Shows how far I read the description haha. I just sent him the message, let's see what he says.
I just found a thread that says the Academic Version correlates the Netacad curriculum. Very helpful thread.
Message was edited by: Dan
Thanks for the ping and the question. Maybe I should do a blog post and just point to it - this question comes up in enough venues to need one place to clear up any confusion..
First… The academic edition is not related to the Networking Academy curriculum in any special way.
The big picture: The Academic editions are built for use by colleges as the textbook used in a course. Pearson (the publisher of Cisco Press books) took the retail edition, made some feature changes, and created the Academic edition. Basically, the Academic edition is built with colleges in mind, and the retail edition is built with self-study candidates in mind. They both have the same words, figure content, etc, but with a few different features.
Can you, as an individual, use the Academic editions? Sure. And vice versa for colleges. So…
What's the same: The "Retail" editions (which are the normal ones folks buy, that do not have the word "Academic" in the title) and the "Academic" editions (that have the word "Academic" in the title) are practically the same. The words and content of the figures are the same in both the retail and academic editions. The topics covered are the same. Other than what's listed below, they are the same.
What's different? The Academic editions differ in these notable ways:
Four color: The Academic edition is printed in four color printing. Several elements use color, most notably, the figures are in color (and they really pop).
Pre-chapter quizzes are moved to the end of the chapters to become post-chapter quizzes. (Professors tend to prefer questions for review at the end of the chapters, rather than the guidance created by the pre-chapter quizzes for self-studiers.)
Chapter summary: Each chapter of the Academic edition has a (approximately) one page summary of the contents of the chapter. This is the only content in the Academic edition that's not in the retail edition. (Most textbooks have chapter summaries…)
eBook included: Many colleges want the eBook included just because of product packaging preferences. So, the Academic edition includes the matching "Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test" product. That product includes the eBook plus extra practice questions. (If you want more about what this eBook thing is, here's something I wrote up a year ago when the products came out: http://www.ccnaskills.com/announce2013-12/).
Layout, paper, page count: I mainly mention this to be complete, but… the Academic edition uses a different paper and page size, so it's fewer pages than the retail edition. So if you use the Academic edition, and post on CLN and say "page X", because most everyone else uses the retail edition, they will not be able to match page numbers with you. Just a heads up for discussion items.
Price: Academic is more expensive.