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Future of textbooks increasingly looks digital

By Lee Shearer, Athens Banner-Herald
June 23rd, 2015

Georgia’s experiment with a free digital textbook is opening up new learning possibilities

digital-textbookStudents and teachers in some University of Georgia introductory biology courses experimented with using a free digital textbook instead of expensive paper texts in fall 2013 courses, and liked it.

About 86 percent of nearly 700 students surveyed after the courses said their online textbook was as good as or better than a traditional paper textbook.

But that experiment was just a fraction of what’s coming, according to Houston Davis, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia.

In Georgia, people in the university system and at many of its colleges have developed free online texts and other “open educational resources” for years, but the University System last year launched a more systematic initiative administrators dubbed “Affordable Learning Georgia.”

Next page: More plans for digital textbooks and online educational resources


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