The textbook has been around for centuries, changing in size and shape through the years and more than anything, getting heavier by the decade. The bulky textbooks no doubt make sure that everything one could possibly ever need are within the pages but for students, it’s back breaking to lug the rocks around.
In the 1990’s, there were not as many publishers of online content as there were visitors who were reading online content. Bookstores were selling more tangible publications, hardly anyone had a blog and students bought only huge textbooks from university bookstores as required reading. Years later, we find that everyone all over the world is participating in online publishing. From social networks involving reviews and or comments to poetry, You Tube video casts, personal webpage’s, blogs, publications and even full manuscripts all fight for space and attention online.
With the advent of computers and Internet, information now gets distributed differently. Today, many students are required to bring laptops to class and read from online articles or publications, accessed with a password once a subscription fee has been paid. Bookstores are indeed selling books but competition has grown with easily accessible online works. Publishing houses are now moving online and discovering with XML content servers that they can reach new audiences, create new products and gain a profit in new ways.
Large publishing organizations began to ask themselves how they were supposed to compete in a now paperless society of information. First, how were they going to get all of their content online without spending tons of time and money to scan or convert files into one format readable by everyone and secondly, how were they going to make a profit from their content once they overcame the giant task of getting it all online? With the help of XML content servers, they could effortlessly transfer all their information and have it instantly accessible with out required DTDs or XML schema. Now, these publishing houses can make ALL their content available and make some money in the process.
Now, instead of requiring students to lug around huge, heavy textbooks from class to class, only to read 5 pages of the texts perhaps, professors are taking a smarter approach. Now professors are having students log onto these massive publishing companies and with a $15/quarter fee students can download the text that is needed for the class, saving paper, saving time and money and most of all backs.