IBM Brings e-Textbooks into the Cloud to Foster Collaboration between Teachers and Students

Educational e-textbooks distributed by Wydawnictwa Cyfrowe get new dimension of security and scalability with SoftLayer’s cloud infrastructure

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Warsaw, Poland, - 07 Aug 2014: IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced the start of a cooperation with Wydawnictwa Cyfrowe LLC., a leading digital services provider for educational e-textbooks, under which IBM will provide access to the e-textbooks platform: on cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM company. As a result, publishing houses will be able to easily distribute electronic versions of textbooks, so both teachers and students can have access to new forms of interactive education.

Numerous schools across Poland are switching from hard copy traditional textbooks to digital textbooks and libraries, all in order to improve collaboration between teachers and students and also enable anytime access to lesson plans from anywhere. The new generation of e-textbooks can offer far more learning opportunities than traditional platforms and multimedia publications. Thanks to the online access, parents are able to follow the progress of their children in real time.

The demand for interactive, connected e-textbooks is constantly growing; however, a common platform has not been developed and different publishing houses use different standards to create digital materials. The nationwide project that Wydawnictwa Cyfrowe is working on with IBM involves providing an intuitive, interactive learning platform capable of distributing e-textbooks and educational materials from various publishers, available to all schools in the country.

“Today, social networks and mobile devices generate a great challenge for publishers of traditional textbooks. The next generation approach entails providing a learning platform for students and teachers, who can work with a variety of educational materials. This requires a secure cloud computing service which we are providing with IBM” says Marcin Strzalkowski, co-founder of Wydawnictwa Cyfrowe. “Another very important factor was scalability. The market of e-textbooks is currently growing, so the key issue was a guarantee to obtain greater capacity for increasing needs.” platform enables publishing houses to convert educational materials in accordance with the standards set for e-textbook that were created by the Ministry of National Education. This means that publishers incur lower costs than if they had to develop their own digitization standards and keep teams dedicated to the task.

The platform will not only enable digitization of materials, but also will facilitate their distribution and sales. E-textbooks in the cloud also enable teachers to develop lesson plans on their own or use the content prepared for another book, thereby increasing flexibility for teachers who have different styles of teaching.

Deploying lesson plans on SoftLayer’s cloud infrastructure will enable teachers and students to access lesson plans from anywhere and across various devices, including computers, tablets or smartphones. Because of the improved access that the Cloud platform will deliver, teachers will be able to instruct individual students on their tasks easier and more efficiently and also target their focus on individual students easier, thereby improving the educational experience. 

“Services available in the cloud are convenient for publishing houses, because they may reduce costs and time of releasing new products on the market” said Marek Majewski, Software Group Manager in IBM Poland. “Sharing textbooks in the SoftLayer cloud will increase the security and access to knowledge.”

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