New ELT textbook app live in App Store

Recently, we announced that we would be working with Garnet Education on an app to allow instant delivery of their ELT textbooks to classrooms anywhere in the world.

For years, Garnet Education’s ELT line has been the preferred choice of universities and English language institutions in the Arab world. In 2012, several of Garnet’s best university clients announced they were switching from paper books to digital delivery and asked for interactive digital editions of Garnet’s products. This is where we stepped in.

Garnet needed to be able to deliver content to web browsers and desktops along with mobile devices running iOS, Android or Windows 8/RT. Using YUDU, Garnet’s key clients in the Middle East will be able to leverage the convenience, interactivity and cost-efficiency of a digital education across all these platforms.

You can download the app from the app store and get in touch with our team for more details.

Back from The London Book Fair

The YUDU team are back from The London Book Fair – what a great show! A few of us are sounding a little bit croaky after 3 days of non-stop talking, but despite the sore throats, we are really pleased with the enthusiasm from our clients and potential clients about our creative book services and education platform.

There was a lot of interest in our cross-platform app, mainly from Educational publishers. Another app we have been working on also went live this week, from Educate – a new education publisher with big ideas. You can download it here and test out some of the new features yourself.

Our CEO, Richard Stephenson gave a talk on Building Communities which was really well attended. The general theme was about publishers taking more control of their audiences and how that can help with content discoverability.

Thanks to everyone who visited us in the Digital Zone, and we look forward to meeting up with you again soon.

Digital Publishing: Distributor Relationships in ELT

Digital content aggregators like Amazon.com and iBooks have transformed the way readers access material with one-stop content sites. While this business model works for some publishers who focus on the general consumer market, the shift to aggregation sites can have negative consequences for publishers who serve the education sector, particularly those in the English Language Teaching (ELT) market. The right cloud publishing platform can be the ideal solution, offering an alternative to mass aggregation sites that aren’t designed to accommodate the special publisher-distributor relationships found in the ELT market.

ELT publishing is a global business that serves teachers and students in traditional education settings, home study and virtually every other learning model. From the publishers’ point of view, ELT content distribution channels in North America are relatively well established. But in global ELT markets, the content distribution channels are more fluid. Local distributors have relationships with educators in their regions, but publishers are often unfamiliar with the local distribution chain and rely on distributors to drive print and digital textbook sales and stay in touch with changing educator and student needs.

How a Cloud Publishing Platform Can Support Distribution Chains

The emergence of digital content aggregation sites can disrupt the distribution chain, imposing a middleman – the digital content aggregator – between ELT publishers and educators and eliminating the input of distributors. This disrupts the flow of local distributor expertise and customer analytics to publishers and makes it more difficult for educators to access customized materials that suit their unique needs. New cloud publishing capabilities can provide a solution by preserving distribution channels.

With a cloud publishing platform, educators can remain a key influencer in the ELT publishing process. A cloud publishing platform that enables users to view ELT content across all device types and platforms helps educators by delivering a consistent user experience and eliminating the need to train teachers and students to use new devices.

The right cloud-based publishing platform can also allow publishers and distributors to maintain relationships and control, preserving the distributor’s role as content administrator by enabling distributors to sell content via access codes for both digital and physical textbooks. A robust cloud publishing solution can open new revenue streams for distributors by enabling the sale of support services.

How a Cloud Publishing Platform Can Enhance the User Experience

ELT publishers looking to maintain global distribution channels should seek a cloud publishing platform that enables students to rent or purchase material and store downloaded titles to an app on the devices they already use rather than acquiring new devices and learning new systems. An ideal solution would allow students to select an app for their device when they purchase materials from the publisher’s online bookstore.

With this type of solution, publishers and distributors can decide to market time-limited access to educational materials, provide students and ELT educators with new title notifications and offer free content along with digital and print textbooks. These capabilities enhance publisher and distributor control, but they also give students and educators more choices.

As publishers evaluate cloud publishing solutions, they should also look for platforms that enable them to convert content to digital form quickly and easily and add rich media and interactive elements, including video. Advanced cloud publishing capabilities should also include tools to allow students and teachers to capture page clippings to view text and images, add notes, search content by keywords and view pages on any size screen. Bookmark features that work across multiple device types are also essential, as is an intuitive user interface that eliminates the need for users to learn new features for mobile devices, laptops or desktops.

Better Analytics for Better ELT

In addition to an intuitive user experience, publishers and distributors should also look for a cloud publishing platform that delivers reader analytics. The ability to gain insights such as time spent on each page, video viewing statistics, reader feedback surveys, etc., is important because it helps publishers and distributors understand how readers use the information and can help with material development and sales initiatives.

The mass digital content aggregation model may work in some publishing sectors, but it puts important relationships at risk in markets like ELT. Publishers and distributors who want to maintain a greater level of control, develop interactive content that appeals to today’s learners and gain access to valuable analytics should consider cloud publishing alternatives. With the right cloud publishing platform, ELT publishers and distributors can maintain their collaborative relationship – and serve educators and students better.

 

Demand for cross-platform publishing rising

Last week we continued our education research with a trip to BETT show – the place where educators and tech companies alike meet up to discover the best in educational technology, and work out which tablet is most worth the investment.

iOS

Apple have selected a number of companies as Apple Solution Experts (ASEs) to help schools integrate iPads into school environments. Staff in schools are trained and given recommendations for better facilities. General support is given to ensure that teachers of all levels of experience can seamlessly use Apple technology in class.

The iPad seems to be the most natural option for the classroom environment – the battery lasts all day, it turns on in seconds and with the release of the iPad mini, prices have reduced significantly.

Windows

Windows were by far the most prominent player at BETT, and sponsors of a purpose-built amphi-theatre where talks took place during the show. This support for Windows 8 technology, was mirrored on the large Lenovo stand, where they were showcasing the ThinkPad Tablet 2 which is well positioned with full Microsoft office compatibility and optional digitiser and pen.

Android

We also noticed a growth in tablets designed specifically for schools, which are often running on Android. An example at BETT was the Avantis LearnPad, this tablet runs features which might be present via apps on other devices, such as painting and drawing tools, music players and maths games. But what really sets it apart is the child safe web browser; and the security that offers to schools.

Working with YUDU

The developments at BETT excite us, as a lot of the themes and ideas resonate with our roadmap for Education. We already have top publishers such as Folens, McGraw-Hill and Oxford University Press working with us to support their digital publishing strategies – and we can see this expanding as we develop further tools for using our technology in the classroom.

Our cross-platform app already enables publishers to push their content out to iOS, Android and devices running Windows. The freehand colouring tool and ability for teachers to communicate a message directly to groups will strengthen this.

We would welcome the opportunity to speak to any educational publishers about their plans to role out Digital textbooks, and find out how our technology can help you with your plans. Just email education@yudu.com or call 01200 420 500.

 

Digital textbooks become US government policy?

The Obama administration clearly believes digital is the future of publishing for schools:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students’ hands within five years.

Full story here.

Although naturally the statement didn’t back a particular technology or platform, it comes one week after Apple’s announcement of iBooks Author and their vision for textbook publishing.

One of the biggest challenges to a US-wide roll-out of a digital curriculum is the hardware cost. Apple would be delighted to see every student through the US going to school with an iPad, but the price will make schools look hard at alternatives.

The likely results is that different hardware will be adopted in different areas, forcing publishers to cope with a patchwork of devices and operating systems: iOS and Android, Mac and Windows, desktop, laptop, tablet and phone. It’s looking like the secret to success for digital education publishing will above all else become the ability to deliver content across as many platforms and channels as possible – while still achieving a rich, interactive experience for the user.


The Sock who wanted to be a Shoe – and other winning stories!

You may remember that about a year ago we blogged about the adorable stories produced by pupils at M.W.Savege Elementary in Minnesota. Gems like How the Turtle Got Their Shells and How Jellyfish got their Stingers really put a smile on our faces! So we were delighted to see that a whole new library of children’s stories have been published, and this time they are extra special as they are all winning stories in the PBS Kids Go Writers Contest.

The PBS Kids Go writers contest created by  WTVP for students from Central Illinois, has produced some fantastic stories! The 12 winners from Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and Third Grade and the 5 stories can all be found here.

Have a read and find out all about Snoopy’s Snow DayThe Snowman who went places, The Sock who wanted to be a Shoe and Moe’s Big ShotEnjoy

The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators

Just a quick blog entry to bring a very useful new publication to your attention; ‘The Supper Book of Web Tools for Educators.’


Click to launch the full edition in a new window
Online Publishing from YUDU

This publication is a run-through of all the very best web tools out there for use in education, and what’s more is that it’s just one of the many great publications in Richard Byrne’s informative library.

This is a great resource at educators disposal, hope you find it useful.

More info can be found at Richard Byrne’s website Free Tech for Teachers.

Some of life’s great mysteries answered! (By some very insightful 9 year olds)

Have you ever wondered why dogs have tails? Why porcupines have needles? How Cats get their whiskers? or How Sharks got their teeth?

Well wonder no more; pupils at M.W. Savege Elementary have produced a wonderful collection of stories on life’s musings, published on YUDU by their very aptly named publishing center: Whale Tale Publishing. The collection is housed in both their YUDU library, called Homework Dog and their blog.

This collection of 18 adorable stories (I’m told there are more on the way) have been created by the pupils in a third grade class from Minnesota.

After pupils let their imaginations run wild to write and illustrate colourful these stories by hand, stories like, How the Turtle Got Their Shells and How Jellyfish got their Stingers. Teachers at M.W. Savage Elementary decided they wanted to add a technological element to their teaching and uploaded them to YUDU, and we’re glad they did because we love them, and we’re told that the children love being published authors too!

This is a fantastic example of how YUDU can be used in education; this free service has added a new dimension to the children’s work creating some delightful creations. It also allows work to be shared via email to friends and relatives in different cities, states and continents.

Still not sure which one’s of these charming tales is my favourite yet though!!

Shakespeare’s Entire Collection Free on YUDU

o celebrate the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on April 26th we’ve released Shakespeare’s entire collection as free e-Books.
All housed in their own YUDU library; William Shakespeare’s Library, it’s a great resource for parents, teachers, children and literature fans worldwide.
The free Shakespeare collection includes, amongst others:
1. Macbeth
2. Romeo & Juliet
3. Merchant of Venice
4. The Tempest
5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
6. Henry IV
7. King Lear
8. As You Like It
9. Much Ado about Nothing
10. Twelfth Night
Other lesser known works include The Passionate Pilgrim, The Rape of Lucrece, Cymbeline and The Phoenix and the Turtle.
What’s your favourite from Shakespeare’s collection? A classic romantic tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet, or one of his comedies perhaps? Or is it something slightly more obscure, like The Life of Timon of Athens? Now you can read them all… so let us know!

To celebrate the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on April 26th we’ve released Shakespeare’s entire collection as free e-Books.

All housed in their own YUDU library; William Shakespeare’s Library, it’s a great resource for parents, teachers, children and literature fans worldwide.

The free Shakespeare collection includes, amongst others:

1. Macbeth

2. Romeo & Juliet

3. Merchant of Venice

4. The Tempest

5. A Midsummer Night’s Dream

6. Henry IV

7. King Lear

8. As You Like It

9. Much Ado about Nothing

10. Twelfth Night

Other lesser known works include The Passionate Pilgrim, The Rape of Lucrece, Cymbeline and The Phoenix and the Turtle.

What’s your favourite from Shakespeare’s collection? A classic romantic tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet, or one of his comedies perhaps? Or is it something slightly more obscure, like The Life of Timon of Athens? Now you can read them all… so let us know!

Visit YUDU at the World of Learning Conference

YUDU Media will be exhibiting at the World of Learning in NEC Birmingham, UK from 30 September – 1 October, 2009. At the show, we will be showcasing YUDU Pro technology for anyone interested in creating digital catalogues, text books, prospectuses, training manuals, and any publication used in learning and education.

If you are interested in learning about how YUDU Media can help you improve your training, increase learning retention, and reduce costs, come visit us at the show. YUDU Media will be in stand F120. You can register for free by visiting http://www.learnevents.com/exhibition-registration–register-now.php. You can also learn more about YUDU in education by reading our Learning Brochure.

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