Textbooks as a service rather than a product

There have been lots of good ideas being floated around at the
O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Publishing but I just heard one of the best.

At the conclusion of one of today’s sessions, an audience member asked the panel about the danger of releasing textbooks into academic environments without DRM. Ben Vershbow turned the question around. He responded that the entire notion of textbooks should be rethought, and that textbooks should be thought of as extensions of the classroom learning environment rather than as products — and as such, educational publishers should think of providing text books as a service rather than a product.

view from the 38th floor

View of NYC from the conference site