Current and Next Generation Digital Study Tools


Presented at 10:00am in Virtual C on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.



  • Rick Johnson, Vice President of Product Strategy, VitalSource Technologies
  • Stacy Ray, Bookshelf Installed Apps Product Manager, VitalSource Technologies

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 45 minutes
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


A discussion of Bookshelf's existing accessible study tools with a look ahead at next-generation learning solutions.


This session will focus on how our embedded study tools are designed with all learners in mind. We will review the tools currently in VitalSource Bookshelf, including flashcards, read aloud and assignments. We’ll also discuss how the delivery of learning materials is evolving from eTexts to interactive courseware and showcase how common tools can provide an accessible experience in both. These Next Generation Learning tools are designed to help learners of all abilities succeed.


  1. Demonstrate the accessible study tools available with VitalSource Bookshelf.
  2. Understand how immersive courseware platforms utilize common tools to provide an accessible experience.
  3. Explain how a courseware platform, designed to increase student efficacy, can still be highly accessible.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, EPUB Track, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Rick Johnson

One of the founders of VitalSource Technologies, Inc., Rick Johnson manages the strategic direction of the fast-growing platform, guiding the architecture, and implementation of its clients and systems. He is a frequent speaker on electronic textbooks, their integration into an institutional environment, and how the accessibility needs of individual students can best be accommodated in their delivery. He has served on multiple committees addressing the needs around delivering accessible content to students and currently serves on the board of directors for IMSGlobal. He is the co-inventor of 3 domestic and international patents dealing with electronic books and their distribution. Prior to Ingram and VitalSource, Rick spent more than 12 years with Apple Computer, Inc. as a Senior National Consulting Engineer.

Stacy Ray

Stacy Ray is a Senior Product Manager with VitalSource where she manages the Bookshelf native applications. With over 1.5 million titles in Higher Education, Bookshelf is the world’s #1 digital content platform. As part of the Bookshelf product team, Stacy works closely with design, engineering and our testing partners to ensure Bookshelf exceeds industry accessibility standards. Prior to VitalSource, Stacy spent six years, managing the CPA Review Program for Becker Professional Education, the industry’s leading provider of CPA Exam preparation. Stacy holds a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University.