When faced with a cloud of new emerging technologies, educators can easily get lost in what technologies are worth pursuing and what future trends will develop. Each year, The Horizon Report outlines the most promising emerging technologies in education. This year’s edition, The Horizon Report: 2010 Edition, alludes to six burgeoning technologies that will find a place in education over the next few years. One of the discussions centered around electronic books.
I would argue that the trend to adopt electronic books will be the “hurricane of the future,” rather than merely being a wave of the future. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, recently stated in a Newsweek interview that he believes ebooks will eventually force traditional books (i.e., ink-on-paper books) to “go away.” During this interview, he also speculated that ebooks would soon outsell print books on Amazon.com, and on Christmas Day 2010, ebooks outsold traditional books for the first time.
Publishers are obviously fighting this wave because a large portion of ebooks downloaded are free. As stated in a recent Washington Post article, consumers prefer a large selection of books that are inexpensive, authors desire a greater portion of revenue, and publishers are fighting to retain their profit share. The most popular price point for ebooks is $0.00, and consumers have made it clear that $9.99 (the price point of most best-sellers) is still considered too high.
This dance between consumers, creators, and publishers has already been performed in the music, movie, and television industries. To a large degree, the “ink-on-paper” book is one of the last great bastions of analog technology. The music industry finally figured out that massive amounts of overhead costs could be saved by converting media to a digital format and disbursing it through the internet. Television shows and the movie industry have followed suit. At some point, the market will force publishers to go in this direction, either of their own volition or through market forces.
In the future, ebooks are only going to rise in popularity. Publishers would benefit most by riding this wave, rather than fighting the hurricane. While publishers seem to be solely focused on securing rights, maximizing royalties, and maintaining control, a revolution is taking place in the entire method of delivery, which makes many of these concerns obsolete.
As mentioned in the brief biography above, I am currently working towards obtaining a doctoral degree. In fact, this blog is being initiated as a course assignment for one of the classes in my doctoral program, IT 780 (Seminar in Instructional Technology).
In the next several post, I will chronicle some of the learning that is taking place in IT 780. I will describe each major assignment and describe the learning that takes place. I also hope to reflect on each project and discuss opportunities for application in my current setting.
As a small town Mississippi boy, I began a career as a singer/guitarist and stepped into the realm of music leadership during my high school years. I moved on to graduate from The University of Southern Mississippi with a Master’s in Music Education (i.e., M. M. Ed.) in 2004. While working on this M. M. Ed., I served as a general music instructor at West Elementary School, Choir Supervisor at Bayou View and Central Middle Schools, and Choir Director at Gulfport High School.
After graduating with a master’s degree, I moved to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as the Choir Director on the Jackson County Campus. Later, I served as the Fine Arts Department Chair for the JC Campus. Currently, I am serving as the Dean of Instruction on the JC Campus. MGCCC has over 10,000 students and 13 different Departments, ranging from Science to Career/Technical programs. You check out the college at mgccc.edu.
In addition to being employed at MGCCC, I am working towards a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with a minor in Instructional Technology.
The best part of who I am is my wife and my handsome baby boy. We just celebrated ten years of marriage and hope to have more kids! I also serve as the worship leader at Crosspoint Church (mycrosspoint.org). I love playing and watching sports (especially the Saints), and I might be best know for eating the last Krystal burger served in downtown Gulfport.