Digital vs. paper is not a new subject. Traditional books vs. electronic ones and the e-readers that make it possible to take a thousand books with you on vacation is not new either. However, electronic textbooks may be new on the scene. The Tulsa Beacon brought this news to our attention in their article, “Saving money with electronic books.”
An initiative to help Tulsa Community College (TCC) students with the cost of textbooks has expanded to reach an estimated 2,500 students. TCC partnered with OpenStax, a Rice University-based nonprofit publisher, in the summer of 2016 to boost the use of free online and low-cost textbooks across TCC courses.
Based on fall 2017 projections, TCC anticipates more than 5,500 students a year will enroll in courses that use a free online or reduced cost textbook saving them $575,000 each year. OpenStax uses open educational resources to provide high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks.
I am still in the camp of liking “real” books better, but the convenience of an e-reader moved me to the dark side years ago. If I were still a student it would be a no-brainer.
Melody K. Smith
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