Online education has popped up in every realm, from iTunes University to Academic Earth, offering bachelors degrees online at minimal costs to the students. However, textbooks have remained at their same price regardless of whether your course is in a classroom or through the internet. New improvements in technology like the Kindle and the iPad have changed this notion entirely and have since allowed for the creation of digital textbooks: a creation set to revolutionize the college industry in general.
While this is only in its beginning stages (Kindle only offers limited textbooks through Amazon.com), the site Flat World Knowledge has offered open course textbooks, free of charge, for students of similar classes. This company offers only web-only versions, although students can opt to buy a $29 black and white version of the text or can purchase the book on PDF form by chapter, at $1.99 per chapter. Our world has become increasingly intertwined with social media, and these types of innovations make it easier for both students and individuals to connect on a new level, one which affords them thousands of dollars in savings.
Textbooks are not cheap, but are in fact a necessity of any form of college life, whether it be online or traditional. Kindle has tried to offer competitive rates on its textbooks, but it is not the same as having a book in your lap that you can highlight and take notes on. This web-based form allows students the opportunity to either read online, or print out and highlight onto. If I had this opportunity in college or graduate school, I would have undoubtedly saved several thousand dollars easily. Textbooks are only rising in cost, and these types of opportunities are especially appealing in an economy that has seen the cost of tuition skyrocket despite the downward turn of the economy.
More than just offering a cost-efficient substitute for students, the digital books offered through Flat World Knowledge, and eventually through other similar companies, have afforded professors the opportunity to edit the text at the sentence level. This is only the beginning of this amazing step in combining the worlds of both online and traditional education, as students from all over will be able to rejoice in their savings. Textbooks are a key element of earning a bachelors degree and any way to save on this cost is helpful, whether you are an online student or traditional student.