Publishing association opens Center for Innovation & Digital Learning

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Publishing is getting another e-makeover.

The Association of American Publishers – the chief trade association for the book publishing industry – has launched a new Center for Innovation & Digital Learning. The initiative is an effort to show that the traditional trade group embraces electronic versions of the printed word, and representatives are getting the word out at SXSWedu in Austin, Texas, next month.

The new center will host forums, webinars and other events, all to promote the use of digital educational resources over the printed form, according to a press release issued earlier this week.

It will also release analysis and reports that track changes in access to educational technology, metadata and other technical issues.

“Learning materials are no longer solely the printed textbooks of generations past,” AAP President and CEO Tom Allen said in the release. “Digital learning materials are increasingly important to improving outcomes throughout a student’s education.”

The center will operate as a nonprofit research branch of AAP with members from the organization’s PreK-12 and Higher Education sectors, and will be headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The center will host its inaugural event, a panel on the challenge of bringing new products to market, next month at the annual education conference, joining edtech advocates and experts from across the nation to discuss digital innovation in schools, entrepreneurship and computer science education.

This is not AAP’s first foray into e-publishing. Association officials have been working on establishing standards for electronic publications, exploring cloud-based distribution platforms and addressing other issues related to the delivery of digital products.

“While AAP and its education divisions have undertaken many digital initiatives over the past 15 years, our new center will complement existing initiatives and generate new efforts that support our members, educators and students nationwide,” Allen said.

The center will also help organize programs for the Ed Tech Forum at AAP’s Content in Context Conference in Philadelphia this summer.

Reach the reporter at yizhu.wang@edscoop.com and follow her on Twitter @yizhuevy.

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