OLLI Course: E-books

Course Description

  • ebooksShould I offer this course again? I would need to update, trim, re-organize ...
    2012 Fall: Ashland; 2012 Spring: Medford; 2011 Fall: Ashland; 2011 Fall: AshMUG
  • Sessions: 5
  • Course URL: http://communicrossings.com/olli-course-e-books
  • Are you curious about electronic books (e-books): what they are, how they work, when they arose and why you should care? We will learn about E-book history and formats and how to assess current eInk and tablet devices, such as Kindle, Nook and iPad -- and demonstrate eReader apps. We will explore self-publishing trends, tools and resources for authors. Depending on class interest, we will discuss impacts of E-books (newspapers, magazines, ...) on readers, authors, publishers, bookstores, libraries, schools and society. Internet required for student access to course materials. More about course topics and style below.

About the Instructor

  • steve with coffeeSteve Weyer has taught Crosswords (Intro and Practicum), E-books, Internet History and Issues, and Internet Security at OLLI since 2010. Steve has 45+ years experience with computer software, including research and development on programming languages, education environments, electronic books, and artificial intelligence at Stanford, Xerox PARC, Atari, HP Labs and Apple. He has developed and distributed a web browser ("Newt’s Cape"), a crossword application ("CrozzWord") and other applications for early mobile devices and smartphones. He has also created crossword puzzles and web sites. Steve has a BS in Math (Univ. of Wash.), and an MS in Statistics and PhD in Education (Stanford); his publications.
  • Steve has been fascinated by "hypertext/media" and electronic books for several decades. His 1981 PhD dissertation ("Searching for Information in a Dynamic Book") evaluated the use of an electronic history book by 5th grade students; he subsequently researched interactive encyclopedias. In 1995, he developed and distributed a hybrid book reader / web browser -- Newt's Cape -- for the Newton MessagePad. Now, he enjoys multiple reading options on his Apple iPad.
  • After moving to Ashland in 2006 (after several visits in the mid-70s), Steve has been enjoying non-technical activities such as hiking, biking, reading (esp. Sci-Fi), theater, improv comedy, volunteering, and OLLI classes.
  • Steve Weyer: Confessions of a technology addict Ashland Daily Tidings; Aug 29, 2012

Course Topics

Course Materials

  • course menuThese online pages will be used for course presentation & resources, and will be updated before, during and after the course:
  • You will also find this link on the OLLI site: Course Materials
    -- at least for the current term & course number.
  • This online version allows you to preview the course before registering, and to explore items (articles, web sites) that we skim/skip or that you miss, or want to refer to later; it also allows me to update the course easily with new or revised items. It's scalable and mobile-friendly for smaller screens; it can even be used to generate eBooks.
  • There will be no PowerPoint slides or paper handouts. For those who prefer to print, or to read offline on computer, tablet or eReader (especially apt for this class), you can download a .pdf or eBook version of this course. Note: includes active article links; however, page layout is rougher; updates will be infrequent; to keep files smaller, images are lower resolution in .pdf, 4 screenshot galleries are omitted in .epub and .mobi versions
    • .pdf [278 pp.; 14.9 MB; 27-Oct-2012; created using Safari and Preview]
    • .epub [iPad, Nook, ...; 23.7 MB; 27-Oct-2012; created from HTML using Sigil]
    • .mobi [Kindle; 16 MB; 27-Oct-2012; created from HTML using Calibre]
  • I welcome feedback -- during class or via Contact Us (under Home menu) -- about particular topics/issues you'd like to discuss, about the pace and level of detail, etc.
  • For most topics, I generally refer to Wikipedia, New York Times, vendor sites and other sources -- as good starting points (though certainly not the only ones) for exploration. Note: any images or other media provided on this site are for instructional/personal use and should not be redistributed. Photo galleries (under iPad and Authoring) should display properly in most modern web browsers (Internet Explorer (IE) users may experience problems and see a warning message). Other sites may limit article access by imposing a monthly quota, or requiring login or subscription.