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Toronto startup cracks the electronic textbook

The Globe & Mail features Toronto startup Symtext Corp. developers of the Liquid Textbook, a software program that allows educators to build customized electronic course readers. Since its release in July 2008, Liquid Textbook has been adopted by professors at Queen's, McGill, Ryerson, Concordia, Brock "and a handful of other universities and colleges across Canada". 

"Because there was no single textbook he could use for the class at Ryerson University in Toronto, Mr. Monkhouse gathered materials from various sources and had the university's bookstore obtain the necessary permissions and make copies. The process was cumbersome, not environmentally friendly and not especially convenient for the students. "

"Mr. Monkhouse wanted to replace the course package with something electronic. He had heard of electronic textbooks, but he needed a way to package materials from multiple sources. He found it in the Liquid Textbook, a product of Toronto startup Symtext Corp."

"Symtext's creation can include content drawn from multiple sources Ė chapters of textbooks, research papers, articles, even video clips. The company's service includes arranging permissions with publishers for whatever material an instructor wants to include. It's also easy to modify the text, a plus for Mr. Monkhouse since sustainability is a rapidly changing topic."

"The professor and the students can also add their own annotations, which are available for everyone in the course to see. That creates a sort of discussion forum within the electronic text itself."

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original source Globe & Mail

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