Bookshare: Digital Books for “Frustrated Readers”

The application of digital books to the education system is one of the most popular and sensible uses of the format: between reducing textbook costs for college students and allowing new ways to interact with and take notes upon their class material, there are plenty of exciting new advances that the e-book can provide. Companies such as TriplePoint client Nature Publishing Group have demonstrated what these possibilities can mean for adult education, but plenty of other education-minded businesses are working to support younger students, as well. Bookshare, a digital distribution service that draws inspiration from Napster, is helping not only to put books in front of children, but is making reading more accessible to those with impaired vision or learning disabilities, according to a story in Education Week.

As explained in the article, “Bookshare turns books into a format that can be read aloud by computers, magnified, and spaced differently so that students with vision problems or learning disabilities can read them. The reformatted books are even available at the same time new releases reach bookstore shelves, unlike typical audiobooks. Its services are an example of how e-book technology, taking off with consumers, has powerful potential for students who previously relied on more cumbersome and difficult-to-obtain alternatives to the traditional book.”

The full article and explanation are available here.