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The Changing E-book Status

E-books in the coming years could completely change the world of textbooks and the learning process.  Or the world of e-books could become incredibly disorganized, depending on who you talk to. A merger plan of the International Digital Publishing Forum with the World Wide Web Consortium was recently announced complete, which could mean good or bad things for the e-book industry.

The World Wide Web Consortium is the company responsible for maintaining the standards of the world wide web, while the International Digital Publishing Forum is the organization who created e-pub e-books.  To be more specific about e-pub, it is a file format used mainly for e-books that can be used on computers, tablets, e-readers, smart phones, and other devices.

The word is that e-books will become much more interactive thanks to this merger. The hope is to create e-books that incorporate more web-like aspects.  Examples of future accomplishments with these new e-books in the textbook arena include quizzes for each section, the option to go more in-depth with concepts that are marked as needing clarification, chat boxes to speak directly with professors, 3-D diagrams, and the capability to show videos all stored within one electronic book.

However, some are adamant that the merger will destroy the entire e-book industry.  Proponents of this view state that the merger will actually mean the disappearance of the International Digital Publishing Forum and the “e-pub standard” that came along with it.  Without e-pub, those with this viewpoint believe the world of e-books will become much more chaotic.

In regards to students and the potential for change with e-books, many students seem positive about the idea of new and improved e-books.  According to a 2016 Wakefield Research survey of 500 students, 87% of college students think that “interactive e-books” will help them to learn better.  It is still unknown exactly what will come of this new merger between the World Wide Web Consortium and the International Digital Publishing Forum, but if they go down the route of revolutionized e-book textbooks among other new e-book innovations, perhaps we will see a lot of good from this combination of e-book and world wide web technology.