The Province of British Columbia is poised to be the first one in Canada to offer free e-textbooks to 1st and 2nd year students enrolled in college or university. The project is due to be implemented for the 2013 school year. Up to 200,000 BC students each year could benefit from this move under B.C.’s Families First Agenda, saving each student hundreds of dollars a year or more on textbooks – money that can go toward other learning supplies or living expenses.
So what exactly is an Open eTextbook and why does it matter? An open textbook is typically published under an open licence and can be read online or downloaded at no cost. If a printed copy is desired, the book is made available for printing at a fraction of traditional textbook costs. Because the open textbooks are digital and open, they can be modified and adapted by instructors to fit different classes. Students can access the digital content on most e-readers, such as the Kindle or Kobo and many different tablets.
John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology told Good e-Reader that “By taking advantage of technology, more people can get the learning they need in the knowledge economy and access to new or better jobs. This innovative step under B.C.’s Families First Agenda is an example of how our government is making our world-class education system even better, while increasing accessibility and affordability for students and their families. British Columbia is proudly leading Canada in committing free, open textbooks to students and joins other international jurisdictions in taking a leadership role that puts technology to work for students.”
So how much money will students save by going digital? It is estimated students spend between $900 and $1,500 per academic year on textbooks. Open textbooks reduce this to around $300 or less when printed books are needed – or $0 for the digital copies! This makes investing in an e-reader or tablet a no-brainer to basically get your 1st and 2nd year books for FREE!
Shop e-Readers is currently the Canadian leader in providing universities and colleges across Canada with the e-readers and tablets aimed at students need to get ebooks. UBC, SFU, York University, and many others currently offer these devices in campus bookstores. BC is poised to garner tremendous growth in the digital sphere and if students can basically get most books for free, getting an e-reader just makes sense. If you are a school looking to get e-readers in the library, bookstore, or various departments, please contact Eric Johnson.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.