Introducing Open Textbooks this fall at Touro: students save almost $15,000.00

Is this textbook required? Can I use an older edition? Does the library have this book? These are common questions raised by students at the beginning of every semester. The reason why they are so common is very simple: textbooks are expensive. In the last 20 years, their price increased over 200%, while college tuition increased 191%, both way above the overall inflation (+57.4%, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Bashe Simon, director of Touro Libraries, initiated a project to raise awareness of open textbooks. Open textbooks are resources that are available at no cost under aCreative Commons license. This allows them to be downloaded, stored, distributed, revised, and remixed to suit the instructor’s need. They are free and have been used in numerous higher education institutions with great success (see, for example, this project by Tidewater Community College). Continue reading

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Open Access In The Future

(via flickr)
(via flickr)

What is the point of college?  A student is to not just gain knowledge in college but to deepen their knowledge. A student comes with a good amount of curiosity. College provides the opportunity to follow that curiosity. A college student can enter interested in one subject and become interested in another subject. Doors open in their mind. A constant flow of information feeds their curiosity. Students leave college armed with knowledge and experience, ready to blaze a trail and hopefully make the world a better place. With knowledge gained through college studies, a student could accomplish something that leaves their mark on mankind. There is no crystal ball to know which student at which college will blaze those trails.  We don’t even know which students have enough curiosity to increase their appetite. Continue reading