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Digital Textbooks (eTextbooks) in Barbados

Came across this article from the Barbados Today. According to the article

Project Director Beverly Smith-Hinkson said her organization, DataLore Inc was working with relevant stakeholders to make digital textbooks here a reality.  DataLore Inc oversees the CSERS project.

They are hoping that once 90% of the required books are digitised the project can move forward and students can start using the etextbooks beginning next year. According to another article, Caribbean publishers (unlike international publishers) were slow in making their books available in digital format. I contacted DataLore Inc and got responses to the following questions

Tell us about your organisation and the CSERS project.

The CSERS project was developed by Datalore Inc. CSERS stands for Caribbean Shared Educational Resources Service. Datalore Inc was incorporated in 1992 in Barbados. It has been in both the retail and distribution of books in the region. The eBook initiative is it latest project.

What is an etextbook?

The digital format of a book.

What is the technology used?

Cloud based system using industry standard formats.

What are the advantages of etextbooks?

24/7 access on any available device. Less load for the students. Better pricing for the region.

What is slowing progress?

Availability of digital file for some texts. Need for schools to use more recently published texts.

Any plans to work in Trinidad to get the same done?

Definitely we have already been in discussions with persons there to run with the project.

What is in place to ensure that persons don’t copy the books without paying for them?

Our platform is a digital rights managed platform (encrypted) which prevents students from copying the files.

Photo credit : Oregon State University

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