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IET Coffee Morning session on The Impact (or not) of eBooks

18 May 2010
Jennie Lee Building Main Ambient Lab Ground Floor

IET Technology Coffee Morning

Cloudscape created by:

Lynda Davies
14 April 2010

EBooks have been available for some time now, but the increased availability of portable eBook readers is bringing them to the public attention once more. As the tools available for distributing, finding and reading eBooks improve, they may become a more effective study tool than they currently are. A panel of 6 people from various departments around the OU giving a rounded point of view on the subject of eBooks and their impact. Liz Mallett will be chairing the panel. Each speaker will comment for around 5-10 minutes with possible questions either during or after the presentations.

The panel would like to invite questions in advance of the discussion. Please submit them via Cloudworks

Alternatively you may e-mail your questions to Lynda Davies: 

People attending the coffee morning will, of course, be welcome to ask questions on the day, and we will post answers to key points on to Cloudworks after the session.

Speaker Biographies:
Giles Clark, Copublishing Adviser (LTS) chaired the e-book development group from 2001 to 05. LTS converted the course texts during 2003/04 into low resolution PDFs, the so-called ‘etexts’, which became available to students on the first generation of the VLE. He now campaigns on the uptake of the ePUB eBook format, and on ways to increase access to OU materials by prospective and registered students. Externally he contributes to

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Professor of Learning Technology and Communication (IET) leads a number of projects in mobile learning, including surveys investigating students' informal use of mobile devices which show that ebooks are becoming a more popular way to read. She is interested in whether easy access to inexpensive or free ebooks can change life-long reading habits, or affect the (dis)inclination to read.

Liz Mallett, Project Manager (Library) conducted an eBook reader pilot study with 6 OU students and 6 students from Cranfield University. For three months the students used the Sony Reader PRS-505 and the Apple iPod Touch for study purposes and reported their findings.

Keren Mills, Service Innovations Officer (Library) runs the Digilab and undertakes horizon scanning to generate improvements to Library Services. Having acquired several eBook Readers for the Digilab I have had the opportunity to compare their functionality and usability, and have done a lot of reading around their use by both public and academic libraries.

Gerald Schmidt, Development Adviser (LTS) - Biography to follow

Rhodri Thomas, Senior Project Manager, Learning Innovation Office (Strategy Unit) contracted work to investigate suitable eBook formats in 2009 and work to transform OU Intermediate XML to an appropriate eBook format. The initial investigation recommended Mobipocket format due to its flexibility and existing user base, which was realigned to work on ePub eBook creation from Structured Content as this evolved as a more open standard. Rhodri's prior experience in this area was in handcrafting a number of teacher education resources in multiple eBook formats [MSReader, Mobipocket, Palm/eReader] as part of work on DEEP.

Claire Grace, Head of Content and Licensing (Library) - Biography to follow

Presenters: Giles Clark (LTS) Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme (IET) Elizabeth Mallett (Library) Keren Mills (Library) Gerald Schmidt, Development Adviser (LTS) Rhodri Thomas, Senior Project Manager, Learning Innovation Office (Strategy Unit) and Claire Grace, Head of Content and Licensing (Library)

See TCM 2010 Schedule on Cloudworks:

See TCM website for full schedule:

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