From February 13 to February 15, 2012, we participated at the Tools of Change for Publishing conference of O’Reilly in NYC. O’Reilly’s TOC Conference is where the publishing and tech industries converge, as practitioners and executives from both camps share what they’ve learned from their successes and failures, explore ideas, and join together to navigate publishing’s ongoing transformation. This year’s conference was focused around the rapid technology changes that are facing the education business. The fast acceptance of the tablet as a delivery vehicle of learning content has changed the industry profoundly. Textbooks are morphing into interactive apps, which create a complete different learning experience. These apps provide a perfect platform for experimental and interactive learning and teaching. I was very impressed with the new interactivity tool provided by Wolfram Alpha for interactive math learning, as was demonstrated in a keynote by Theodor Gray. The rise of electronic textbooks is impressive, as was showcased by Safari Books Online, whose innovative business model is based on usage and not just on the number of users. Their rapid growth shows that the model is successful and accepted, probably not too dissimilar from the ReadSpeaker model. The conference’s major theme this year was the rise of big data in ePublishing, from the importance of metadata to the interpretation of usage and interaction data. It has become evident that tagging the content is almost as important as producing the content in the first place, as the task of making it findable has become very important. One of the side effects of creating eContent is the disappearance of pages, which creates a difficulty in sequencing content. Finding specific content becomes even more important (and difficult). Clearly accessibility continues to play a major role in the conversations about technology development and roadmaps for all major publishers at the conference, especially since the electronic era offers a new dimension to provide that access. Most publishers are engaged in deep conversations of how to do this in the best possible way, especially around their mobile delivery platforms. The ReadSpeaker solution offers several benefits : it guarantees a high level of speech quality/voice regardless of what device, operating system and browser the user happens to use, it delivers exact usage statistics to our clients, it works on-the-fly thereby allowing publishers to change their content at any time, it provides quality control over pronunciations of words that are of extra importance to our customers, the SDK – our audioMobile API – is super light for mobile applications and the packaged solutions for websites or mobile websites offers the same user experience on desktop PC as for mobile/portable devices. This explains the rapid growth of ReadSpeaker technology among the major publishers. Overall, the conference provides a perfect platform for publishing and technology providers to discuss the further integration of technology into the curriculum delivery and into the teaching methods. All major publishers and providers meet and mingle at the conference and the exhibit floors on Times Square. I am sure however that there is always time to enjoy part of the buzz in the Big Apple when you are there.