Free digital textbooks for university students in California

The stance of the president on digital textbook was made very clear some time ago, when POTUS set a 5-year goal to introduce new digital books in classrooms across the country. It would seem there's real progress being made on this front with two new laws coming out of California last week.

Bills SB 1052 and 1053, as they are affectionately known, will provide free digital textbooks to university students in California. The program includes "50 strategically selected lower division courses" and will be made available to all community college students in the state as well as students going to University of California and California State University. 

On top of the digital textbooks the student can also purchase paperback copies for about $20 each. The program will debut for the 2013-2014 school year.

It's good to see the state going all in with this initiative, as we already know digital textbooks seem to really be the way of the future. For example check out the success Apple's iBooks are having in this department. 

If any of you lives in California and will be taking advantage of this please let us know in the comments below.

Source: Los Angeles Times Via: The Verge

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Rumored Blackberry London specs leak

Next Story

HTC 8X and 8S available for pre-order on Amazon Germany

12 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is good for the students but really the state is broke. I know this is only a drop in the bucket for the state budget.

this is the future of education for all levels, people just have to stop resisting because resistance is futile. airlines are now dumping their 35#+ books for the pilots and opting for ipads instead. on the fly updates and much lighter load.

For example check out the success Apple's iBooks are having in this department

If students could afford a Mac or iPad, they probably wouldn't need free books.

The Bill requires the books to be provided in a standard and open XML format, like EPUB and newer incarnations that are interactive.

iBooks are XML and a variation of EPUB, but fail to meet the guidelines due to the distribution restrictions Apple places on iBook created content.

The California Bill also has in place a way for 'paid' digital books to be distributed as well, and this is another place iBooks and Apple fail to meet the requirements, since Apple requires non-free iBooks to be policed, distributed, and sold by Apple.

In case anyone likes to read actual legislation instead of someone else's 'interpretation', here is a link to the actual bill, since I don't see it provide on Neowin or in the linked sources:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca....tml?bill_id=201120120SB1052

NeoPogo said,
Now there will be more beeer money for students! YAY!

As a fellow student, I like the way you think sir.

NeoPogo said,
Now there will be more beeer money for students! YAY!

I'm sure those students will enjoy spending money on beer while trying to forget about their loans (which, coincidentally, could be paid off a bit with the beer money).

dvferret said,
How does a broke state afford this?
Only 50 lower level courses are applicable. I'm thinking courses like Health, lower level English (as most of the readings in those classes are out of copyright and available free anyway), Intro to Computers, etc.

dvferret said,
How does a broke state afford this?

Much better than a nation investing into first strike wars.
Education needs much more money than it gets pretty much anywhere in the world.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Much better than a nation investing into first strike wars.
Education needs much more money than it gets pretty much anywhere in the world.

GS:mac

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/squandering-assessment-test/


...as the following chart reveals, spending has skyrocketed while scores have, um, decidedly not skyrocketed.

I don't agree with spending so much on defense, but not only is that a red herring (not answering dvferret's question), throwing more money at education doesn't actual help much (in most cases). California needs to do a lot of cuts, but I doubt that will happen until it runs out of juice.

LaserWraith said,

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/squandering-assessment-test/

I don't agree with spending so much on defense, but not only is that a red herring (not answering dvferret's question), throwing more money at education doesn't actual help much (in most cases). California needs to do a lot of cuts, but I doubt that will happen until it runs out of juice.


Red herring? I was merely trying to avoid the backfire question of "how are you gonna refinance that?!"

Also, there are quite a few things you could spend more money in education.
Just throwing more money at it isn't a solution, trying to solve real problems is.
Many of those don't need direct financing, but maybe indirect financing.

Now, I'll give you I didn't visit your link, as I'm about to leave, but I can tell you that there are some structural problems, that probably require quite a bunch of money.
Some of it might not even have a direct effect so quickly.

Oh and did I mention that kids should be taught to show more respect to each other again?
No, not just the elders, anyone.

And hell no, it doesn't need physical disciplining. (rant is not directed at you I just went off topic )

GS:mac

This is really good news. My little sister just started her freshman year at UC Riverside last week, and with tuition there being well over $20k a year, this will help save her (and us) some money that can be put towards other things. I'm sure it'll help out a lot of other students quite a bit as well. The price of text books now are ridiculously high.