Information Today
Volume 18, Issue 4 — April 2001
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Allyn & Bacon, WizeUp Launch Digital Textbook Initiative

Allyn & Bacon, a division of Pearson Education (, and WizeUp Digital Textbooks have announced an initiative to electronically publish, sell, and distribute digital textbooks in education and social sciences for the higher-education market. Although there have been a number of initiatives to develop digital content for business, technology, and other "hard" sciences, according to the companies, this initiative marks the first major effort in the "soft" sciences in which Allyn & Bacon claims to be the market leader.

Initial trials of the program conducted this past fall with professors—such as Richard Jackson at Boston College, who uses Allyn & Bacon’s Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education by Daniel P. Hallahan and James M. Kauffman—proved to be successful. "I’m predicting in 5 years that all curriculum resources will be available digitally," Jackson said. 

According to the announcement, WizeUp has developed an advanced technology in the e-publishing marketplace with highly sophisticated features and functions. WizeUp Digital Textbooks ensure the pedagogical integrity of the books as developed by the publishers. The Digital Textbooks follow the printed version page-by-page, graphic-by-graphic while bringing the power of interactive technology and the Internet to students. WizeUp Digital Textbooks, which are available via Internet download or on the Web, include features such as powerful search capabilities, in-context note-taking and notes-management tools, custom hyperlinking, bookmarking, and electronic highlighting capabilities.

"Our alliance with WizeUp demonstrates our commitment to developing e-learning solutions for the higher-education marketplace—in particular for the soft sciences," said Sandi Kirshner, Allyn & Bacon’s president. "These products will make an immediate impact in technology-based learning environments, where digital textbooks will expand the classroom and offer students a powerful and efficient learning solution."

Allyn & Bacon and WizeUp report they have developed innovative pricing packages designed to capture market share in technology-based academic environments, including distance learning, laptop universities, and other educational-technology-based student populations. "Students will enrich their learning experience with the powerful combination of Allyn & Bacon’s highly recognized content and WizeUp’s e-learning tools. This will allow students to meet their academic goals and gain an edge in our increasingly competitive society," said Stephen Jordan, WizeUp’s vice president of publishing.

Source: WizeUp Digital Textbooks, New York, 212/324-1300; 

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