September 6, 2012 By Tanya Roscorla
All of these institutions put a high priority on accessibility, Waggener said. These are pilots precisely because issues like accessibility need to be worked out. The transition to e-textbooks presents the same challenges as those when universities moved to Google or Microsoft for email and other services. Those companies had to make their products more accessible, but at first had limited understanding of what that entailed.
"As more things move to digital content, and it's interactive digital content, what are accommodations that are going to be necessary?" Waggener asked. "No platform, publisher or product is 100 percent where we want them to be. So the more tight the relationship is with all of these providers in providing them regular feedback in a coordinated way, the more likely it is that we can move that industry forward faster to be fully accommodating."
As issues such as accessibility continue to be worked out, Internet2 and EDUCAUSE plan to continue these pilots in spring 2013. For those pilots, multiple platforms and publishers will participate, giving higher education institutions more options to explore.
Waggener encourages other universities to get in the e-textbook game.
This article was originally published by the Center for Digital Education.
You may use or reference this story with attribution and a link to