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Print to Digital

K-12 Textbook Migration

Handbook

 

    Introduction

 

It is quite obvious that all K-12 printed textbooks will be migrated to the digital form very soon and such migration may take many different approaches. This handbook will guide you through all possible options and publishing processes as well as pros and cons of each and every approach.

PDF

What

A PDF of a printed version.

Pros

  • Relatively low costs of PDF enrichment.
  • Improved navigation.
  • The possibility of adding engaging multimedia resources.
  • Cross-platform compatibility.

Process

In practice, all currently printed textbooks already exist in the PDF format. The only processing needed might be to adjust image resolution to diminish file size of the resulted PDF.

Cons

  • No way to track students’ performance.
  • The layout not suitable for smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.

Interactive PDF

What

Process

An original PDF textbook extended with simple interactivities, like movies, hyperlinks, bookmarks, page transition options and buttons available within the PDF format capabilities.

An original PDF textbook extended with simple interactivities, like movies, hyperlinks, bookmarks, page transition options and buttons available within the PDF format capabilities.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatic, almost no cost conversion to the Adobe Flash format.
  • The possibility of adding improved navigation, multimedia resources and supplementary interactivities.
  • No way to track students’ performance.
  • The layout not suitable for smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.
  • The Flash format not supported by mobile devices and some desktop browsers.
  • A complex source file format makes it extremely difficult for editors to incorporate any changes or improvements (all, even the smallest corrections, are to be done by software developers only).

PDF Converted to Flash

What

Process

An original PDF textbook converted to the Adobe Flash format. After such conversion, some additional functions can be added using the Adobe Flash tools.

A PDF textbook might be automatically converted to the Flash file format using various tools. Next, some additional features can be added using the Adobe Flash tools.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatic, almost no cost conversion to the Adobe Flash format.
  • The possibility of adding improved navigation, multimedia resources and supplementary interactivities.
  • No way to track students’ performance.
  • The layout not suitable for smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.
  • The Flash format not supported by mobile devices and some desktop browsers.
  • A complex source file format makes it extremely difficult for editors to incorporate any changes or improvements (all, even the smallest corrections, are to be done by software developers only).

Static Background and Hotspots

What

Process

An original PDF textbook converted to a static background overlaid with various hotspots linking to multimedia resources or more complex interactivities.

Usually a PDF textbook is converted to an Adobe Flash file or JPG file, and then various tools are used to create additional resources linked from hotspots located on this static background.

Pros

Cons

  • The possibility of adding various resources and interactivities.
  • No way to track students’ performance.
  • The risk of using manual coding, unstandardized tools and file formats.
  • The layout not suitable for smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.
  • Additional resources and interactivities are often presented on pop-ups which may cause problems on smartphones and tablets.
  • The risk of using the Adobe Flash file format, which is incompatible with mobile devices.
  • A complex source file format makes it extremely difficult for editors to incorporate any changes or improvements (all, even the smallest corrections, are to be done by software developers only).

ePub

What

Process

A textbook converted to the ePub format.

There are many tools that help to prepare an ePub publication. Unfortunately, an automatic conversion of a print-oriented textbook is usually unavailable, especially for complex layouts. Extensive manual work is usually needed to transform the existing textbook into the correct ePub format.

Pros

Cons

  • A standardised file format.
  • Many existing distribution channels compatible with the ePub format.
  • The possibility of adding multimedia resources and some limited interactivities.
  • Cross-platform compatibility.
  • No way to track students’ performance.
  • A complex process of adding interactive activities which anyways cannot be used to track students’ performance.
  • Extensive work needed to convert the existing print-related layout to the ePub compatible layout.
  • A popular format but not fully suitable for LMS oriented platforms (performance tracking).

Html 5

What

Process

A textbook converted directly to the html5 format.

Although there are many tools to automatically convert a PDF to html5 documents, extensive work of web or software developers is usually needed to prepare a correct html5 version.

Pros

Cons

  • A standardised file format.
  • Cross-platform compatibility.
  • Almost endless possibilities of adding various resources and interactivities.
  • No way to track students’ performance.
  • A complicated and expensive development process to obtain a proper html5 file.
  • A complex source file format (html5) makes it extremely difficult for editors to incorporate any changes or improvements (all, even the smallest corrections, are to be done by web developers).

XML Version with Player

What

Process

A textbook converted to the XML file format that may be interpreted by a dedicated Player. The Player dynamically creates the html5 format based on an XML source file of a relevant publication.

A textbook has to be prepared in the standardized XML format that can be interpreted by a dedicated Player. The Player is responsible for creating an html5 file displayed later to a user and for sending students’ results to an LMS platform.

Pros

Cons

  • A standardised XML source file format.
  • The possibility of separating content/functions from the layout (depending on the Player).
  • The possibility of tracking students’ performance (depending on the Player).
  • Cross-platform compatibility (depending on the Player).
  • Almost endless possibilities of adding various resources and interactivities.
  • A future-proof approach as the publication compatibility with future devices, Internet browsers and operating systems is dependent only on the Player and not the content itself (one Player for all your publications).
  • A complicated and expensive development process if no proper tool to create XML is available.
  • Full dependence on the Player if it is third-party controlled.

mAuthor Version

What

Process

A textbook converted to the XML file format using the standardised mAuthor tool. The mAuthor’s open source Player dynamically creates the html5 format based on an XML source file of a publication.

A textbook has to be prepared in a standardised XML using WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) mAuthor authoring tool. The original textbook may be imported from the InDesign XML format, however, a limited PDF import option is also available. The entire editing process can be done by a regular editorial team as the mAuthor tool is easy and intuitive to use. The XML format is interpreted by the open source mAuthor Player responsible for creating an html5 file displayed later to a user and for sending students’ results to an LMS platform.

Pros

Cons

  • An easy and intuitive way of content editing (WYSIWYG XML editing).
  • The entire development process can be done in house or outsourced to selected developers with hands-on control of the process and format.
  • The standardised XML source files format.
  • The separation of content/functions from the layout.
  • Full tracking options of students’ performance, including percentage results, time, attempts, errors, mistakes and full status of the activities.
  • Cross-platform compatibility.
  • Over 100 types of ready-made interactivities (and constantly growing).
  • Endless possibilities of extending features thanks to the open architecture of both the editor and the player allowing mAuthor users to develop their own widgets.
  • A future-proof approach as the publication compatibility with future devices, Internet browsers and operating systems is dependent only on the Player and not the content itself (one Player for all your publications).
  • Full content control independently from the mAuthor provider due to the standardised XML source code format and the open source Player.
  • None ;)

Key Features of mAuthor

  • Fast, easy development process
  • SaaS for reliability and ease-of-use
  • Delivers your content through any learning platform
  • Ready-made modules provide 100+ interactivity types
  • Easy for non-specialist staff or third party developers to preview, create or edit content
  • Deals easily with complex science formulae and math equations
  • Templated design for any look and feel
  • Customizable for every product with unique features and branding
  • Sophisticated workflow, including role management and versioning control
  • Localization tool for easy translation and local versioning
  • Teacher authoring tools available to edit and add content
  • A simple cost-effective licensing model

For a demo or more information please contact info@learnetic.com o click here

For a list of the many publishers already successfully using mAuthor see www.mauthor.com

See samples of interactive content prepared with mAuthor