Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Time for e-Textbooks in Schools?
So my sister has been jumping through hoops the last few days, buying used books online, through Amazon.com, neighbors, etc. She's learned that there is a whole sub-culture of entrepreneurial businesses that does things like rent textbooks, find people used books, sell used books. Leave it to the private sector to figure out innovative ways because it's certainly not happening in the public sector, and don't even get me started on the property taxes she pays in Chicago, most of which goes to fund their public schools.
Side note: I occasionally teach online writing classes at a local college here in Phoenix and I see the prices that students are charged for books and, frankly, it makes my stomach turn. I have to wonder if schools resorted to e-textbooks whether the costs would decrease. I know that some private colleges have started experimenting with e-textbooks and e-readers. Maybe it's about time it became more common?
I have no idea why high school and college textbooks are so freaking expensive but I can guess at some of the reasons. The fact that these books are required makes it all the more distasteful.