Textbook publishers’ digital “e-textbooks” do not give students any relief from skyrocketing costs, according to a new report released by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (Student PIRGs). With textbooks already amounting to a $700-$1000 yearly expense, the report criticizes publishers for offering yet another unaffordable option.
The Student PIRGs conducted this study to determine how digital textbooks can live up to their potential as a solution. Through a survey of 504 students from Oregon and Illinois and 50 commonly assigned textbook titles, we confirm three fundamental criteria – affordability, printing options, and accessibility. We found that publishers’ digital “e-textbooks” fail to meet these criteria, and that an emerging form of digital textbooks – open textbooks – are a perfect match. (August 2008)
How Digital Textbooks are Off Track and How to Set Them Straight
Marking the first major federal action to curb the skyrocketing cost of college textbooks, Congress approved legislation today that will bring down prices for millions of students.
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