This month's cover story in Prism -- magazine of the American Society of Engineering Education -- discusses the future of textbooks in higher education. Among the usual fare from publishers, professors and think tankers, the article explores some pilot programs designed to get e-textbooks into the hands of students at reduced rates. One such program at the University of Texas is raised as an example:
The state acts as a bulk buyer for eight courses, negotiating a unit price of $40 to provide each student with a free E-text. Kevin Hegarty, the university executive who organized the pilot, believes that such a system should suit publishers as well as students, because it eliminates the problem that more than half of all students would be buying a used textbook and a fifth would buy no book at all.