What is this EDUPUB thing I keep hearing about?

Special thanks to Kris Vetter for the following post!

As the term EDUPUB is mentioned more and more frequently in the realm of education, I thought it would be helpful to take a step back and explain what this EDUPUB thing is.
What is EDUPUB?
EDUPUB, formally changed to “EPUB for Education” in February 2016, is a proposed educational profile, or specialization, of the EPUB3 ebook standard – the main standard for all ebooks (excluding Amazon). EPUB for Education is not a new file format. A collective effort between the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), the IMS Global Learning Consortium, the W3C, and many educational publishers, EPUB for Education is an agreed upon set of guidelines and requirements that aim to accommodate educational ebooks, which would be:
  • semantically structured for educational use
  • accessible to non-sighted and other impaired readers
  • include extra metadata about accessibility and what types of content are included
  • support open annotations
  • support collection of user learning data

Why should I care?
Digital content is inherently more accessible than print, so creating a concrete standard for educational ebooks could drastically improve learning experiences and knowledge building for all types of readers. As the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) noted, “Educational resources don’t just come neatly packaged in textbooks anymore. Students and teachers use a multitude of resources—books, chapters, articles, media, quizzes, exercises, models, data, and more. And they need to use them online and offline, alone and collaboratively, wherever and on whatever device they want. EDUPUB aims to remove friction to enable educational content of all types to be reliably distributed and interchanged across a wide variety of devices and platforms.”
Learn More
The IDPF released a new editor’s draft of the EPUB for Education in February 2016. Check it out!