I recently attended a live demo of MBS Direct’s Direct Digital solution, in which I and several colleagues (teachers and techies) got to Q&A a top developer on the current product and where it is headed. The verdict in a nutshell? Overall all pretty impressed, but watch out for those DRM agreements!
(View a recorded demo here: Blue “WEBINARS” button, then choose the third pre-recorded option – “Direct Digital: Your Content, Your Reader, Any Device”)
I dutifully report here what we discovered.
- Runs in browser (last two versions of major players), so no program to install
- Can download to computer (still runs in browser), and will sync notes and annotations with online version when connected again
- iPhone/iPad app available (Android app in next month or two, which will also allow Kindle Fire play)
- Can add notes and annotations (highlights) inline (and search them)
- Can scan text and easily see where notes were added
- You can create “bookshelves” (also known as folders) for your digital content (presumably by subject and the like)
- Image text is searchable
- Reported cost of books is 40% less than print version
- Resources are available inline to support the content of the books (videos, etc.), and teachers can add their own resources to a book before it is “published”. Possibility might exist for teachers to keep adding resources even after publication.
- LTI Single Signon Integration into learning management systems (like Moodle). Can link to books and it will carry individual credentials so that the book the student lands on is theirs, with their notes, etc.
- DRM! Varies by publisher, but in many cases you do not own the book! (Though you can keep your notes….)
- Social not ready yet (though promised soon)
- Lack of clarity on how corrections are made (if a book needs correction, is it automatic?)
Would love to see:
- Way for students to share notes, discussion, etc.
- Way for teachers to control sharing permissions by student and text
- Way for teachers to see notes of all students to gauge understanding
- Integration of quizzes for understanding, etc.
Anyone using this product that would like to share their experience?