Digital Textbooks: Full interactive experience

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An Inkling biology book on the iPad

The full potential of digital textbooks is being realized with a new software platform called Inkling that brings the information to life on iPads, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

"The Inkling-based e-books make full use of the iPad's color, video and touch screen. A biology text, for example, offers 3-D views of molecules such as DNA, video lectures, and interactive quizzes. Users can highlight text, take notes and share them in real time with other users, such as fellow students. Along the way, students can jump outside the text to Google or Wikipedia."

The first titles are books published by McGraw Hill, and will cost about $3 a chapter to about $70 for entire books, during the product launch. The prices will go up after that.
It's another advancement in the growing digital textbook market, though publishers have been slow to take full advantage of the medium's potential.
"We publishers haven't done a great job of enriching and enhancing the e-book experience," says Ronald Dunn, chief executive of Cengage, one of the world's largest higher education textbook publishers. "A flat e-representation of a printed e-book doesn't add very much value."