Education publisher Pearson to phase out print textbooks

Posted in Teaching on July 16th, 2019 by steve

International“The world’s largest education publisher has taken the first step towards phasing out print books by making all its learning resources ‘digital first’. Pearson said students would only be able to rent physical textbooks from now on, and they would be updated much less frequently …” (more)

[BBC News, 16 July]

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Expensive Academic Books Put A Price Tag On Knowledge

Posted in Research on October 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It goes without saying that a university’s library is one of its most important institutions. Without a functioning library, the very idea of a university becomes untenable. From an academic standpoint at least, libraries are at the heart of what colleges do …” (more)

[Jack Synnott, University Times, 8 October]

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Free textbooks for first-year university students could help improve retention rates

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 20th, 2017 by steve

“Despite 20 years of focus on improving university retention rates, we are still losing one in five of our first-year students. And the release of a new report by TEQSA again reminds us of the challenges of retention. The report highlights that, on average, universities have a 20% attrition rate. This builds on an article by The Australian earlier this year which showed that one in three university students failed to complete the course they began within six years of enrolling …” (more)

[James Arvanitakis, The Conversation, 19 June]

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Is the end of the textbook nigh?

Posted in Teaching on January 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I published a textbook in 2013 (called Membrane Filtration: a problem-solving approach with MATLAB, if you really want to know). I signed the publishing deal in September 2011 and I submitted what I thought was the final draft to the publisher in November of 2012. I’d say I worked on the book on more than 90% of the days in between …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 19 January]

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About the price of academic textbooks

Posted in Teaching on September 22nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“And considering what happens if I rent a Kindle text …” (audio)

[Bernie Goldbach, audioboom, 22 September]

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Gill & MacMillan closes book on college market

Posted in Governance and administration on September 3rd, 2014 by steve

“Leading educational publisher Gill & MacMillan is getting out of the printed books market for students in third-level and further education. The company’s decision reflects an increasing reliance by students on lecturers’ notes and texts, many of which are available online …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 September]

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Law Professors Defend Students’ Right to Sell Used Textbooks

Posted in Teaching on May 9th, 2014 by steve

“Responding to a campaign by law professors, a leading legal publisher said on Thursday that its new casebook-publishing program would not threaten students’ ability to buy and sell used textbooks …” (more)

[Danya Perez-Hernandez, Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 May]

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Need a textbook in a hurry? Startup will send it by drone

Posted in Teaching on October 15th, 2013 by steve

Australia“A textbook-rental startup in Australia has found a new way to shave costs from its business model: delivery by drone …” (more)

[Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, 15 October]


Quinn eager to give parents more control over education costs

Posted in Governance and administration on August 2nd, 2013 by steve

“Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said he is considering new ways to give parents more power to control the costs of education including ‘a Parents Charter’ …” (more)

[Judith Crosbie, Irish Times, 2 August]

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Publisher’s Bankruptcy Filing Comes as Market for Print Textbooks Shrinks

Posted in Teaching on July 3rd, 2013 by steve

“Cengage Learning Inc, one of the nation’s largest publishers of textbooks and other educational content, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, seeking relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code …” (more)

[Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 July]

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For Many Students, Print Is Still King

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2013 by steve

“Despite the hype about e-books, the classic textbook hasn’t gone away. In fact, the hold-it-in-your-hands book remains the first choice for many instructors and students …” (more)

[Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 January]

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Students Get Savvier About Textbook Buying, When They Buy at All

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2013 by steve

“Ask Johnny Lazzarini whether he ever skips buying textbooks, and the Foothill College student laughs. ‘When I look at a syllabus and it says, “required text”, I think in my head, Oh, that’s adorable‘, says Mr Lazzarini …” (more)

[Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 January]


Don’t Call Them Textbooks

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2013 by steve

“Textbook publishers argue that their newest digital products shouldn’t even be called ‘textbooks’. They’re really software programs built to deliver a mix of text, videos, and homework assignments. But delivering them is just the beginning …” (more)

[Jeffrey Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 January]

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Textbooks round the world: It ain’t necessarily so

Posted in Teaching on October 11th, 2012 by steve

“The textbooks children learn from in school reveal and shape national attitudes — and should provoke debate …” (more)

[The Economist, 11 October]


Are we now part of the problem?

Posted in Teaching on May 10th, 2012 by steve

“I have that terrible feeling (after more than 20 years) that my whole approach to teaching is fundamentally misguided. Like many people, my response to the transformation of third level into a form of mass education (and the inevitable decline in the academic ability of the student intake) has made me change my teaching style into one that is really an extension of the second level system …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 10 May]


Publishers should cut cost of schoolbooks, says TUI

Posted in Governance and administration on August 24th, 2011 by steve

“Schoolbook publishers should be in a position to cut prices because rising student numbers mean more sales, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland has claimed …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 24 August]

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Quinn urges publishers to cut schoolbook costs

Posted in Governance and administration on August 12th, 2011 by steve

“Schoolbook companies have been asked by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to go beyond commitments already made to help reduce back-to-school bills for parents …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 12 August]

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Cost of schoolbooks – Education is priceless

Posted in Governance and administration on August 12th, 2011 by steve

“Education Minister Ruairí Quinn is to be encouraged in his efforts to reduce the cost of schoolbooks. Though we nominally have a free education system at first and second level, nearly any parent will beg to differ. The cost of educating a child can be spectacular and can have profound impact on family budgets …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 12 August]

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Quinn begins talks to lower cost of schoolbooks

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 8th, 2011 by steve

“Education Minister Ruairí Quinn said today that he has opened discussions with publishers to discuss lowering the cost of schoolbooks. He said that the discussions are unlikely to be completed in time for the new school term beginning in September, however …” (more)

[, 8 July]

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New editions of costly text books show few changes

Posted in Teaching on May 10th, 2011 by steve

“Parents forced to fork out for new versions of school books have to work hard to spot the difference from the old ones. There is a growing clamour of protest from teacher unions and the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) over what they claim are unnecessary textbook revisions. Now, comparisons done by the Irish Independent have confirmed that many of the changes are cosmetic …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 May]