EDUPUB: A Workshop on Digital Publishing for Education

Establishing a globally interoperable, accessible, open ecosystem for e-Textbooks and other Digital Learning Materials via EPUB 3 and the Open Web Platform

October 29-30 2013, Boston, USA

Post-event update: presentation files are now linked within the agenda page, and a meeting report by the organizers is available. EDUPUB2 will take place Feb 12-13 Salt Lake City USA.
The goal of this two-day invitation-only IDPF workshop is to bring together major players of the global K-20 education publishing market - including publishers, educators, platform and solution providers, standardization organizations, content distributors, and accessibility organizations - to help advance the effective adoption and use of e-textbooks and other digital learning materials by improving interoperability and baseline capabilities via standardization. EDUPUB is hosted by Pearson Education, with organizational co-sponsors W3C and IMS Global Learning, and additional corporate sponsors including Aptara, CourseSmart, VItal Source Technologies, Inc., Metrodigi, and SPi Global.
Digital content in education has the potential to significantly improve learning outcomes. As compared to paper-based textbooks and learning materials, digital content can better support accessibility, adapt to individual learning modes, increase engagement and experiential learning through interactivity, provide immediate assessments and analytics, social connectivity, and potentially reduce costs.
In order to realize these benefits, it is critical to globally enable utilization of digital content that transcends the print-replica shackles of first-generation portable document formats and associated “page flipper” applications. And, such digital content must be usable across many different devices, and in classroom and off-campus environment where data connectivity may be intermittent and slow (so online browser-based delivery, while important, is not always sufficient). Economies-of-scale must be afforded for cost-effectively developing and distributing education content across many different operating systems and devices. Achieving practical interoperability via standardization is a key element of facilitating this.
EPUB, a Web Standards and XML-based format developed by the IDPF, has already been widely adopted as a next-generation standard for e-Books digital publications, including e-Textbooks. The newest version, EPUB 3, is being rapidly adopted by the global education publishing community as the baseline format for e-textbooks, enabling the full power of HTML5 and the overall Open Web Platform for delivering engaging, interactive, media-enhanced reading experiences – offline and online - while also providing sufficient structure to provide practical interoperability so that publishers can create content assets once, and distribute publications to multiple channels and devices.
Despite the promise of EPUB 3, there remain major business and technical challenges in creating and delivering engaging, effective digital education content, some of which could be reduced or removed by further standardization and development of best practices specific to the education market. “Plug and play” systems for content creation, distribution, and reading will accelerate innovation and lower costs.
The focus of this Workshop is therefore to bring global experts together, across disciplines of publishing and education, to advance implementation of EPUB 3 as the standard structured format for e-textbooks and other digital content. The goal of the Workshop is to share knowledge about what’s working, uncover obstacles to more widespread implementation and interoperability, and take steps to remove them in order to catalyze adoption and market growth.
Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to share their own perspectives, requirements, and ideas to help ensure that EPUB, the underlying Open Web Platform of which it’s a part, and eLearning-specific standards harmoniously evolve to better meet the needs of education publishing.
The Workshop’s primary goal is to develop a shared consensus about specific next steps that the IDPF, its members, and other standards organizations and stakeholders need to take to further advance the usefulness of EPUB in education publishing. This might include formation of IDPF Working Groups to develop modular extensions to EPUB, joint activities between multiple organizations to better harmonize and integrate standards, and work by stakeholder communities to develop profiles or guidelines for use of EPUB in specific contexts and workflows.

Workshop Agenda

The workshop agenda has now been published. The original list of possible workshop topics is also available.

Participate in the Workshop

We invite representatives from following communities to participate in the Workshop (note: IDPF membership is not a requirement for participation):
  • Education publishers, publishing technology strategists and production experts
  • Educators and CIO/CTO leaders at educational institutions
  • Service providers to education publishers
  • Developers of reading applications and platforms
  • Developers of authoring tools
  • Relevant standard setting institutions
  • Accessibility companies and institutions
  • Researcher in the fields of e-Learning and electronic publishing
Learn more about how to participate in the Workshop.
The Workshop program chairs are Markus Gylling (CTO, IDPF and DAISY Consortium) and Paul Belfanti (Director of Content Architecture, Pearson Education). The program committee is a who's-who of executives and senior leaders from across the spectrum of the education publishing industry.
The venue for the workshop will be the historic Loews Boston Hotel (formerly Jurys Back Bay Hotel and originally the headquarters of the Boston Police Department) 350 Stuart St. Boston, MA 02116.

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