Tag Archives: free textbooks

How Illinois students are borrowing textbooks for free

31 Aug

The quest for the cheapest textbooks takes students to the farthest reaches of the internet. But there is one online source for getting textbooks that many college students might not realize they have access to: interlibrary loan.

It’s a service that lets students borrow books from any academic or public library in Illinois (and, in some cases, the world). And through I-Share, the database of books available to borrow in Illinois, students can borrow books up to 16 weeks, said Sandy Harris, interlibrary loan manager at Olivet Nazarene University, which adds up to almost a full semester.

Olivet receives more than 2,500 books for students per week on average. While not all of those are textbooks, many of them are, Harris said. If a student has questions on how to get started, they should just ask a librarian. “There are a lot of references to support you if you just come into the library and ask,” Harris said.

And while many students use ILL services for journal articles, Harris added, many students don’t realize they can borrow everything from textbooks to DVDs from 86 participating libraries all over the state.

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The Benefits of Digital Textbooks in Learning

28 Mar

Textbooks are must-buy items for college students, and the money spent on textbooks can cost up to several hundred dollars in a single semester. Moreover, the higher the grade level, the heavier the books seem to get. With the growing concerns around traditional textbooks, there are many innovative alternatives for college students. One of the major alternatives in college education is the availability of digital textbooks. Let’s look at the benefits of digital textbooks in more detail:

  • Digital Textbooks are Cost-Saving: Digital textbooks are one of the major options to circumvent the soaring costs of textbooks. Digital textbooks are usually available for a lower price since they do not require printing, packaging and distributing to various channels. The skyrocketing costs of textbooks potentially leave students with limited money for other education-related expenses. Therefore, the significant cost-saving potential of digital textbooks cannot be ignored.
  • Digital Textbooks Improve Learning Effectiveness: Beyond price, digital textbooks also improve students’ ease and effectiveness of learning. For example, students can study with digital textbooks through any device, anywhere, anytime. Students can also easily take notes or highlight main points in the text without additional tools. The advanced features of digital textbooks allow college students to study more effectively than traditional textbooks.
  • Digital Textbooks Prepare Students for a Globally Competitive Marketplace: As a college student, remaining competitive and marketable depends a lot on taking advantage of digital tools. The world has become more complex and technology-driven in this digital era, and students need to prepare themselves better in order to stay competitive in a global marketplace by strengthening their digital knowledge and skills. The switch to digital needs to happen as soon as it can. Higher education is all about the free flow of information and ideas, so college students should equip themselves with cutting-edge educational technologies as well as innovative learning approaches to set themselves apart.
  • Digital Textbooks are Eco-Friendly: Digital textbooks are paperless and save trees because they do not require printing. Digital textbooks can actually help our planet by allowing students to study through digital devices instead of buying printed textbooks. Eco-friendliness can be added to the list of benefits when it comes to buying digital textbooks.

Digital textbooks give college students a chance to learn more effectively while allowing them to spend less than they would on a traditional printed textbook. By meeting students’ wants and needs, digital textbooks are a greener and more effective option that facilitates a richer learning experience.

Lynn L. is a recent college graduate living in the Chicago area. She writes on behalf of Skyo, an online site that helps college students save money with cheap textbooks and flexible rental options. Visit Skyo to learn more about how to buy textbooks online.

Open Textbooks Explained

26 Aug

Flat World  Knowledge, an open textbook publishing house, was given recognition by nothing less than the North American Library organisation in December 2010.    The publisher was included in the association’s  ‘Outstanding Business Reference Sources.  ‘ It’s a major accomplishment for opensource textbooks.  An opensource textbook is a book printed under a special open license.  It isn’t the same as normal textbooks in that it can be accessed, downloaded, read, printed out, or distributed at much less expensive costs if not absolutely free.  The publishers and writers supply the full authorization for the more  ‘open ‘ use of their books by users / readers.  Modern tutors and scholars see opensource reference materials as the likely best response to the decades-long challenges referring to accessibility of standard textbooks.  The books tweak the normal publishing model, that has been understood to be blitzed by challenges.  The New Media  Partnership  in its 2010 Horizon Report has identified open textbooks as major elements of fast progressing open content adoption in further education.  Production starts with the supposed open textbook publishers.

It is awfully rare for conventional book publishers to consent to make their titles open due to business and earnings concerns.  Therefore , open textbook publishers have to provide their own books.  They hire writers, which are typically teachers to provide the content.

Image rights clearing will need to be undergone.  Categorical  photographs will need to be cleared for each project and even for reuse in more titles.  As proved by open textbook publishers, it is generally difficult to get clearances and authorization to use certain photographs when manufacturing opensource books.  But it can be attainable.  There are even personal setups that create opensource books for printing and distribution.

US-based CK12 is an illustrative example of those. The key target of the group is to help lower overall education cost across the land thru production and distribution which can on occasion be ideal reference materials for learning in particular courses. Writers and publishers will rationally not generate revenue from producing and vending of opensource textbooks.  Therefore , there are countless setups that are providing grants or other types of fiscal motivations for production and release of open approved textbooks.

Frequently the reference materials are made accessible and printable online in order to noticeably trim down any probable printing cost on the publisher.

Jules Mariano is a full-time freelance search engine and social media  marketing specialist and a web developer specializing in web content  development. He is the co-founder of VPRO Digital Marketing. He currently writes  for BookGator.

BookGator is a social platform where students, instructors, and student  interest groups can work together to reduce cost of textbooks and education in general. Visit their site to learn  more about how to save more on college textbooks.

New Bill Marks Another Step Toward Lowering Textbook Costs in California

20 Jul

California Governor Jerry Brown lately confirmed a bill which will need publishers of university textbooks to give an explanation for the variations in new editions of their books, The Associated Press reports.

By doing this, scholars and professors will better be well placed to resolve whether they have to buy a pricey new edition or if they can simply use an older version. The law was designed by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M.  Corbett, who said she is hoping it’ll cut back the serious cost of textbooks for college kids.  “This legislation is one logical way to help in lowering the value of textbooks so college kids on tight budgets can stay in school,” Corbett related in a PR release.  “The serious price of varsity textbooks now forces many scholars to make a choice between paying their utility charges or purchasing the materials they want for class, and that isn’t the way that it should be.” Still, California passed a bill directed at reducing the price of university textbooks. This isn’t California’s most important step towards reducing the price of school textbooks.  In May, a package of bills expanding student access to free digital textbooks advanced to the state Senate, The Sacramento Bee reports.

If passed, these bills would permit California scholars to access a free library of open-source course materials, instead of paying loads of dollars per semester on textbooks.



Places to Get Free Textbooks

1 Nov

A good video with sources for free textbooks.

Updated list of free textbook sites