Monday Morning Digest: Textbooks, ahoy!

Happy Monday to you! With the start of a new school year, last week there were a flurry of news announcements related to textbooks: specifically, a number of organizations making waves in the free and low-cost textbook market. Also, it’s worth noting that Kevin Carey was on CSPAN last week to talk about MOOCs. The segment is about 40 minutes long, but certainly worth listening to, especially for the comments at the end from listeners who are new to open education.
 
Have a good week!
 
Monday Morning Digest, August 13th
 
The Banality of Textbooks
Audrey Watters recaps the three other textbook-related news announcements this week: Amazon offering textbook rentals; Kno entering the K-12 space; and Boundless opening its doors to the public with a new website launch.
 
Buying Books No More
Last year, the need-based HOPE grant for technical college students in Georgia stopped covering textbooks costs. Instead of allowing their students to falter, South Georgia Technical College sprung into action, announcing that it will provide students with free textbooks (on loan) for each of their courses. 80 – 85% of the SGTC student population is eligible for this new program.
 
New Trends in Higher Education
In this video segment, Kevin Carey talks about massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are increasingly used as alternative classrooms at colleges and universities. He speaks about the operation of the programs, how they might change access to higher education, and the future of higher education.
 
The USPS and College Accreditation: When Subsidized Markets Change
In this post, the CEO of StraighterLine, Burck Smith, likens the rise and fall of the United States Postal Service to the current state of higher education. Sound like two completely different markets that couldn’t possibly be compared? Certainly, but Smith draws some interesting conclusions that makes this essay worth the read!

The image “Daily News”  came from Flickr user Enokson and is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY license.

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