Drop the print edition and boot up the e-edition

By Suanna Gutierrez |Staff Writer|

With the wear and tear caused by the economy on our pockets, a college education seems to nearly put salt on the wounds. Students can help themselves significantly reduce costs of education by motioning to transform CSUSB into a digital textbook campus.

Your voice as students can make this happen at CSUSB.

An eTextbook program would take eco-friendly action by having students switch from traditional bound textbooks to digital textbooks. The incentive for student participation is the guaranteed cost of textbooks at deeply reduced prices.

Every student absolutely needs textbooks to achieve success in their courses and constantly are looking for new solutions to help round off textbooks costs, whether it be by renting books, buying them used, or attempting to sell them back. Students have spent on average $807 per college semester on textbooks since 2002-03 according to College Board.

Textbook costs depend on more than production, editors and authors. The cost that students see is also accountable for the book cover, book size, number of pages, spiral binding, labor to ship, fuel costs of shipping, the boxes books get shipped in, all the way down to the course guided CD-ROMs inside the textbooks and even the cellophane wrapping they sit in on bookstore shelves according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Costs would be cheaper,” says CSUSB student Lauren Harris. “You wouldn’t have to worry about turning books in at a deadline, the eBooks would expire — it would be more convenient.”

CSUSB could administer a move towards eTextbooks through web sites like kno.com, a fully free service, which would provide incentives for a guaranteed reduction of textbook costs without digging through used book web sites or haggling to sell books back.

Dozens of the web sites or apps that offer a digital textbook service are free and available for use on eReaders, iPads, notebooks, and even Facebook including the kno.com service.

As an additional benefit to the digital move the free learning application kno.com offers has over 60 features including interactive 3D settings, smart links to relevant course materials, study guides and searchable notes within the journal feature.

Over 100,000 textbooks are available on kno.com. If the textbook your looking for isn’t currently on hand, you can easily notify the site to put in a digital request with publishers and can usually receive the requested  title within days.

Programs similar to the eTextbook concept have been successfully administered on campuses such as Arizona State University. ASU was able to make the program run successfully and additionally was able to grant students participating in the program free eReaders according to ASU News Now.

Proposing an eTextbook incentive program on the CSUSB campus is highly attainable with or without the extent of free eReaders.

When asked if the eTextbook incentive program would be appealing, student Ashley Petit-fere said, “Yes, I would participate. Everyone is on their computers anyway and it’s more cost effective for students.”

The eTextbook incentive program would immensely reduce the carbon footprint left by CSUSB by cutting down consumption of paper goods, reducing emissions of product transportation, and reducing the waste created by product packaging.

The incentive to make the transition to digital textbooks gets the most out of the money invested by students in their education and keeps trees in forests — not paper mills.

Additionally, CSUSB would reduce overhead cost and theoretically maintain the textbook profit that is funneled back into student programs.

As students it is our responsibility to call attention to areas that can be approved upon at CSUSB. Help the administration help you, raise attention by speaking through the student association or directly through faculty on campus to draw their participation in exploring an incentive that provides benefits full circle.


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