The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: April 20, 2018

"Writing is the light of imagination playing over shadow of thoughts" ~Khaled TalibThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a lot of advice for academic authors including key writing skills, tips for communicating with your dissertation chair, coping strategies, and books on writing productivity. It also contains information on changes in research and edtech, including Google’s “Talk to Books”, a study on uncited research, necessary support and incentives for sharing data, and a scam involving forged acceptance letters from journals. Finally, we have an article on a technology platform for textbook authors designed to keep textbooks current.

According to Khaled Talib, “Writing is the light of imagination playing over shadow of thoughts.” This week let your imagination drive your research and creativity to enhance your writing. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 26, 2018

"If writing didn't require thinking then we'd all be doing it." ~Jeremiah LaabsJeremiah Laabs reminds us that “If writing didn’t require thinking then we’d all be doing it.” This week we have a number of articles to get you thinking. For textbook authors, you may be thinking about the disruptive opportunities within the market seeking to solve the problem of high prices, you may be considering options for digital textbooks, or maybe you’re thinking about OER. Both textbook and academic authors with blogs may be thinking about how to repurpose blog articles into a book.

Academic authors may also be thinking about choosing the right dissertation topic, new opportunities in journal publishing, research impact factors, quantity vs. quality concerns in publishing, and roadblocks to accessibility. Whatever you’re thinking about, we hope it leads to better, more productive writing this week, and that these articles may help you think clearer. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: December 11, 2015

'A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.' Eugene Ionesco This week brings an early Christmas present in the form of so many great articles on academic and textbook writing! Speaking of the gift-giving season, have you seen my Top 10 gift ideas for writers? Perhaps one of the greatest gifts family and friends can give you this time of year is a quiet space for you to write to keep your writing projects on track. Although that would be a great gift, it isn’t always possible with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. So what strategies do you use to find writing time during the holidays? Or, do you allow yourself to take a break from your writing?

As always, happy writing! [Read more…]

Spotlight on digital technology for textbooks at TAA’s 28th Annual Conference

taa2015conf_logo_lo 2Are you interested in learning how developments in digital technology provide opportunities as well as continually impact the landscape of the textbook publishing world? Join us at TAA’s 28th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference, where June Jamrich Parsons, digital book pioneer, will provide a Digital Book Report 2015 top-level update on the forces currently shaping the textbook market. [Read more…]

Digital textbooks and pedagogy: An interview with June Parsons & Dan Oja

Dan Oja and June Parsons

Dan Oja and June Parsons

Computer Concepts

Digital book pioneers June Parsons and Dan Oja co-developed the first commercially successful multimedia, interactive digital textbook; one that set the bar for platforms now being developed byeducational publishers.

The coauthors began writing and creating educational software for Course Technology in 1992 and between them have authored more than 150 college computer textbooks. They currently have several digital textbooks in print, including the best-selling New Perspectives on Computer Concepts.

Parsons has a doctorate in instructional technology and has taught at the university level for more than 20 years. Oja is an experienced programmer. He developed BookOnPublish, a software tool for assembling and publishing multimedia digital books.

Here Parsons and Oja talk to TAA about digital textbooks and pedagogy: [Read more…]

Textbook authoring in the digital age, Part two

Mary Ellen Lepionka

Mary Ellen Lepionka

There is a whole new language for the teaching and learning enterprise today, and it is not textbook-based. The very word textbook has become vilified, vulgarized—a dirty word associated (rightly and wrongly) with the profit-taking and business practices of commercial higher education textbook publishers. Expository writing on a course subject for digitized delivery is not even called a textbook. Rather, the product is content—in the form of learning objects, modules, and media assets, offered in the form of an online course or a portal or gateway to new (or newly networked) knowledge. The term textbook will become obsolete or will be narrowly defined to refer only to conversions—non-interactive digitizations of textbooks in print.

Textbook authoring in the Digital Age thus requires a different way of looking at yourself, your mission, and the students. Today, as an erstwhile textbook author, you are regarded not as an instructor but as an SME (subject matter expert). SMEs provide authoritative content and sources, organized into templates that reflect principles of instructional design. [Read more…]