College e-textbooks go to class in iPhones
US and Canadian college students can pack textbooks into their pockets instead of spine-bending backpacks courtesy of an iPhone application released by CourseSmart.
The northern California supplier of electronic textbooks on Tuesday released free software that makes digitized forms of college textbooks available on Apple's ubiquitous iPhone or iPod Touch devices.
"We've seen significant demand from student customers for the ability to get required textbook content in electronic form on an iPhone or iPod Touch," said CourseSmart executive vice president Frank Lyman.
"We see incredible potential for iPhone and iPod Touch applications in education."
Students that buy "eTextbooks" from CourseSmart can view them from any Internet-linked computers and are able to print out pages or copy sections into custom study guides.
Instead of lugging old-fashioned ink and paper books to classes, students can use iPhones of iPod Touch devices to access textbooks online for reference during classes.
"It's important to students to be able to access textbook content in color with the same page layout as a printed textbook and now the eTextbooks App allows them to do that," Lyman said.
CourseSmart began offering eTextbooks in 2007 and as of Tuesday had reportedly sold copies to students in slightly more than 5,900 schools.
CourseSmart said it works with a dozen major textbook publishers to stay current with electronic versions mandated by professors for classes and claims its prices are typically about half that of print versions.
The CourseSmart iPhone program is available at Apple's online App Store.
(c) 2009 AFP