Posts Tagged ‘textbooks’
With the technology craze and increased use of tablets in high school classrooms, universities across America have also turned to new-age educational options. A new kind of textbook has been created called an e-book that students can read on the Internet, effectively saving them money and the hassle of carrying around large, heavy books.
Students and teachers at Cornell University, Indiana University at Bloomington, the University of Minnesota, University of Virginia, and University of Wisconsin at Madison took place in a pilot program in the spring of 2012. The study analyzed e-book projects and the commentary of those involved. While inventors expected the technology to take off, it has received mixed reviews during the tests.
“Students praised the e-books for helping them save money but didn’t like reading on electronic devices. Many of them complained that the e-book platform was hard to navigate. In addition, most professors who responded said that they didn’t use the e-books’ collaborative features, which include the ability to share notes or create links within the text,” according to an article in The Chronicle.
However, Bradley C. Wheeler, the vice president for information technology for Indiana University and the e-books’ creator, is optimistic that the attitude toward the technology will change with time.
“With technology, many things change with repeated use,” Wheeler said. “People have lots of early first impressions as they experience new things, and over time you will start to see things become more mainstream, as the technology improves and skills and even attitudes toward use improve.”
When asked, students reported that e-books did not help them improve interactions with professors or other classmates because they did not utilize the technology’s collaborative features.
The pilot program had six major findings:
- Only 12 percent of users chose to buy a hard copy of the e-book
- Lower cost and portability were considered the most important variables affecting students’ decision of whether or not to purchase eTexts in the future
- Students frequently mentioned devices’ functionality and the difficulties they had reading the text
- Faculty did not report using the enhanced features and voiced a need for more training to increase the potential for student-student or student-teacher collaboration
- Students voiced concerns about the inability to access the e-texts without an Internet connection.
The pilot program will continue to grow in the fall with twenty-four new universities joining the roster for testing.
In addition to the gigantic tuition, there are a couple important financial decisions you will have to make to attend college. Two big ones involve meal plans and textbooks.
Question: How do I choose the best and most affordable meal plan for me?
Answer: Be realistic about your eating habits and compare all available options.
The whole meal plan process will be simplified as soon as you take a look at your established eating habits. Do you need three hearty meals every day? Are you a breakfast fanatic who requires sausage and pancakes to start your morning? Get a feel for your ideal meal situation and then take a look at what your school offers. Tip: A cheap and easy breakfast option is keeping cereal or granola bars in your dorm room!
Find out specifics of each meal plan your college provides. Some schools allot students an exact amount of meals for a fixed price. For example, fourteen meals per week that you can use at any time and are akin to all you can eat buffets. Others charge per item or may only be valid at certain dining halls. If you know you’ll want three hearty meals a day, paying per item may not be the best idea.
Things to Consider
Where are the dining halls located? If for some reason they are located far from your dorm, consider a plan that doesn’t require you to use those meals often.
What restaurants are located on or near your campus? If there are affordable and healthy options located around campus, keep that in mind as you may end up eating lunch between classes at these places instead of the dining hall.
What flexibility is offered? Check to see if your school will let you switch meal plans mid-year if your initial choice isn’t working out.
Question: How do I find the cheapest textbooks?
Answer: Used textbooks! Ask your school’s bookstore if they have a sale or used section. If not, check both Ebay and Amazon for used versions of your required reading. Tip: Make sure you’re buying the correct edition!
As you go through school, reselling books to other students you know is a great way to make some money back. Borrowing books works just as well and both ways – loan out your books to friends and ask to borrow books from other students you know in your major or department.
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