Print 57 comment(s) - last by Ringold.. on Oct 3 at 7:08 PM

Thanks to two new bills, there is financial relief at last

Whether you're racking up tuition fees now or still paying student loans after graduation, you know one thing is for sure: College is expensive. To make matters worse, the spending doesn't end at a semester of classes -- there's books that need to be purchased as well, and they're worth more than a little bit of pocket change.

But if you're going to school in California, a bit of relief has finally come your way in the form of two bills: SB 1052 and SB 1053. 

Both bills, which were crafted by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), will allow California college students to download up to 50 core textbooks for free in the form of e-books. The e-books are for lower-division courses and are for classes at the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges. 

More specifically, SB 1052 allows for the development of the e-books and the creation of the California Open Education Resources Council for e-book approvals. SB 1053 has developed the California Digital Open Source Library to store the new e-books. 

"Many students are paying more than $1,000 every year on their textbooks, sometimes having to choose between buying the books they need or paying for food and other living expenses," said Steinberg. 

The new e-book bills were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Thursday. They are expected to go into effect starting in the 2013-14 school year. 

Digital textbooks are certainly becoming the new way of learning in institutions around the globe. This new form of educational offerings was further boosted by Apple earlier this year, who released iBooks 2 and iBooks Author that allow for the creation of digital textbooks and makes them available for purchase on the iPad. 


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RE: We all pay in one form or another
By jeffkro on 10/1/2012 9:30:47 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, you guys have gone way off topic

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Ringold on 10/1/2012 11:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
In a way, it's perfectly on target of how open source educational books can be a failure.

You've got the left here with their revisionist history, same as how modern America likes to forget the Japanese internment camps the left likes to forget about the giant dump Lincoln took on the constitution -- in order to save it, he would argue. (In fact, I think he actually DID argue exactly that) Then you've got the right, pointing out facts they find inconvenient, and offering perspective on the motivations of the South that modern liberals are very poorly equipped intellectually to understand... Not that they're dumb, but they're the ideological polar opposite of those people.

Economics and psychology are two other fields that could get messy on the margins. They don't publish much, and don't command as large a following among actual economists out there, but what they lack in number modern Marxist economists make up for in verbosity... They'd try to have their way with any open-source econ text. Even in the mainstream, ideas take time to be established.

Physics, even, on the fringes could be questionable. Imagine the e-rage that could come up over different explanations for the big bang, or over the safety and efficacy of nuclear power.

I, for one, would rather pay $100 for quality, curated knowledge and information than a lowest-common-denominator book of dubious value.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Etsp on 10/2/2012 12:38:57 AM , Rating: 2
Ringold, if you're really worried about revisionist history, contribute to these projects! Part of that contribution is to stand up and say "That's not factually accurate. Here are my sources."

I really think you don't understand how open source works. It's usually not the free-for-all edits of Wikipedia, but rather each project is an organization within itself, with a hierarchy of authority, standard practices and policies.

Each change and contribution must meet certain requirements PRIOR to getting included into the project. Random people can't just log into the site, edit a few pages with nonsense, and expect it to get implemented.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By Ringold on 10/2/2012 2:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is, like with any open-source project, a professor can take a project, 'fork' it for his courses, stuff in his revisions, and indoctrinate wave after wave of students that'd never know any better.

RE: We all pay in one form or another
By The Raven on 10/2/2012 8:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
Re: open souce project this.

And the open source model allows for anyone to fork the material. This means that people can fork and do something worse (which you point out) or fork and do something better (which you failed to point out). And I wonder which one will float to the top and be used by the best schools? You actually are afraid that people will chose the worst one?

By Ringold on 10/3/2012 7:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
If educators embraced best-practice policies, America wouldn't have a failing education system, would it?

Professors get tenure, and then are free to do whatever they want. Are you aware, for example, that there's liberal-arts school "Economics" programs out there stuffed with old-guard tenured Marxists that pump out wave after wave of indoctrinated little communists that go forth and never get jobs doing actual econometric work? In this happy world of best-case scenario outcomes, why do so many of these colleges exist with their centuries-outdated curricula?

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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