SmartClassroom :: Wednesday, August 23, 2006

News & Product Updates

Report Calls for Alternatives to Expensive Textbooks

The State Public Interest Research Groups, a consumer organization that advocates for students, has released a report that criticizes textbook publishers for increasingly high prices. The report argues that major publishers haven’t provided adequate low-cost alternatives to their expensive textbooks, which often now are packaged with multimedia add-ons, like CDs or DVDs. A recent government report blames this bundling for unduly raising the cost of already-expensive textbooks.

The group, however, praises publishers who offer their titles online or at a reduced cost, and encourages this concept to be put into greater use...

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Campus eTextbook Publisher Seeking National Advertisers

Seeming to respond to the previous news item, Freeload Press Inc., an e-textbook publisher, has partnered with a campus marketing firm to sell targeted ads on a national or regional basis in e-textbooks this fall. The company said about 100 titles will be available for downloading on an estimated 150 campuses, potentially reaching 250,000 students.

"Most college students get their first real lesson in economics after leaving the checkout line at the campus bookstore," said Jason Bakker, director of marketing for Campus Media Group, which will market the titles. CMG said “an economical alternative exists for college students: free textbooks in exchange for seeing some ads while you study.” The e-textbooks are viewable as a PDF and will also be supported by dotReader, a free open-source e-book reader. The partners are seeking to sell positions to traditional campus brands, such as FedEx Kinko's and Culver's Restaurants...

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Sony Launches Growth, Performance, and Advantage Program

Sony has announced the launch of their GPA program, which stands for Growth, Performance, and Advantage. The Web-based resource is an easy way to research eligible products and see which ones have a suggested education price for better budgeting. Both K-12 schools and higher education institutions have the opportunity to utilize this program to select the technology they need to help further their students’ growth in learning, improve their individual performance, and give them the advantage they need to succeed.

This Web site also allows users to find Sony resellers who can provide these products and assist you with local support...

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