May 3, 2012Interactive reading with electronic textbooks and course materials.

From time to time you may have students with disabilities in your classes that require an alternative way of interacting with the electronic course materials you present in class. There are screen reader, screen enlargement and text-to-speech programs available to help students who need a different reading experience. If a student is trying to read your class textbook, a student has the option to scan the page (as an image) and have the text read back to them with each word highlighted as it reads. The rate, pitch and voice can be configured to give the student an increased reading proficiency. Students can highlight passages and take notes on the page while they read and then print out those notes. If a student wants to read an article posted in an online course, they may choose to use a text-to speech program that is free or open-source, rather than hardware/software based. The following are variations of programs available for students to increase their success in your class.

Reading/Writing system

Kurzweil 3000 – designed for students with learning disabilities and considered both a reading and writing system.

Screen readers

JAWS – screen reader for users who are blind

Screen magnifiers

Zoomtext – magnifier and screen reader for users with visual impairments

Dragon Naturally Speaking – offers text input and read back features

Text Readers

Natural reader



May 1, 2012

The state of e-textbooks and electronic course materials

April 11, 2012

DOJ – Settlement with 3 publishers in E-Book lawsuit

March 1, 2012

The Digital Landscapes Blurry Boundaries

February 14, 2012

Does the Medium Matter: The Impact of Digital Books on Student Learning Outcomes

Feb, 16, 2012

E-textbooks Attracting Involvement of the FCC, Education Department, and Higher Ed.

The focus on E-textbooks continues as even the federal government makes major strides into taking the school textbook into the 21st century.

Fall 2010 Faculty In-service Presentation

Affordable, Usable, Accessible Books

Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision (eff. 7/1/2010)

2012 Horizon Report – Emerging Technologies

Time to adoption: One Year or Less

  • Mobile Apps
  • Tablet Computing

2011 Horizon Report – Emerging Technologies

Time to adoption: One Year or Less

  • Electronic Books
  • Mobiles

Time to adoption: Two to Three Years

  • Augmented Reality
  • Game-based Learning

Time to adoption: Four to Five Years

  • Gesture-based Computing
  • Learning Analytics

Emerging technology for book readers

Governor Schwarzenegger Digital Textbook Initiative (4/30/10)

2008 HEOA federal regulations and process at SBCC – beginning Fall semester, colleges and univerisites are required to inform students of the costs of purchasing textbooks and supplemental materials for each class offered. SBCC HEOA compliance form.

Chancellor’s Office Textbook Affordability Initiative (5/2008)

Letter to College President’s Re: Textbook Affordability (2008)

Recommendations to Enhance Textbook Affordability in California CC(2008)

1. Provide CEO leadership on increasing textbook affordability

2. Create textbook adoption policy

3. Create college textbook affordability task force

4. Clarify language in articulation policies for student transfer related to digital textbooks and learning materials.

5. Educate college stakeholders on the available options for reducing textbook costs.

6. Textbook rental programs

7. Promote library textbook reserve

(SBCC Bookstore contributed $16,000 to maintain the Library Reserve of textbooks). Read more about Bookstore update to Senate on 4/2010

SBCC proposed textbook & materials adoption guidelines (8/20/2008)

8. Provide student financial aid for textbooks in time for the first day of class.

9. Explore system-wide volume discounts on custom cover editions of widely used textbooks.

10. Promote awareness, development and adoption of free, open educational resources (OER) in the Calif. CC’s as alternatives to high cost textbooks and learning materials.

11. Support the participation of the CCC in the development of the CSU sponsored digital marketplace.

Open Educational Resources (OER) for California

is a state-wide pilot program “to provide faculty and staff from community college districts with the information, methods and instructional materials to establish open education resource “centers” on their campuses. Authorized by AB 2261 and signed into law fall 2008.

Goal – to identify, create and/or repurpose existing OER as Open Textbooks and make them available for use by community college students and faculty.

Read more about Digital Textbooks

Digital Textbook Sales in U.S. Higher Ed.- A 5 Year Projection (5/2010)

Educause – 7 things to know about E-readers (2010)

Educause Review – “E-textbooks, “An Interesting Ride” (March/April 2010)

Chronicle of Higher Ed. – Choosing and Using Textbooks, (4/2010)

Converge – Digital Textbook Run Down (3/2010)

Textbooks , Curriculum and Accessibility

Joint Letter to College Presidents from Dept. of Justice and Department of Education re: accessibility of E-readers 6/29/10

Justice department settlement re: E-book readers in Higher Ed.


Timeline on the Progress of Curriculum Accessibility

AccessText Network – a membership exchange network providing nationwide delivery of alternative textbooks to student with print disabilities in higher education.

Bookshare – Online library of digital books for people with print disabilities.

DIAGRAM – R&D on the production of accessible digital images.

Flatworld Knowledge – commercial publisher of open textbooks – Interview

Open Library – Non-profit open project of Internet Archive from Calif. State Library grant.

Learning Ally – working with textbook publishers, provides audio books for persons with print disabilities.


National Association of College Stores Report – College Students Prefer Print over Digital Textbooks (May 25, 2010)

CSU Textbook Affordability Taskforce Report (2007)

E- Readers and product demonstrations:

Consumer report on E-readers

E-book reader comparison

IPAD demo

Kindle demo