Long the building blocks of academia, textbooks are seen more as albatross and less as asset these days. They are expensive — some costing more than $300. They are quickly outdated. They can be so heavy that students and teachers are forced to tote them around in wheeled luggage carts.Students, professors and universities are rebelling against the weighty — and wasteful — tomes. Stanford University's brand new physics and engineering library is advertised as "bookless"; relying almost solely on digital material. Free and downloadable textbooks are at the heart of the growing "open educational resources" movement that seeks to make education more available and more affordable. Groups such as Connexions at Rice University and the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources in Silicon Valley are supporting free online textbook initiatives.
Friday, August 20, 2010
NPR ran a feature today on the future of books. Here's the part that most perked my interest (beings that many of us have been talking about this for some time now)...