California lawmaker seeks to create open-source library

Online texts offered by many publishers have slashed prices as much as 60 percent from the traditional print editions.

California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced Dec. 13 that he will push for legislation to create an online open-source library to reduce the cost of course materials for college students across the state.

Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said the average student spends $1,300 a year on textbooks, a figure his staff said is based on projections the University of California, California State University, and community college systems provide to students for budgeting purposes.

Under his proposal, materials for 50 common lower division courses would be developed and posted online for free student access. Ordering a paper copy would cost $20, compared to the $200-plus price tag carried by some books.…Read More

MIT brings video game battle to the public

MIT's simulations often bait students into 'price wars.'

Anyone with a web connection can engage in the marketplace maneuvering, the pressure-packed decision making, and the inevitable price wars that break out among business students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

For four years, students in John Sterman’s business management courses have gone toe to toe in simulated business arenas, with the latest being a concocted world of video game companies looking for an edge in marketing and selling their game consoles and software.

The university announced Nov. 30 that the simulation, known as “Platform Wars,” would be freely available on the MIT Sloan Teaching Innovation Resources (MSTIR) website, following the lead of MIT’s OpenCoursWare program, a seminal experiment in higher education’s sharing of open source material.…Read More