Remember the days when you had to sell a pint of blood just to be able to afford your college textbooks? Well, nowadays, that won't even buy you a new notebook. According to U.S. Public Interest Research Group, (PIRG), students spend an average of $900 a year on textbooks. Yet one thing hasn't changed ... at the end of the school year, those same expensive textbooks will probably only be worth a few pennies at the school-sponsored buyback.  

In the past, students had no choice; if a teacher required a certain text, then they had to buy it or risk failing. But teachers have finally heard their students cries, and are beginning to look for ways to relieve some of the heavy volume and expense behind college textbooks. Here are a few options that many colleges and universities are exploring:


CourseSmart: Offers digital versions of traditional textbooks from some of the major publishers in the industry such as McGraw Hill, Pearson and Wiley. Thee texts can be viewed online or can be downloaded. And not only are these e-books less expensive than their printed counterparts, but many students are also pleased about not having to lug around heavy books for class.

Textbook Media: Offers a web-based book reader for viewing textbooks and study guides online.  Textbook Media works directly with publishers, authors, and teachers to offer free texts to students through corporate and non-profit sponsorships. Some of the texts do include advertising, but paid upgrades with no advertising are also available.

Aplia: This software brand allows students to review textbook content and complete homework assignments, problem sets and tutorials online.  A $60 access fee allows both students and professors to interact instantly to supplement classes.  

Flat World Knowledge: Acts as an open-source textbook provider that provides online textbooks in a reader to students free of charge. Teachers can rearrange chapters and remove or add text according to their curriculum.  

via MediaPost

Photo: Johnson Cameraface

Textbook 2.0
Bye-bye traditional textbook; Hello e-books.