La Vergne, TN (PressExposure) March 13, 2009 -- Ingram Digital SM continues to improve on the traditional textbook with their VitalSourceÂ® interactive e-textbook platform. As awareness to the benefits of digital course materials grows, student and faculty adoption of the platform is accelerating. In January 2009, the platform saw over a 600% increase over the same period in 2008.
Much more than just a digital transcription of text, VitalSource e-books are downloaded and infused with advanced interactive functionality, including the ability to share notes, search within text, highlight, copy and paste sections as needed, and access embedded multimedia materials. The VitalSource BookshelfÂ® application allows efficient access and organization of a robust library of content directly on a student's PC or Mac, and the books do not carry an expiration date, so students can access these reference materials throughout their professional lives.
BookshelfÂ®, the industry's leading interactive e-book reader, continues to experience exponential growth as e-books are increasingly adopted by the higher education community. After adding 100,000 new users over the course of its first ten years, the number of users has tripled since June, surpassing 300,000 users in January 2009. This January alone, 44,453 users downloaded the Bookshelf e-reader.
The Bookshelf platform enables social networking in the classroom by allowing students and faculty to share their notes with each other, another feature contributing to the rapid adoption of the platform. In January 2009, over 3 million notes and highlights were shared. Professors are also choosing to share their notes with students. Jason Overby, associate professor at the College of Charleston, found the notes sharing feature to be a critical tool for his chemistry class, which used a VitalSource e-textbook as part of a pilot program during the fall 2008 semester.
"With features like shared notes and easily accessible multimedia materials, the e-book served as a tool that changed the way I taught the course," said Overby. "While e-book technology has been available for some time, at the end of the day it has to be useful, and VitalSource e-books are actually adding tremendous value to the traditional textbook by empowering engagement in the classroom."
Students and faculty, realizing the tremendous opportunities that an interactive learning experience can deliver, continue to demand more from e-textbooks. The latest version of the platform, Bookshelf 5.1, incorporates changes based upon feedback from users, underscoring Ingram Digital's commitment to promoting the growth of premium digital content. Bookshelf 5.1 features faster search capabilities, cited as the most valuable feature by students, as well as improved print functions and enhanced organizing and downloading capabilities.
"Ingram Digital was created to support and enhance the many forms information takes in the Digital Age," said William Chesser, general manager and vice president of Ingram Digital's Education Solutions. "As the industry evolves, our solutions will grow accordingly, and as students and professors increasingly adopt e-book technology in their classrooms, we will continue to use their feedback to improve our offerings."