CourseSmart’s Frank Lyman on Tablets and Education

CourseSmart, a major player in the eTextbook world, hit the floor at CES with a concept video for how the company’s eTextbooks could be used on tablet computers. eBookNewser caught up with Frank Lyman, CourseSmart’s executive vice president over the phone yesterday to talk tablets.

eBookNewser asked whether Lyman thought that tablets were likely to be used by students in the very near future. He said, “I don’t even think it’s a few years. It’s all functionality that we have. The hardware is coming from a bunch of different players. Some things could be a reality on 2010. We position CourseSmart as a choice for students. It’s been becoming an increasingly popular choice on laptops and netbooks. I think it’ll be used this year by some students and become normal within two or three years for some students.”

Lyman also talked to eBookNewser about the challenges of encouraging the adoption of this kind of technology in the higher education environment: adoption won’t happen “with college students unless the content they need, the content being assigned by their instructors, is available. That’s one of the reasons I’m being bullish” about getting content onto CourseSmart’s platform, he said.

As to whether the tablet is going to play a major role in the future of education and eTextbooks, Lyman said, “My suspicion is that when the hype settles down the tablet is going to have a real impact on the education market.”