Tuesday, August 7, 2007

CafeScribe: Textbooks 2.0

Fourteen40, a Salt Lake company that derives it's name from the year 1440 when Gutenberg invented the printing press, has released (in beta) CaféScribe, an e-book marketplace and social network for students. CafeScribe is much more than just a bunch of PDF's students pay for and pull off the web. Provided are some interesting and useful tools including the ability to share notes with others and organize digital books based on things like subject matter along with other tools like digital color-coded color-coded highlighters.

The social networking component is most interesting - to give you an idea of how it works - here's some details from the CafeScribe website:

Upload and share any of your PDFs with your friends or classmates.

Share notes with others who are reading the same stuff. Academics call it "collaborative learning", we call it "divide and conquer" Why not share notes and figure out what is most important more quickly?

Rank others on how well they take notes. Find the genius note taker for your classes

The ability for students to form virtual study groups on their own campuses and across other campuses is very appealing for both the traditional classroom and distance delivery,

Even though CafeScribe is currently in beta you can still register on the website and start using it. This may be an interesting way for faculty to distribute documents for student collaboration. I'm going to experiment with it this fall with my students.

Listen to Mike Q and my latest podcast "Niche Search" linked here.

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