[Athen] Pearson

Joseph Polizzotto jpolizzotto at htctu.net
Sat Jan 13 10:52:46 PST 2018

I have a similar view as Bevi- we need to promote the most accessible
versions of both EPUB and PDF. PDF has some advantages and EPUB has
advantages. A student might prefer one or the other. I don't
understand why publishers cannot produce two formats that conform to
the accessible standards we have been advocating for on behalf of our
students, who are the Publishers' customers and from whom they make a
lot of money.

I think the print-page numbers issue is a specific feature for which
we need to advocate. The publisher could include the print page number
equivalent in the EPUB, since it is in the EPUB 3 spec (e.g., you can
use the epub:type="pagebreak" attribute), and then the student could
be "on the same page" as their peers.

One of the problems is that even when a publisher does embed the page
number markup in the EPUB, not enough EPUB 3 reading systems support
the page-list nav feature that will allow for navigation to the page
numbers. In my testing, only the Azardi reader does this. I have tried
the others that are listed at the EPUBtest.org site but with
inconsistent results:


This too is an area for advocacy. If anyone is interested in joining
the EPUB reading systems group, we can make our concerns and desires
known in that venue. Contact George Kerscher or Richard Orme to join
the group.

I have reached out to Kurzweil and requested they develop a true EPUB
reader that would expose all the rich elements of an EPUB 3 book, such
as the TOC window, support for the page-list nav, MathML support, etc.
K3000 is already loading Bookshare's EPUB 3 titles, except it just
doesn't have the rich support for all the features possible with EPUB
3. Yet.

K3000's Read the Web toolbar does a good job with VitalSource content
in the Bookshelf reader though. I would recommend a student who uses
K3000 to try out that combination for now.

On the other hand, the VitalSource Bookshelf reader is one of the most
accessible readers out there, so a student who purchases a book from
VitalSource might benefit most from just using it, especially since
K3000's Read the Web toolbar doesn't have annotation features yet. In
that case, the students could annotate using Bookshelf's own
annotation tools. (Granted, switching back and forth between two
reading systems depending on the format is not ideal, however)

An interesting fact that VitalSource shared recently was that out of
their 50 most popular titles requested last year, 47 of them were in
EPUB format. I understood that statistic to mean that students may
prefer EPUB when given a choice, but those numbers were for all
downloads, not just those by DSS students I believe.

A few other reasons why I think we need to get in front of the EPUB
trend are 1) student's use of smartphones. Smartphones are ubiquitous
and EPUB has the advantage to reflow the text to a student's device;
and 2) OER content is widely adopted both in K-12 and Higher Ed and a
lot of EPUB content comes from OER sources (e.g., OpenStax).

Just my two cents. May our students all prosper from our combined efforts!

Joseph Polizzotto
HTCTU Instructor

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