20110929-13-47-08.jpg (Photo credit: Stanford EdTech)

Dear Consumer of Education from one of 10 institutions, please read this article and comment in appropriate discussion board:


“According to the survey, eReaders and eTextbooks are some of the emerging technologies helping students save time while still being effective. While 69% said an eTextbook is easier to carry than a traditional textbook, 61% cited that eTextbooks make it far easier to search within a text (thus saving time), 60% mentioned that eTextbooks save them money, and 55% said that they are easier to read “on the go.”

Additionally, new media options are increasingly engaging students, who said they use tools such as CourseSmart (39%), videos and podcasts (24%) and iTunes® (12%) to access study materials from a professor — a far cry from the library card catalogues and encyclopedias of previous generations.  Students are also spending their time using email (89%) and school Web sites (83%) for gathering course materials from their professors.

The library is not the only college campus fixture fading into the past; office hours are quickly becoming an antiquity as well. Students seem to prefer Facebook® to face time with the majority seeking extra help from their teachers via email (91%), cell phone (13%), or social networking sites (8%).

Furthermore, outside of everyday reading and studying, students also use digital devices for many of the tasks that previously required a pencil and paper to carry out—writing papers (82%), research (81%), taking class notes (70%) and making class presentations (65%).”

Wait.  What?  Card catalogs?  Whazat?  If they’d bothered to do any real research . . . don’t get us started.

What we really wanted to say was.  Wait.  We just got another email from mom about e-textbooks:


We tried to read the PDF, mum, but it wouldn’t load on our computer correctly.  Perhaps we need to fancify our digital device.

Ok, it worked.  So–what we really wanted to say was this:  students prefer free resources, cheap if they can’t get free, and definitely want something that’s worth the money they invest.  How, exactly, is Pearson (or any other textbook publisher) planning on giving students what they want?

They didn’t say (no one has, yet).  Maybe they’ll figure out a way to get electronic textbooks to students at a discount.  That would be great, and excuse us for being skeptical, but, what might the price be for the cheaper textbook?  Are you willing to let advertisers post as you on Facebook about how wonderful they are?  Are you willing to receive texts?  How much is it worth?  Can you concentrate on reading with commercial interruption?

BRB I have to tell them which car ad I prefer.