Letter to the Editer of the Chronical of Higher Education in response to an article (paywalled) about growing pains in OER. The letter is written by Dr. David Wiley, Chief Academic Officer at Lumen Learning.
IHE gives us 10 reasoned and diverse perspectives on whether New York's commitment of $8 million to OER marks a tipping point. Some of them are "talking their book", so to speak, but they make their points thoughtfully. Rough consensus: there is yet more hill to climb. Betteridge's law of headlines strikes again!
There are some caveats. Tuition-free doesn't mean free. There are fees, and of course, textbooks. Also recall that other states have gone tuition-free, too, only to have "other fees" rise until they became tuition in all but name.
India is working on a comprehensive OER policy at the national level. I usually skip stories from India because it's all I can do to keep up with the US and Canada - and the UK to some extent. But this story looks significant.
From The Shorthorn: the student newspaper from UT Arlington. Here's the bill. The article mentions the introduction of Open Educational Resources, but it also requires schools to disclose required texts and their prices when they publish class schedules - similar to pending legislation in Washington and South Carolina.
So this is a Letter to the Editor of Historic City News. It wanders a bit, but the writer is pointing out that lobbyists from Prentice Hall (a publisher owned by Pearson) are busy lobbying the Florida government regarding House Bill 989 "Instructional Materials for K-12 Public Education". You can see the lobbyists registered for yourself at myfloridahouse.gov - search just on the bill number.
From the Cal State Fullerton university newspaper. You might recall from 2014 Fullerton was the center of a controversy when math professor Alain Bourget was disciplined for assigning textbooks other than the $180 book dictated by his department for his Linear Algebra class. And what textbook was he ordered to use? The one his boss and the head of the department wrote. What a fortuitous happenstance!
You've probably heard about UC Berkely deleting a bunch of free lecture videos. So the people at LBRY (pronounced "library"; it's an internet protocol) have archived them. I'm sure others will do this and if I find a more browser-friendly repository I'll add a link (LBRY requires an app, or CURL commands). If you haven't heard about it, here's the announcement.
Another independent college bookstore falls to Follett after a million dollars in losses. This is the bookstore where I first learned to my frustration how a (then) $75 math book could become worthless over a period of 5 short months.
Bill would require schools to provide physical textbooks to every student - so a tablet and an online resource doesn't suffice. This looks like a gift to the entrenched publishers. Here is the bill. This same senator proposed a similar law in 2012.
Maryland's Textbook Cost Savings Act of 2017 cleared the Senate. Watch House Bill 967 to know if it makes it to make it to the governor's desk. Provides $100,000 grant to develop and promote OER for Maryland's universities.
The author is trying to pinpoint a root cause of runaway education price increases. This article edges toward the political, so if you just want the summary (my summary, anyway): People overvalue the higher education wage premium. And on the subject of textbooks in particular there is this quote: "people making decisions about which textbooks to use do not bear the costs".
Near the end is this curious sentence: "Because math uses a more comprehensive program, the fee is $25, as opposed to the college’s standing $20 OER fee." I tried to follow up to find out what the fee covers but the press line didn't have that kind of detail.
The budget calls for public colleges and universities to provide textbooks and they can charge up to $300 to recover costs. This article is paywalled. You didn't hear this from me but CTRL-U is your friend. Just scroll to the bottom.
"MBS is the largest used college textbook wholesaler" according to their website. This acquisition by B&N Ed comes on the heels of VitalSource's acquisition of Verba, which has a similar business line.
First Houghton Mifflin, now Pearson. Big impairment charges. In short, they are all expressing in accounting terms the reality that their industry isn't worth what it used to be and their market power is collapsing. Earnings season is so fun.
From the Crimson (Harvard's daily newspaper). The Q guide is a student feedback system. It will now be asking questions about how much students spent on course materials to give new students some visibility on the issue before they select their classes.
Full year and Quarterly results. Sales down, billings down, losses up. The loss is partly due to write-downs of some of their brands. 2017 isn't looking so great either. An industry experiencing disruption is no place for the faint of heart. On that note, HMH got a new CEO last week. Good luck John Lynch.
Best I can tell, Verba's primary business is helping schools and school bookstores select, source and price educational material. VitalSource's (which is owned by Ingram Content Group, whch in turn is owned by Ingram Industries) appears to have a broader product offering with a lot of overlap with Verba.
Article about the student government at UCONN driving adoption of open textbooks, including funding a professor's work on a chemistry book. The article doesn't provide a link to the book, so here it is on Openstax