September 3, 2010
It’s Friday, and here’s what I learned this week. Hope you’ll share what you learned with us, as well.
- Daytona State College is moving to an e-book-only model starting in January, 2011. Students will no longer purchase “textbooks” for their courses, but will instead pay a “digital materials fee” to Daytona State for the use of the e-books the school has licensed from the various publishers. Significant? You bet. Academics will still control book selection, but pricing and delivery now fall squarely into the per-course cost model used by the for-profit institutions like DeVry and University of Phoenix. Guess who’s not happy about the new deal? That’s right…the campus bookstore.
- On a related note, our friends at fellow “upstart publisher” Flat World Knowledge are doing something similar at Virginia State University in the business school, although they’re trying a purely “free” model.
- Coincidentally, 5 Cal State campuses signed licensing agreements with the Big Publishers this week for all-digital course materials. In this scenario, however, students make the purchase through the campus bookstore.
Sensing a trend here? Do you think initiatives like these will result in lower textbook prices for students over the long term? Is this disruption, or just a new edition of the same old model?
Your comments are welcome and appreciated.
August 3, 2010
The recent article in The New York Times about the efforts underway at companies and organizations like Curriki, Flat World Knowledge, and the CK-12 Foundation to provide free, open-source textbooks certainly struck a chord. The thing that grabbed me was this quote from Scott McNealy: