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Van Schaik intros e-textbooks

E-textbooks will play a significant role in the future of education in Africa, says Van Schaik's Stephan Erasmus.

Van Schaik Bookstore, a supplier of academic, trade and reference textbooks, is adding e-textbooks to its offering, as an increasing number of students and educators transition to digital learning resources.

The bookseller has signed a deal with VitalSource to use its online e-textbook platform, and aims to debut its offering in July.

“Having served the academic market in Africa for nearly a century, we have a clear understanding of the needs of our unique customer base,” said Stephan Erasmus, MD of Van Schaik Bookstore.

He added that Van Schaik considered e-textbooks a growing and important part of the future of education, and that partnering with VitalSource provided the resources to support learning throughout Africa.

Using digital tools means it can deliver e-textbooks to a wide customer base without costly infrastructure investments, the bookseller added.

According to William Chesser, VP of sales at VitalSource Technologies, the platform is an online/offline e-book solution with iOS and Android apps supporting Mac, Windows and browser-based access. “The multiplicity of access options is crucial in an emerging environment like South African higher education,” said Chesser.

Van Schaik has incorporated its online store and in-store kiosks with the VitalSource fulfilment engine, and students and educators purchasing e-textbooks can access all of the platform's features. These include integrated download, online and mobile content options, advanced searching and annotation, and note sharing.

The e-textbook offering will enable Van Schaik to help client campuses tackle content aggregation and access challenges, as well as the integration, finance, support and training considerations that come with the migration to a digital education world, said Chesser.

“Using VitalSource, Van Schaik will connect more students and educators to the newest interactive learning tools and e-textbooks,” he concluded.


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