinkos putting together photocopied course packets.