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Part 5 of my year-end series.

As far as ed-tech trends go, 2011 was not the year of the e-textbook.

Hooray E-Books


True, e-books in general have racked up record sales this year, outselling print for the first time, not just at Amazon but across the entire industry. 2011 was also the year Borders declared bankruptcy and closed its bookstores -- the end to a brick-and-mortar retail giant which had invested so heavily in all sorts of physical media (CDs, movies, and books) that have now gone digital.

Boo Textbooks


If there's one form of physical media book with bonus CD-ROM book that's despised, it has to be the textbook, right? Textbooks are heavy. They're expensive. They're boring.

So the potential for digital textbooks was certainly strong this year, and the popularity of the iPad, e-readers, and e-reader apps all afforded lots of opportunities for innovation there. But when it came to the actual adoption of e-textbooks? An actual trend? Well, not so much. Not quite yet.

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Audrey Watters


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