×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Students At Lynn University Get iPad Minis Instead of Textbooks

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the think-different-i-guess dept.

Education 192

Dave_Minsky writes "About 600 students will enter Lynn University's freshman class this year, the largest since 2007, and they will all be using iPad Minis instead of textbooks. The iPads will cost $475, saving students up to 50% of what a semester's worth of textbooks would cost, estimates Lynn. Students will be able to access core curriculum classes on their iPads that are 'enhanced with custom multimedia content,' and will come with 'at least 30 education, productivity, social and news-related iOS apps — some free and some paid for by the university.' This seems to be the beginning of a new era for American colleges. The Boca Raton university is not the first to give iPads to students instead of textbooks. Back in 2010, New Jersey-based Seton Hill University announced it would give students the tablets rather than books."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

192 comments

Am I glad? (4, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | about 8 months ago | (#44657463)

Yes I am. About what? Glad you asked - the fact that my apps are sold to edu at a discount and schools buy in bulk. Very glad indeed $$

I remember when (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657517)

you could read books for free at a thing called a Library.

Re:I remember when (4, Insightful)

shadowrat (1069614) | about 8 months ago | (#44657597)

you could read books for free at a thing called a Library.

i don't remember a time when i could refrain from spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks because they were all free at the library.

Re:I remember when (2)

meerling (1487879) | about 8 months ago | (#44657631)

Let's see, on class, anywhere from 10-30 students. Library usually having 1 or 2 of any single book. Possibly multiple classes, especially for common stuff. Homework and study requires you to spend more time with the book than a quick read in the library would allow. Sure, that'll work out real well. Shadowrat is right, you still have to buy the books.

Re:I remember when (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657851)

Even trying to get the book back from another borrower is not worth the time, since the day-to-day fine they pay for ignoring the recall will be less than the cost of the book for the semester. Worst is when it's the lecturer / professor / TA who was the one who borrowed the book.

Re:I remember when (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 8 months ago | (#44658413)

At my alma mater, the university library would frequently provide course textbooks on hourly loans to cope with the small number of copies. Terrifying fees if you lost one or were late in returning the book. Some books weren't even allowed to leave the library; "checking" them out consisted of getting them off the shelf from behind the librarian's desk. I cannot imagine what a horrible existence it would be to try and work through a homework-heavy course under such circumstances.

Re:I remember when (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658167)

Every term I put my personal copies of the relevant textbooks on 2 hour reserve in the library for the courses I teach.

What you're talking about is convenience for free. Usually that doesn't come so cheap.

Re:I remember when (2)

Solandri (704621) | about 8 months ago | (#44658185)

I do. One of the courses I took read a lot of short stories from anthologies. The prof only wanted us to read about 5-10 pages per book, and felt that didn't warrant making all of us buy the book. So she reserved the 3 copies at the library for our class and gave us about 2 months to check it out and read it.

Unfortunately, some students checked them out and held onto them for a weeks to read the 5-10 pages. So the next such book, the prof just had the library reserve the book but not make it available for checkout (you could show your ID and request it, read it in the library, and return it). For good measure she also had the library run off a few photocopies of the pages (probably violating copyright) and also had those on reserve.

Re:I remember when (2)

jittles (1613415) | about 8 months ago | (#44658391)

you could read books for free at a thing called a Library.

i don't remember a time when i could refrain from spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks because they were all free at the library.

Your school didn't have a "Reserve Book Room" which was required to have 1 copy of the textbook for every n students enrolled? I rarely bought the books and, if I had to do the homework from the text book, would just spend an hour or so in the reserve book room doing the assignment.

Re:I remember when (0)

wcrowe (94389) | about 8 months ago | (#44657881)

This has surely got to be one of the most dumb-assed statements anyone can make.

Definition of a library: A place where there are hundreds of books available for loan, except the one that you need.

This is a great move. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657471)

PR move.

You'd think that after the nth time /. wouldn't fall for it, but what do I know.

DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657477)

Tomorrow's consumers today.

At least they're not using dead trees, right?

I'd like to see how this progresses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657489)

My first reaction is 'meh' but maybe someone will come up with something. I love my Kindle and iPad for reading but I can't imagine using one for reference materials.

Re:I'd like to see how this progresses... (1)

malacandrian (2145016) | about 8 months ago | (#44657967)

Most reading I'll do in dead-tree format, but reference materials are where my surface excels. The ability to copy the relevant text in to One Note (and often have it save all the meta data needed for referencing, along with a link to the original) and be able to easily flick between several open texts is indispensable. When researching my dissertation last year, I probably spent at least as long dealing with the one real book as all my electronic sources.

"the beginning of a new era for American colleges" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657493)

I have wondered why this market hasn't been taken over by Chinese devices yet. Apple content lock-in?

Re:"the beginning of a new era for American colleg (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | about 8 months ago | (#44657821)

even a Nexus 7 would have been a much better choice

Re:"the beginning of a new era for American colleg (1)

JDevers (83155) | about 8 months ago | (#44657959)

Yea, the Nexus 7 redo is tremendously better than the Ipad Mini...

Re:"the beginning of a new era for American colleg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658181)

Except for the hardware failures and malware worries!

Re: "the beginning of a new era for American colle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658431)

The Nexus anything will be dead long before the iPad.

Re:"the beginning of a new era for American colleg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658073)

DRM.

Considering the cost of one Texbook (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#44657507)

This could be a good thing, but only if it reduces the price of the average content.

all prices subject to change if publisher feels he needs a bonus

Re:Considering the cost of one Texbook (3, Interesting)

berashith (222128) | about 8 months ago | (#44657529)

sometimes it is nice to have a book from a class for a while after the class is over. This will also end borrowing books, or buying really cheap used books. And want to retake a class for a better score... buy the book again. Everyone pays full e-price for access to the online content for this semester.

Re:Considering the cost of one Texbook (2)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#44657547)

wouldn't be surprised if the university is creating their own books. apple has a SDK to somewhat easily create your own textbooks

Re:Considering the cost of one Texbook (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 8 months ago | (#44657573)

I'm curious about how this will work with regards to textbooks. Nowadays - at least at my university - many of the faculty use their self-authored textbook when they teach a course. Given that this seems to be done to generate income, I doubt they're going to discount their part of the cost just because the books weren't printed on paper. And what if the facility's publisher doesn't offer electronic versions of their books?

Re:Considering the cost of one Texbook (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657647)

Unfortunately, textbook publishers generally charge the same amount for "digital" copies, while eliminating the used market through the use of activation codes. So, you still spend the same amount on text books (more, if you were planning to buy used), you cannot recoup any of that cost by reselling after the semester is over, and now you have to buy an iPad on top of it all -- even if it's wrapped up in the cost of tuition, you're still buying it. This is a win for only one group: the publishers.

Re:Considering the cost of one Texbook (4, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 8 months ago | (#44657891)

Sadly, it won't. One thing companies have shown us is that they have no interest in passing the cost savings of digital distribution on to the consumer. They just look at it as extra profit. "Books" will be as expensive as ever, but will now require the hardware to read them.

What's even more insulting is the number of college courses that require you to purchase a book, only to find out that the teacher will barely use it. There were lots of classes where I was able to just leave the book shrinkwrapped, and just return it after a week or so claiming I purchased an extra on accident.

Not New Jersey (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657527)

Seton Hill University is in Pennsylvania. It's more popularly known sister school, Seton Hall University, is in New Jersey.

Re:Not New Jersey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657835)

mod up

Re:Not New Jersey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658155)

Seton Hill University is in Pennsylvania. It's more popularly known sister school, Seton Hall University, is in New Jersey.

Just make sure you don't mistake any of them with Seton Hell University and you should be safe...

Actually, I like the dead trees (4, Interesting)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 8 months ago | (#44657533)

My interest in science and technology was sparked by the college textbooks the prior generation left lying around. I'm not really opposed to ditching dead trees for digital, but I either want my access to the content to be permanent, just like a book, or I want the price to be WAY less than 1/2 the cost of buying the books.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (2)

fredrated (639554) | about 8 months ago | (#44657609)

I have to agree. If I was a student there and could afford it I would buy the text books anyway.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657617)

Exactly. The deal isn't 50% off -- the deal is 50% off WITH the stipulation that you don't own a damn thing.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about 8 months ago | (#44657859)

As I remember, For 80% of my books, that's still a good deal. Book Store used to sell em to us used for $50, and maybe give you back $10. Unless there was a new edition (frequent), in which case you got jack. So, that was 20%, or 0% off, and I didn't own a damn thing.

15 years into my career, I have used exactly 0 of my text books I chose to keep in the last 10 years. But only recently finished paying off the last of my student loans.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (5, Insightful)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 8 months ago | (#44658089)

That's right, Time-Bomb Textbooks.

Oh you failed that course and need to take it again?
Too bad, your 1 year "right to read" has expired.
Pay for that textbook, AGAIN.

1st sale doctrine? NOTHING was sold to you.
It was a lease!

Sounds like you do own them (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 months ago | (#44658247)

Exactly. The deal isn't 50% off -- the deal is 50% off WITH the stipulation that you don't own a damn thing.

If they are instructor written, they are probably just non-DRM ePub, so you could use them on anything.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 8 months ago | (#44657625)

Well you do also get an iPad that you can do stuff other then reading your text books.

When going to grad school, I was lucky enough that most of my professors gave me PDFs of the documents they wanted to read and the school had an electronic access to journals. So I could get the document in electronic form. This is much better then a text book. For one I have condition where my eyes cannot follow straight lines, making reading books very difficult without a ruler, as I will jump to the next line and read a partial sentence. However on screen I can highlight the text while I am reading, Or have it text to speech the content to me. Where I can sit back and rest my eyes and listen to the content, or read along while it is playing. Making sure that I am not missing anything.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657665)

This. My interest in electronics was kindled (no pun intended) by my father's old correspondence course materials. They came in periodic installments that were inserted into two large brown binders. It was the National Radio Institute course similar to these [ebay.com]

There were other books on the shelf too. Time was, you could tell a lot about somebody from the books on their shelves--the number, quality, and type. If you were invited into their home, to glance at the books on the shelf was not toooooo much of an invasion of privacy, if done properly. There's an un-written etiquette there, I'm sure. Now?

OK, so maybe you've got electronics course materials on your iPad... but you're kid's just gonna play Angry Birds or something. All the options aren't there, and he doesn't have to ask questions like, "why doesn't this book have pictures?" or "why does this book have this funny looking map in it?" or "what's in that big thick book there?" or "why is that one on the top shelf where I can't reach it?".

You never had to keep all your college texts. There are some I returned, and some I kept. Some I haven't cracked open in years... but I won't be surprised if my nephew some day is here and asks, "what's a differential equation?" because there's a book about that. How would the iPad generate such a question from an inquisitive child?

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (2)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44657731)

I agree with you I have tried both 10 inch tablets and 7 inch tables and my 4 inch phone and I can't stand reading off of them. So the question is what if the student doesn't want to go paperless? Or what if the student doesn't want to use Apple products at all, like me I'm a MS software kind of guy been that way since 1987. Please don't mod me down for that.

ada issues (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#44657771)

what if some needs a full size laptop?

can't use a touch screen?

and so on?

Re:ada issues (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44657817)

So true. Also what about visual impared people who will not be able to use the equipment. Exceptions would/will have to be made.

Re:ada issues (2)

localman57 (1340533) | about 8 months ago | (#44657903)

How is this different from textbooks? You had to make an exception for some people by making a large print version, or a braille version. It seems to me that this transition, particularly if there's a text-to-speech option, should make the books more accessible, not less. Some extra tech required, but it seems much easier than creating multiple editions of each book.

Re:ada issues (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44658099)

That's the point. The whole iPad thing is not a 100 solution to any problem. Physical books will still have to be around although getting them I feel with be more of a stuggle.

Re:ada issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658361)

what about visual impared people

They are better off, not worse off, as long as the textbooks are not too locked down with DRM. Ebooks can be read out loud by a text-to-speech tool, and if there isn't already, someone will make a tactile tablet where the "display" is little bumps you feel with your fingers.

It's a lot easier to apply assistive technology to an ebook than to get a Braille copy of every textbook a student needs. Especially true if the professor wrote the book, or the textbook is a limited-interest book that was printed in low volume.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about 8 months ago | (#44657755)

In one of the articles, they mention that the materials on the iPad are the instructor-written texts. They also mentioned that 50% of the texts used in classes were instructor-written. So, it sounds to me like you pay 50% of the cost of buying textbooks to get an iPad, which has 50% of your textbooks on it. You're still going to need to spend all the money on the other textbooks that you normally would have, so it's sort of a wash, although you do end up with a gadget to hold onto in the end.

If it actually ends up teaching the material better, then great. I just worry it's a gimmick, and I doubt I would do as well reading on an iPad as sitting with my classmates in the library poring over the textbooks.

Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657805)

The number of free as in beer books for n00bs in just about every area of study is staggering. While the cast-aside texts may have sparked your interests it is much easier and free to do today. You don't even have to hope for random chance to present and oppertunity.

No more "the dog ate my homework" (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 8 months ago | (#44657613)

replaced by "someone stole my ipad"

Re:No more "the dog ate my homework" (2)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44657693)

or "The battery ran out and I forgot my charger" or better "The cloud was down so I couldn't save it"

Re:No more "the dog ate my homework" (0)

localman57 (1340533) | about 8 months ago | (#44657925)

Either of these cases seem like weeding. If you can't remember the parts you need to make your tech work, or can't figure out how to survive an outage without losing work product, you're probably not cut out to go work in the business world, either...

Re:No more "the dog ate my homework" (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44658047)

My point is that I'm just commenting on what the future of an excuse will be not if the person should know how to work their equipment.

this could increase auto vandalism (2)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about 8 months ago | (#44657633)

They better have it on them at all times and not leave it in the car. The college industrial complex is overloading its classrooms, thus resulting in overcrowded parking lots. When I was a broke college student, I used to just leave my car doors unlocked intentionally because the assumption was always that if you have something in your car that thieves want badly enough, they're going to get it; even if it means breaking windows. I figured I might as well leave the doors unlocked because otherwise I'd have my stuff stolen AND broken windows to deal with. I didn't care because I had nothing of any real value anyhow, but now the parking lots will have more lure for would-be thieves ans seen as a treasure trove with the possibility of a $475 pawnable/ebayable item in every Nth parked car.

Ahh... it will SAVE students money. (3, Insightful)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about 8 months ago | (#44657641)

So no resale at all rather than the shitty 3% return most campus bookstores pay. No holding onto for future reference. Little ability to gloss notes. And with the money they "save", students will be able to cover almost half of the "general fee" increase this year.

Re:Ahh... it will SAVE students money. (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 8 months ago | (#44658037)

Wow you got a 3% return on your text books, I was lucky if I could sell mine back especially for the various liberal arts courses where for some reason a new revision comes out every year or they were switching each semester. On the rare occasion that I wanted to sell a book back and it was still in use often it was refused because I would take notes directly in the margin and they don't want a marked up book.

Right to read (5, Insightful)

knarf (34928) | about 8 months ago | (#44657659)

For Dan Halbert, the road to Tycho began in collegeâ"when Lissa Lenz asked to borrow his computer. [gnu.org] Hers had broken down, and unless she could borrow another, she would fail her midterm project. There was no one she dared ask, except Dan...

ipad MINI ?!?! (3, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 8 months ago | (#44657669)

That's a horrible choice. I don't know about the books you have to read, but that miniature screen is too freaking small for several of the textbooks I had to use.

Yes, I know you can enlarge the view, but you can't enlarge the screen, and when you need to see the whole thing at a size large enough to make out the details, a miniature screen is annoying and useless. The mini is a fail for that purpose.

Do they get to keep the content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44657695)

Once you pay your $475 for your mandatory iPad and complete your course, do you still get to access the books, or does DRM kill the content?

Still, you'd probably make more reselling the iPad than reselling your books, so there is that.

Cost of the texts themselves (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about 8 months ago | (#44657703)

The cost of a textbook has little to do with the cost of printing, which is the only cost mitigated by electronic distribution. Are they expecting the publishers of the textbooks to offer up their works for free? I mean, it might cut down on professors writing their own textbooks and releasing new revisions each year so that students always had to buy new books instead of used.. but.. I'm having trouble believing that the costs involved will be limited to the $475 of the iPad.

Re:Even more ridiculous (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about 8 months ago | (#44657873)

Rather than using electronic textbooks, they have decided to replace the textbooks with "custom multimedia course material", which apparently is distributed for free.

This means two things:
A) The cost of writing the custom material will be built in to the course. It obviously won't be developed for free, so the cost is hidden, and can't be defrayed by purchasing a used book or renting a book. It doesn't cut down on professors writing their own textbooks, it essentially enforces a version of that scenario on every student for every class.

B) They think their custom material will be higher quality and apparently cheaper than the textbook industry can produce when the textbook industry can spread development/production costs across hundreds of universities.

All in the name of their long term goal - killing (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 8 months ago | (#44657725)

the used book market.

Colleges/Universities will ultimately be 'subscribing' classes to textbook publishers, then the college will turn around and require the student to pay (with a nice profit margin on top of course) the college for access to the content.

There will be no 'legitimate' method of obtaining the courseware; ergo, if you don't pay the college, you'll not be allowed to attend the class.

Hacking this will, of course, result in imprisonment for some DMCA violation to be sure.

Sad, but inevitable.

other schools build books into the class prices (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#44657785)

other schools build books into the class prices so this may just be the next part of that. The class cost has the books build into it.

It's about time (3, Insightful)

Ghostworks (991012) | about 8 months ago | (#44657743)

Every time I look at my old engineering texts taking up shelf space I think, "I wish that someone could take all these, cut out about half of the valuable material, dice up the remainder between 30 odd sites and apps, and then tie it to a device with a 7-year shelf life."

As anyone who's dealt education-oriented online media (such as Blackboard) can tell you, the products are not always stellar. You get less text, its usually structured in such a way that it takes longer to read, the access is spotty, and it will probably not work as well as that in a year. Even the number one benefit of digitization -- search -- tends to be awkward or incomplete.

They say the iPad is about half the cost of books. I can easily believe that, but it also means you don't get to buy used books, or re-sell your used books. They've streamlined the process in a way that either offers no benefit, or benefits suppliers more than students.

It did convince the university to buy their student's books for them, provided you don't consider being forced to buy an iPad as being the same as being forced to "rent" used books. Or for that matter, so long as you don't consider going to a free library as an option. And so long as you don't consider that buying an iPad and getting electronic copies of textbooks was always an option for most books. All the ways they've streamlined the process are for the primary benefit of the supplier of the material.

Overall, it seems workable for books that you no interest in keeping beyond one semester (electives). But that is exactly the case where you can generally benefit from being flexible, buying bog-standard books from any store you please, buying a digital copy, or going to the library as needed. If you're talking about material that will actually continue to be relevant after a single semester, it sounds like a bad idea, putting a random-valued timer on your reference material.

The only reason (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44658141)

They say the iPad is about half the cost of books.

I don't know who "they" are or if that is a true statement, but it doesn't matter. Price comparisons when discussion text books are meaningless because it isn't a free market. So yes, the iPad may be 1/2 the price, but only because the textbook manufactures inflate the cost of textbooks. There is no reason to believe that once ebooks have replaced textbooks for the majority of classrooms, that the pricing of ebooks will climb just as quickly as textbook pricing has.

Textbook publishers always say it is the high cost of printing the books that is the problem and yet, I can self publish and sell at a profit a 1000 page hardcover book for less than $35 using an online service in quantities of 10. One would think with the economies of scale a real publisher would have that $100+ textbooks have a lot of profit involved. I know the authors don't recieve it, but somebody does.

No, textbook prices are high, because it is a scam and there is no real competition. Once ebooks replace textbooks, those prices will rise, too. Supply and demand only works when there is a free market, which does not exists in education.

Galaxy Note 8 could have been more useful (0)

poity (465672) | about 8 months ago | (#44657759)

At least then they could take proper handwritten notes in class, and be able to quickly search them later. Not much more expensive either (although I guess buying the domestic brand could have been a goal).

Insurance? (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 8 months ago | (#44657767)

It is potentially a great concept. I just hope insurance is available, because textbooks are expensive, but nobody wants to steal them from you.

Can't read my Brother's books anymore then (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44657797)

When I was growing up I would read my brothers text books and reading assignments when he wasn't around, he was/is 4 year ahead of me. I'd suprise him with a quiz when he got back. I can still remember when I picked up his Kurt Vonnegut book Cat's Cradle at 8 years old and thought how crazy ice nine was. I guess future siblings will never get the chance to see what the future of there education will be. Also by the time I reached that grade they didn't use that book anymore.

It's a shame to see what everyone will be missing.

Shouldn't I have choices??? (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 8 months ago | (#44657841)

I appreciate that the university is trying to save their students money and possibly give them a better(?) education, if those are the true reasons. As noted, students often buy used books. The short article doesn't mention if that is still possible, or how long these books will be available to the student, are the textbooks going to be available when the students leave the University?? Can I get access to textbooks for classes I am not taking??

My first exposure to computers was when I was a math major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The professor gave us extra credit if we wrote a program that would print out a quadratic equation on paper. After I learned BASIC using the free manuals at the computer lab, I decided that I didn't need to pay to take courses, I could just buy the text book. So I bought a FORTRAN WATFIV textbook from the bookstore next and learned that. Then I learned COBOL. All in the span of a few months. 30 years later, I have a 6 figure income without having to follow the college rules, and followed a different route that was more suited to me than the one the aptitude tests suggested I take. All because I had choices. (And don't say I can go to another school, at some point all colleges and universities could use this model.)

Now, I'm not suggesting that learning on your own is for everyone, some people do better with a more formal and structured education. But why should students not have a choice??? Why shouldn't they be able to 'buy' a text for another class just because they want to learn on their own?


This type of activity brings out the cynic in me, who wonders if the colleges are really interested in education, or just trying to perpetuate the lie that people have to go to college to get ahead in the world by making it more and more difficult to learn things without going and continue with the stranglehold using their overpriced methods that are returning less and less value for every dollar spent.

Re:Shouldn't I have choices??? (2)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 8 months ago | (#44657907)

I re-read the article and found that it is reporting another article [insidehighered.com] . So, yes indeed, it is required .. no choice. They worked with Apple (no conflict there).

More specifically ...

Beginning in fall 2013, all incoming students will be required to purchase an iPad mini, which will come loaded with the student’s summer reading and core curriculum texts, created by Lynn faculty.

So it's not all the textbooks, just the core curriculum that Lynn has created. $475 is just the starting point and the iPad may not be useful for other classwork.

university's are to stuck in the past and more tra (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#44658081)

university's are to stuck in the past as well the ideas of trades / apprenticeship is put down by them.

in IT, the 4 year process doesn’t work for some, especially those who have learning disabilities, ““The older college system is not for all, and some people learn better on their own. It’s an antiquated system, especially in IT.”

Also the loans that are very hard to discharges make so that university's can jack up the prices with no real recourse as some who can't even get a home loan or even an car loan can get a 50K-100K school loans just like that.

Re:Shouldn't I have choices??? (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 8 months ago | (#44658173)

Wow you were able to buy books for classes that you were not signed up for. I would have loved to be allowed to do that. There is a local collage book store by my house (5 minute drive) and they do not allow anyone who is not a student, or a student for the particual class to buy the book.

$475 for a tablet? Someone got screwed... (0)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 8 months ago | (#44657875)

Why not just get some 7-8 inch Android tablets for $100 each and save the "apple tax"?

Re:$475 for a tablet? Someone got screwed... (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 8 months ago | (#44658043)

I don't have a problem with tablets or Apple as a choice. I have a problem with the *Mini*. Far too small to take notes on and I'd never be able to comfortably read on something with a screen that small.

Re:$475 for a tablet? Someone got screwed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658267)

Have you used one? Its far better than anything Android has. All the Android makers are making them widescreen and feels and looks odd. The mini isn't that bad.

Re:$475 for a tablet? Someone got screwed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658215)

At a $100 your getting unreliable junk, that would probably be why. Probably a chinese knockoff and no updates or anything for it once you have it. You get what you pay for!

As if tuition didn't cost enough... (3, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#44657941)

Now the textbook industry can join in on the rent-seeking business model for doing almost nothing.

This solves many problems (4, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 8 months ago | (#44657953)

1) This solves the problem of student access to class materials. See, with the eBook approach, licenses can be made to be enabled on the first day of class and disabled on the last day of class. This prevents students from having early access to class materials, which levels the playing field for those who, for whatever reason, do not care to start learning before the first day of class

2) This solves the problem of killing trees. Now, instead of using renewable, natural resources to print textbooks that last 50 or more years on a shelf and provide information over a person's entire career and even lifetime, we can start using non-renewable rare earth materials to make iPads, which last perhaps a few years and may or may not be able to give access to that same information depending on whether or not someone else wants you to be able to read it.

3) This solves the problem of organic learning. With the smaller form factor and lower density of information, as well as the appeal to a shorter attention span, we can stop all this organic learning stuff and resort instead to rote memorization of bulleted facts, figures, and equations, which can then simply be regurgitated on multiple-choice exams.

Hobbling more competitive students, more destruction to the environment and higher cost, and dumbing down our students. It's a hat-trick of WIN!

Dubious move (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 8 months ago | (#44657957)

Seems awesome till you consider what's been going on with education in the US. Textbooks are a lot harder to change than electronic media. I know LU isn't in Texas, but Florida is almost just as bad. If you can rewrite a cultures history, or erase it, you can make up your own and a few generations later nobody will remember a thing... like the Constitution.

"Texas Board of Education on Friday approved a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Fathersâ(TM) commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light."[1]

[1] - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html [nytimes.com]

Why not windows ones with office and full X86 (1, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#44658005)

Why pay next to $500 for a locked down system with no ports to add on vs ones with no app store lock down on the desktop, full MS office, usb, sd card slots and more.

Re:Why not windows ones with office and full X86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658417)

Why pay $400 for a 32GB version of something and only have actual 16GB of space and something that no one else is buying and isn't the standard?

Give? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#44658013)

What exactly does it mean to "give" students ipads? Last I checked, the students are still charged a fee. It might be less than if they paid for textbooks, but the school is giving them an ipad as much as your insurance company gives you free meds by having you pay a reduced price for generic prescriptions. In short, nothing is free, so nothing is being given, the students are only being charged less for an ipad and ebooks than they would be for paper books.

I know that Lynn University is small (really, really small), but surely, they understand economics there, don't they?

"give" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658101)

"The Boca Raton university is not the first to give iPads to students instead of textbooks. [...] Seton Hill University announced it would give students the tablets rather than books." [emphasis added]

They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

I just watched my daughter spend $745 on textbooks (some used) for a semester. I doubt very much either of those places are "giving" students anything ... unless they already rolled it into the tuition.

Does the iPAD come with all books pre-installed? (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 8 months ago | (#44658129)

So you pay $475 for the iPad and then how much for the individual books?

Nothing new...but, still interesting (1)

Ronin Developer (67677) | about 8 months ago | (#44658209)

Drexel University and others of the Apple Consortium did this in 1984 with then amazing Drexel DU computer ... which was the code name for the Apple Macintosh 128K. Yes, I was, initially, irked at having to spend $2000 on a new computer when I just spent nearly that on my IBM PC. That dismay changed shortly after landed a job developing applications for it on an Apple Lisa and cross-compiling. Nervana came when a real native compiler and, other languages were introduced.

Couldn't use them (Mac 128K) for text books - kinda hard to lug around - but, many course materials were made available to students as apps that they could run off the newly announced 3.5" floppy holding a whopping 400K of data. That being said, they made Macs available in classes and some classrooms as needed.

And, as someone who purchases a lot of books (many electronically), I question how well this work....kinda hard to highlight, scribble notes and dog ear pages for quick and easy reference. We'll see....full sized tablets might been a better form factor....but, I am also an old geezer now and need a larger display to see the text.

For what it's worth...I didn't make any money developing for Macs until recently. Made my living developing Windows and mobile apps over 30 years. Wouldn't call myself an Apple Fanboy...even if I do prefer Apple products over PC and Android....just a software engineer making a living and I do what's necessary.

Lynn university. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658291)

Hehe. I live right next to Lynn University. It is full of stuck up snobby Boca brats. It's where the rich kids who dropped out of FAU go. So it's not really surprising that they want some expensive fancy toys to pay with.

Glad I didn't have this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658381)

So many classic texts don't have "ebook" versions. And even if they do, who wants to flip around a grad-level math book on an ipad.

Why such a high bill? (1)

dandelionblue (2757475) | about 8 months ago | (#44658387)

I graduated from university in the UK in 2012. Over my entire time at university I bought the following textbooks:
An organic chemistry textbook (£5)
A physiology textbook (£35)
A cell biology textbook (£25)
A BNF (£5)
Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics (£40)
A spectroscopic analysis textbook (£5)

This adds up to £115, or about $170. I then sold most of these books on to other students and made a lot of this back.

Some students also bought:
A law and ethics textbook (£20)
A maths for pharmacists textbook (£20)

Which gives a final total of £155, or about $225, spread over four years and assuming that students sold none of their books (in reality, almost everyone had sold most of their textbooks by the end of the course).

Any other books we needed were either provided free of charge (for example, higher years could have the university's old editions of the BNF each time they went out of date) or were available from the library/in ebook format.

Why do American students have such gigantic textbook bills?

PDFs on a NON-Retina iPad Mini? Forget it. (2)

RandCraw (1047302) | about 8 months ago | (#44658401)

It's tough enough reading PDFs on a full iPad *with* a retina display. On a smaller form factor like a Mini combined with its lower resolution -- fagetaboudit.

And don't believe for a minute that non-PDF textbooks are an option. Books with equations, graphics, tables, or color render quite poorly and inconsistently as ebooks.

Clearly this school plans to graduate only readers of plaintext fare like novels and poetry. And in that case, why not use cheaper B&W Kindles or Nooks?

What about the content??? (1)

smithcl8 (738234) | about 8 months ago | (#44658429)

Just because you have a new toy that you can read on doesn't mean that the eBooks or other resources they will access on these will be worth a damn. They will still need a computer to do their actual work on. Unless the books are given for free, and they are the same textbooks that the students would've bought before, this is a really bad idea. I see no problem requiring laptops for class and this just is a step from that, but the iPad is useless other than as a book, email reader, or toy.

Still have books from 1993... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44658465)

I still have perfectly good books from around 1993 - calculus, data structures, and so on. I could say I have gotten my money's worth from them. Where will these iPad books be in 20 years? Seems like you may save a few bucks in the short term, but the long-term cost to society of using disposable, temporary e-books will be huge.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...