eTextbooks: Never mind iPad and eReaders, PCs still dominant

There are many benefits to students accessing their textbooks electronically, such as shared highlights and search capabilities. Surprisingly, though, it’s not the iPad and other eReaders that are driving the eTextbook market, but PCs and netbooks, ReadWriteWeb reports. The iPhone and Android are making some inroads in the digital textbook market, however. Isabella Hinds is director of digital content at Follett Higher Education Group, which runs more than 800 college bookstores in the U.S. It also owns a digital textbook program called CafeScribe, used by more than 400 education institutions. Hinds said CafeScribe is mostly used on PCs, Macs, and netbooks. She cited pricing issues for the iPad (students can’t afford them) and the relative lack of functionality in current eReaders. Specifically, she cited color, pagination, and illustration as features that the current crop of eReaders don’t do well enough for the eTextbook market. A study in May by OnCampus Research showed that 74 percent of students still prefer to use a printed textbook when taking a class…

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