Cambridge University Press Partners With Norway’s Ludenso on AR Textbooks

In News by Porter Anderson

Using the Oslo-based ‘Ludenso Studio’ platform, Cambridge expects to enhance its textbooks with increased value in imagery and other assets.

From left are Tim Oates, group director of assessment research and development at Cambridge University Press & Assessment; Eirik G. Wahlstrøm, Ludenso CEO; Ingrid Fallrø Skrede, Ludenso co-founder and CMO; and Lewis Birchon, head of publishing at Cambridge Partnership for Education.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Birchon: ‘A Rich Seam of Opportunities’
With a big stated goal of “bringing augmented reality textbooks to learners worldwide,” Cambridge University Press and Assessment has announced a partnership with the Norwegian company Ludenso, which in September opened a platform for publishers in England.

Cambridge Partnership for Education is the department of Cambridge University Press & Assessment that works with governments and international development organizations on questions of quality in education systems. The company works on many aspects of its field, “policy recommendations to curriculum development to teacher training in coordination with the university and what the company says is 50 international offices.

The offer is described by Ludenso as an augmented-reality authoring tool, which lets publishers “enrich either existing or new textbook titles with 3D models, embedded videos, audio clips, or links.”

Cambridge is describing the move as “part of the package Cambridge Partnership for Education can offer to transform national education systems.”

In a prepared statement, Cambridge’s head of publishing, Lewis Birchon, is quoted, saying, “We work directly with governments and development organizations to improve education for millions of children in state-funded schooling worldwide. The technology we can offer through our partnership with Ludenso has the potential to transform students’ learning through 3D models, video experiments, audio, and links to further reading materials.

“If a picture is worth a thousand words,” he says, “then how much is a 3D animation of a beating heart worth to a student trying to understand the circulatory system? Or the sound of a siren to demonstrate the Doppler effect? Augmented reality offers a rich seam of opportunities to enhance learning, really helping bring curriculum content to life for students.

“The platform is really intuitive, quick and easy to use; I knew it would just click with teachers and students. It’s great to add Ludenso to our list of partners and I’m excited to see how we can inspire more learners together.”

Also speaking for Cambridge, Tim Oates, group director of assessment research and development, says, “When digital learning is at its best, it provides an enrichment of learners’ experiences, better retention in memory of vital knowledge, and develops both understanding and skill in all learners. The Ludenso team has done something very special; it’s digital learning at its very best.”

A photo provided demonstrates augmented-reality renderings of medical textbook imagery. Image: Ludenso

Wahlstrøm: ‘Real Pedagogical Value’

Speaking for Ludenso, CEO Eirik G. Wahlstrøm says, “We’re incredibly excited and honored to be partnering with Cambridge Partnership for Education to make learning more engaging and motivating for millions of students in the years to come.

“Cambridge has been a fantastic collaboration partner to ensure that our augmented reality solution provides real pedagogical value to the end users.

In the current stages of the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Wahlstrøm  says, “It’s clear that hybrid learning is here to stay. Augmented reality brings the best of both worlds, by allowing students to choose their own personalized learning path through high quality learning materials.”

Having just announced US$1 million seed funding last month, Cambridge says, Ludenso is rapidly expanding publisher partnerships.

An anatomical eye visualization with augmented reality. Image: Ludenso

More from Publishing Perspectives on Cambridge University Press is here, more from us on educational publishing is here, and more on augmented reality is here

More on the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.