The Chronicle of Higher Education - Information Technology
By JEFFREY R. YOUNG
Submitted by Chad Dennis
Northwest Missouri State University nearly became the first public university to deliver all of its textbooks electronically. Last year the institution’s tech-happy president, Dean L. Hubbard, bought a Kindle, Amazon’s e-book reading device, and liked it so much that he wanted to give every incoming student one. The university already runs an unusual textbook-rental program that buys thousands of printed books for students who pay a flat, per-credit fee. Mr. Hubbard saw in the gadget a way to drastically cut the rental program’s annual $800,000 price tag, since e-books generally cost half the price of printed textbooks.
Then the university ran a pilot study with the Sony Reader, a device much like the Kindle (Sony was more responsive to the university’s calls than Amazon was). University officials learned some sobering lessons about electronic books. Students who got the machines quickly asked for their printed books back because it was so awkward to navigate inside the e-books (though a newer version of the device works more gracefully).
- Judge e-books by their covers.
- Learning curves ahead.
- Professors are eager students.
- Long live batteries.
- Subjects are not equally e-friendly.
- Environmental impact matters.
Continue reading… The Chronical of Higer Education
If you need the content displayed on this website in an alternative format,
please contact Khaing Saw at KK-Saw@wiu.edu or call 309-298-2619.