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EDITOR'S NOTES: Mainstreaming the Etext

By David Hoffman - Posted Sep 1, 2011
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We’re exploring the “brave new world of electronic textbooks” in this issue of Internet@Schools. All the reports from the ISTE and ALA conferences this past summer suggest that ebooks, ebook readers, ebook subscription models, and ebook implementation concepts in schools are very much on the minds of school administrators, teachers, librarians, and tech coordinators. So this is an opportunity to serve up some useful information.

Victor Rivero’s Tools for Learning roundup for the issue comprises an ebook update in which he covers the most recent news, ideas, products and services, and opinions on this hot topic. A follow-up to last year’s piece E Is for Explosion: E-Readers, Etextbooks, Econtent, Elearning, E-Everything (July/August 2010), this feature highlights multiple solution providers in the area of ebooks, etextbooks, and other digital content for academic use. Victor revisits some providers he touched on last year, but he has also added to the list. See Tools for Learning: An Ebook Update—The Latest Sources, Resources, and Options (p. 14).

We also feature a comprehensive case study of how electronic library resources—ebooks, databases, and more—have been successfully pressed into service in place of print-based textbooks at a Michigan high school. Craig J. McMichael documents cost savings and, more important, the real benefits that come with the built-in flexibility that etexts and e-resources offer to the whole range of stakeholders in a school. See his story Electronic Resources and Etextbooks in the High School Curriculum: Creating a Flexible, Inclusive, Dynamic 21st-Century Classroom (p. 8).

Live and In-Person Learning

Sure, it’s a virtual world out there, with online elearning proliferating. But we still think the value of real-world, face-to-face information exchange remains not only valid but vital. On that note, let us invite you to our fall Internet Librarian conference next month in Monterey, Calif., where we’ll be running the comprehensive 2-day Internet@Schools track on Oct. 17 and 18. Topics will include ebooks and e-readers (of course!), e-portfolios, new ways to teach information evaluation and online research, helping students manage their digital footprints, and a great deal more. Learn more at or at And then register and join us!

David Hoffman , editor

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