Friday, August 21, 2009

Textbook Innovations

In my web building programs, I've noticed that there has started to be a number of great innovations in the textbook market.

Campus Book Rentals and are programs that rent textbooks online. Renting is a good alternative for cash strapped students as you don't tie up your cash buying then reselling books each quarter.

CourseSmart is an effort by textbook publishers to go digital. With this program, students can download electronic copies of textbooks at prices substantially lower than for hardback books. The program saves trees. Above all, electronic books are easier to move about. I lived in my car during my college years and had to sell books 'cause there's only so much room under the front seat.

In the K12 market, I've noticed through the years that many of the most interesting innovations seem to be happening on the homeschool front and with private schools as individuals and small businesses rush to find quality learning materials. This industry is way too big for me to sum up.

The other cool innovation that I think will completely swamp the textbook world is growing number of open source textbooks on the market. The great thing about open source is that it will allow professors to grab a curriculum for their class and embellish it.

I love things that actually empower professors.

I've downloaded a read a few open sourced math books. But have only scratched the surface of what this innovation might bring to the world.

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