PressReader expands e-learning, buying EPUB pioneer

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Digital newsstand PressReader is moving into education with the launch of TextbookHub and an acquisition.

The Canada-headquartered company - launched as NewspaperDirect in 1999 - has formed an educational technologies segment with the launch of the e-learning brand and acquisition of Evident Point Software.

PressReader says it is gaining a company "at the forefront of the on-screen reading experience, developing foundational technologies for educators and students to create, distribute and consume digital content".

Its history of digital publishing traces to early uses of PDF and SVG, as well as innovations in format conversion and annotation. Evident Point's active involvement with W3C and International Digital Publishing Forum helped shape standards that became EPUB to which it continues to contribute.

TextbookHub will integrate with SIS/LMS/SMS systems and supports single sign-on online and offline, in-class or remote learning on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Chrome devices. Teachers can overlay the textbook with quizzes, video, links and notes to create a collaborative experience for students.

With Evident Point's acquisition, TextbookHub now has the technology engine that drives innovation and future development.

Group chief executive Alex Kroogman says the expansion leverages expertise in distribution and consumption of reading content. "In just two short years, we've integrated over one million educational materials, bringing them to life with interactive features for students and educators working in the classroom or remote," he says.

TextbookHub will provide publishers with a new digital distribution channel, delivered directly to a student's virtual bookshelf and accessible for a school term.

Pictured: Custom solutions from Evident Point's Active Textbook

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