recommended reading

Army eyes e-textbooks for ROTC courses

Richard Drew/AP

The Army is considering an ambitious project to convert its college-level Reserve Officer Training Corps textbooks to e-books that can take advantage of the multimedia capabilities offered by a digital library.

The Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command kicked off market research in late December, with an eye toward developing hardware-agnostic e-textbooks for the Army Cadet Command, headquartered at Fort Knox, Ky.

According to Daniel Elkins, a spokesman for the command's contracting office, the project covers textbooks that range from 217 to 511 pages. Topics include Army values and ethics, tactics and techniques, personal development, and leadership, he said.

"The concept is to take advantage of electronic media across all platforms, which would include content already in existing texts along with other media, such as embedded, video to further enhance learning," Elkins said in an email.

The market research notice said the Army wants to develop e-textbooks that run on Windows, Apple, and UNIX-based operating systems and are compatible with Kindle, Nook and Sony e-readers. The Army also wants to make e-textbooks readable on iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices.

Army Cadet Command spokesman Mike Johnson said the intention is to develop e-textbooks across a range of platforms "so as to not pigeonhole the student into a particular device -- whether it is owned by the students or supplied by the college."

If the Army goes ahead with the project, students at 273 colleges that host ROTC programs would use them, Johnson said.

The service started laying the groundwork shortly after Daytona State College in Florida reported in the December issue of Educause Quarterly that students found e-textbooks less satisfying and more fatiguing than paper text in a two-year study financed by the Education Department. Professors surveyed in the study reported that students used e-textbooks less than paper text. "Many students did not do the required reading; they simply found it inconvenient," one instructor said.

The Army will base its procurement strategy on e-textbook market research. Industry responses are due Monday.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.