Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Think Students are Ready for Free Online Textbooks?

From the Google Operating System Blog comes the story of Freeload Press, a company that purchases the rights to textbooks, adds advertising, then makes copies available online for free (including free pdf downloads), or sells reduced-cost print versions.

Although the ads are distracting, we've all come to accept magazines and newspapers (and websites!) loaded with ads, and there is so much resistance from students to current textbook pricing (and remember that most students have never purchased a hardbound book before), that I can't imagine this not being popular. Instructors would probably like more students to actually use the textbook, but whether publishers and authors agree remains to be seen.

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