Sunday, June 28, 2009

McGraw Hill takes first step to getting it right, but they need printernet publishing

The response to College Textbook meltdown is the M-Series. It's a great step in the right direction. Changing the heavy textbook into an illustrated magazine.

Most instructors will love it. It supplies the talk for chalk and talk. If it also has quizzes it should be a runaway success. Barnes and Noble's will hate it. It's much harder to resell a magazine.

But McGraw are still missing the learning part. Teachable moments are when learning happens. Teachable moments come and go unpredictably. If the content is static, it's still too slow to take advanatge of them when they happen.

McGraw Hill is struggling with the problem of having a huge investment in legacy content that earned it's creditability in a different age. Creditability for "Generation Next" is about access, relevance and timeliness. It's not about being called an expert in XYZ.

It could be a really neat opportunity for Barnes and Noble. Printernet published books and newspapers with the instructor pulling the content from the web, supported by ads for public health and government. XML to PDF is well defined. PDF to print anywhere in any format is well defined. The infrastructure for a printernet is in place.

Go Barnes and Noble? Borders? Staples? AlphaGraphics? CGX? RRD? Xerox? Oce?

The Story of the McGraw-Hill M Series:
"The traditional textbook is created from a relationship between instructors, authors, and publishers.

With the M Series, McGraw-Hill brings the student into that traditional equation to create a new generation of textbooks.

Here, you'll find that scholar and instructor preferences and teaching expectations have been married to the results of in-depth research into today's student study habits, learning behaviors, and reading goals.

Through this effort, McGraw-Hill has re-invented the textbook learning experience to meet today's students where they are, so instructors can take them where they want them to be."

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