This page is to collate info on eBooks, eTexts, digital text books, virtual books, etc. I'd appreciate your help in adding to it. -Demetri

Digital Texts & Books for StudentsEdit

  • A digital text book looks like a book but with a screen on it
  • For our upper school tablet program, we are vigorously pursuing electronic text books. The following texts have a full-text electronic version (either web or CD). Many others have supplemental electronic resources for students and/or teachers that include web links, question banks, and interactive components. -Demetri
    • Text Title, Publisher, ISBN number
    • En Espanol II, McDougal Little, 0-618-25063-8
    • Elements of Literature, HRW, 0-03-037722-6
    • World History, HRW, 0-13-129971-9
  • One of the main server based software providers for managing and distributing electronic books is Vital Source owned by Ingram Publishing (i think).
  • We have some e-books -- electronic versions of our reference books from GALE (mostly upper school) and from Marshall Cavendish (mostly middle school). The one that gets the most use is Opposing Viewpoints from GALE. In addition, WorldBook Online now supplies electronic access to hundreds of online books (mostly classics and "new classics." As long as you have bought the access and keep up with it, there should not be a problem with licensing. If you mean purchasing one copy of an ebook and installing it on many computers, I do not know much about that.? The most critical part of ebook use, I think, is teaching access and use -- just like any other research tool. THey do not get used if the users do not know they are there. I spend a great deal of time publicizing them over and over again. Judith Lewis, Library Director, Moses Brown School, in Providence, RI (retrieved from ISED-L on 12/17/07)
  • Also on the worth watching is's new kids site. While it is pay to play and geared to parents and children they are working with RIF to develop free educator resources. "Newark-based, the largest provider of downloadable audio books, yesterday launched its AudibleKids division at the North Star Academy in Newark. Dozens of middle-school students got a free Zen Stone Plus MP3 player to download some of the 4,000-plus titles on the new website. Audible has been very successful: Amazon just bought the company for $300 million."

eBooks for TeachersEdit

Links to Other Sites About Electronic BooksEdit

Talking BooksEdit

Retrieved from ISED-L list-serv 4/08, CC3.0 a, s-a, nc license

We also began an audio collection in our LS library this year using Playaways. Though they are expensive, about $40 each, they are flying off our shelves. The kids and parents love them. We usually try to have kids check the book out also, so that they can listen and read along--hitting two modalities at once. These Playaways are self contained audio books and players.

I've heard of libraries buying several iPod shuffles, loading them with purchased content from the iTunes store, and letting patrons check the iPods out. Also, if you use iTunes software, you can make shared playlists of audio material and people can listen to these shared lists over a network. It's not possible to download the audio files in these playlists, but others can listen to the files if you have enabled sharing in your iTunes preferences. Finally, my third grade daughter loves to listen to audio books, so we purchase them from iTunes, put them on an iPod Nano, and play them at bedtime on a boombox which the iPod fits into. FYI, if you do buy audiobooks through iTunes, I believe (but am not positive), that the copyright is a bit different. You can burn the purchased audio files to a max of 7 CDs and load them on multiple iPods.

Keep in mind, too, you can import your CDs into the iTunes software. You don't have to use the iTunes software just for purchasing audio files from the iTunes store. The software itself basically serves as an organizer for your digital content, both on the Mac and PC platforms.

Finally, and this is off on a bit of a tangent, there's lots of free digital content in the form of podcasts through iTunes. I highly recommend Lit To Go through the University of South Florida, for instance:

There is a international standard for digital talking books which the Library of Congress, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and the world's libraries for the blind all use. It is called DAISY and unlike traditional recording of books provides for navigation, going to a particular chapter or page, as well as displaying the text while reading in some cases.

DAISY books are played on special DAISY play back devices the best of which, in my opinion are made by Humanware. These will also play standard audio and services like Audible as well. As you are dealing with Dyslexic students you would have access to books from the National Library Service for the blind and disabled, RFB&D and which have extensive collections of books in DAISY and other formats.

You can also make your own DAISY books from text or from recordings. I wrote DTBmaker for Macintosh which is free and can be downloaded from

The DAISY Pipeline is a free professional tool to do the same a link can be found at

Finally permit me to rant a bit here. The reason I am such a DAISY expert is because I am a profound dyslexic (Landmark School 1972). As much as Landmark did for me and it was a fantastic accomplishment getting me to read at the fourth grade level. One thing they did not do and which is still not being done that I am aware of anyway, was to train me how to study and use talking books and other such techniques. Like it or not some dyslexics, such as myself, will be using talking books for the rest of our lives. Over time I learned how to learn and study with them but it would have been much easier for me had I been given instructions like the blind get.

I can understand that schools such as Landmark and Churchill Center must and should focus their attention on teaching reading. However it seems that some attention should also be given to the skills needed to continue education if you are unable to achieve normal grade level reading abilities. While I am able to read well enough to get by I will never trust my skills in critical settings and I will never read for enjoyment.

We have an extensive audio-book collection and are also replacing the more critical ones with CD versions. I bought a number of Playaways, easily available thru Follett (some are on Amazon), but they do not fly off the shelves for us. Most of our audio-book traffic is from families going on vacations in a car. THose with older cars are still using the cassettes and those with newer cars are taking the CDs. THe Playaways can be plugged into your car radio if youhave that set-up with the little I-pod-like connection in front, but most do not have them yet. I will continue to collect the CD-version for right now, and they are a few dollars cheaper than the Playaways. Personally, I was surprised and disappointed that our Playaways have not done better. Perhaps it is because we are a middle-upper school library.

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