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NY State Initiative to Cut Costs of College Textbooks

13 Jun

The New York Governor’s Office announced $8 million in funding to help cut the costs of textbooks at SUNY and CUNY schools. Through the Governor’s Open Educational Resources Initiative, the high costs of books and other materials could soon be a thing of past. Students have access to everything from classic literature to course textbooks.

The funding will be provided through the Open Resources Initiative which allows students to download, share, and edit high-quality books and other materials. The two university systems recently launched a joint website, Open.NYS, to assist faculty, librarians and instructional designers in making the switch to cost-free books and materials.

These resources are helping more than just students. Professors at CCC are also seeing its benefits.

Why E-Books Can`t Completely Replace Textbooks

17 Jan

Do you remember the last book you have read this year? If you are an omnivorous reader who can live a single day without a volume, then you have evidently faced with an issue of what medium to choose. Which one is better and easy to use? With the constant development of technology, a growing EBooks vs printed books debate has appeared, thus people get lost in choosing the ideal option for them. Today we will try to clarify whether such gadgets as eBooks can completely replace the old textbooks.
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1. Words on paper textbook are better perceived
More and more people start using eBooks today as they are more convenient to use, compact in size and you can easily have your own “online library” wherever you go. Some people even state that soon the ordinary textbooks will disappear completely. However, many psychologists can refute this theory. The first “con” is that it is proven that the print text is better perceived by human eye. This happens because digital text loses its physical entity.
2. Differences in perceiving
A volume is a physical object, its entity and content can’t be separated. That is why in the digital form a text loses its physical nature. Physical sensations and manipulations made during the process, have a calming influence on a person and improve the perception of the text. On the contrary, touchpads, touchscreens or mice distract people from the content, hence it becomes more difficult to concentrate.

3. The speed of reading is much lower when using reading device
It is a well-known fact that the speed of reading from an electronic device is 20-30% lower than from a paper book. Moreover, many people say that it is more difficult for them to read an eBook. Why it happens so? The main reason is that the modern technology can’t produce such resolution and contrast of the text that you can find in the printed book. This is why people who are reading an electronic book are not reading into each word, but rather scanning the whole page. And this leads to perceiving the information partially.
4. The text on the screen loses its integrity
Many psychologists state that the text integrity is lost when reading from a digital screen. This happens due to screen size limitation, hence influences the integrity of your perception. We use mice or finger to scroll the page, while reading a textbook we turn the pages. And, due to many researches, there is a fundamental difference between these two actions. Reading a printed book is a multi-sensor process, in other words, many sense organs and feelings are engaged in it. We do not only read the text using our eyes, but also hold a book with hands, turn pages with fingers hence have tactile sensation, which is closely connected with a book you are reading.
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5. The price matters
Like any electronic gadget, an eBook costs quite a lot, thus not many people can afford it. Of course, if we speak of the number of books you can download to your electronic device, then eBook wins. There is an abundance of electronic variants of books you can download to your device at a very affordable price or even for free. But do not forget that firstly you need to invest quite a tidy sum of money into this device, as there are no cheap electronic books on the market today. To save the money you can choose devices that are made from a cheap material like plastic and without such functions like Wi-Fi, illumination and touch screen as this is not a tablet, you just need to use it for reading.
Keeping in mind all five reasons why e-books can’t completely replace textbooks, we may say that reading a paper book gives you more possibilities to dive into a fiction world than electronic gadgets. Although the fans of electronic devices state that soon the paper books will disappear like did clay tablets and parchment and libraries would become an anachronism, there are still bibliophiles who always prefer the smell and touch of the real book rather than having an electronic substitute. What is more, the war between online books vs textbooks is not over yet, hence we can only see what will happen with a passage of time.

BIO: John Landrum is a prolific freelance writer who currently works for https://samedaypapers.com/. He is a real bibliophile who is a member of many reading clubs. He really believes that you can’t trust a man who hasn’t brought a book with him. Amidst his other hobbies are traveling, playing guitar and singing.

How Can You Decorate Your Textbook For Christmas Without Spoiling It?

15 Dec

Christmas is a favorite holiday of the US population. Its unique mood and atmosphere are inspiring and unforgettable. On Christmas people always adorn their house exteriors, interiors, cars, and everything that surrounds them as such decorations create an excellent mood and remind of an exclusive spirit of this holiday. Children make a variety of interesting things at schools and home to give any item a Christmas look. This is a fun pastime and great way to express your individuality. Even textbooks are used not only as a source of material for handmade items but also as a canvas for decorations. Let’s see how even such a simple thing can acquire exclusive winter holiday decor.

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(https://www.flickr.com/photos/fabcafe/8514836414/)

How Can You Adorn Your Textbook?

Every person who has never made anything creative with his hands or has no imagination will wonder: “Are there any book decoration ideas existing at all?”. Though those are not the most popular thing to adorn on Christmas it does not mean that a designer books decor does not exist.

Even the World Wide Web does not have much information on this topic. If you type “Christmas book decor” in the search engine line, be ready to see everything from DIY items made from those to the unusual ideas to use books for decoration or building a Christmas tree. That is why we came up with the idea to offer people some tips on making their favorite books more interesting and appealing. How to do this? Below are presented several decoration ideas that will tell you how to add some Christmas mood to an ordinary book without spoiling it.

  1. Holiday wrap

It goes without saying that before you start decorating anything it is important to wrap it in order not to spoil. Even a simple wrapping paper can change the look of it. Choose pure red, patterned, checked paper to make it brighter and match the holiday color scheme. You can also use other colors associated with Christmas: green as a New Year tree, white as snow or golden like sunshine. You can choose anything you like!

A wrapped journal will be a good reminder of the upcoming holiday and a perfect canvas to show off your imagination and creativity.

  1. Snowflake doilies on white background

If you wish to make your school supplies look gorgeous, here is another cool tip – a customary doily in silver or gold will look fascinating in the white background. Wrap your book in the purely white paper. To make it look elegant from all sides, fold the doily for it to as if hug the book and you will receive two semi-circles on both sides and a beautifully patterned spine.

  1. Stick a New Year tree or snowman on the book front

As you remember any decoration of should be placed on the cover or wrap. It makes no difference if it is written by a top essay writer or famous novelist, every book can look attractive! Add your paper friend a holiday look using color paper and scissors. You can cut out a green fir tree, stick it on the front and adorn it with a variety of stickers or colorful balls. Another wonderful alternative is a white snowman on the bright paper wrap. Cut out three white circles of different sizes, make up a snowman, add some accessories like a carrot nose, bucket on the head, and a broom and your smiling friend will raise your mood on a daily basis.

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(https://www.flickr.com/photos/jodimichelle/6421815201/)

4. Voluminous adornment

Not only paper and stickers can adorn a book. You can use a variety of other materials that stick to paper as reliably as the basic material, after all, as we remember, Christmas decorations on the tree are made from various materials. Books are not an exception. You can add an appealing look with any figure cut from wool, fur, adorn tree branches with glass balls or small gift boxes. Any Christmas accessory will look marvelous on the front. You can use a special glue for them to rest there for a longer period of time and admire the beauty of your Christmas books.

5. Christmas garland for a book

If you still wish to create a Christmas mood with decorative books, in particular, take a garland! Even the simplest garland can transform such a customary thing into a masterpiece. You can add a couple of strokes or wind it up from all the sides, but your book will undoubtedly look different and awesome.

A Textbook Dilemma

18 Sep

It’s a familiar topic at the beginning of a semester: textbook prices are increasing exponentially. The College Board estimates that an average U.S. college student spends $1,200 a year on textbooks — a figure representing an 82 percent increase in cost since 2002. That’s triple the rate of inflation in the United States. USF estimates students will spend $1,600 on textbooks per year, a significant expense for students and their families. By not giving students serious alternatives to expensive books, USF makes college less accessible for lower-income students and families.

Like most universities, USF subcontracts the sale of books to a third party, Follett Higher Education Group. Follett sets the prices for books sold on campus and provides a buyback service for students at the end of the semester. However, students expecting to get a fair value when reselling textbooks are routinely disappointed. Follett buys books back at up to 50 percent of their value before turning them around and reselling them as used books higher prices indefinitely.

Textbook prices have soared continually due to the specific nature of the textbook market: few publishers control the majority of the market, and students do not have a say in which texts they are assigned. Five massive educational publishers dominate the market, accounting for 80 percent of all sales. This prevents competition which could potentially drive down prices from entering the market. Further, professors assign book lists without personal financial consequence. Students must buy the books in order to pass the class. This degree of separation benefits textbook publishers, who therefore sell to a captive market with few options.

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College textbooks are going the way of Netflix

13 Sep

A new copy of Glenn Hubbard and Tony O’Brien’s widely used introductory economics textbook costs more than some smartphones. The phone can send you to any part of the web and holds access to the sum of human knowledge. The book is about 800 heavy pages of static text.
Yet thousands of college students around the US are shelling out $250 for these books, each semester, wincing at the many hours ahead of trying to make sense of this attempt to distill the global economy into tiny widgets and graphs. It’s a lot of money for what often feels like mind-numbing, low-grade torture. And it’s tradition. Many of their parents did it before them. It is a rite of passage.

Perhaps no more.

Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, and O’Brien, his co-author, have spent the last three years transforming their classic textbook into a product that can only be described as “education software.” Hubbard and O’Brien worked with an editor for a year and a half to determine what material would be text, and what was better suited for video or interactives. They then spent the same amount of time testing the book on students and professors. The new, virtual version makes its debut this fall. (And it’s one of the resources Texas A&M professor Jon Meer plans to use for his core undergraduate microeconomics course that is going online-only this year for the first time.)

This is the beginning of the end for college’s least enjoyable semi-annual tradition: when kids at the start of each semester have to trek to the school bookstore and walk out textbook-laden, wallet-light. On average, US college students end up spending about $1,200 on books a year.

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