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Digital Textbooks Are Forcing a Radical Shift in Higher Education

By Wired

August 5, 2019

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The last several years have seen a shift in textbook policies at colleges and universities — one that has more recently turned tectonic.

Pearson, one of the biggest publishers of educational books in the world, last month announced that going forward it would adopt a "digital first" strategy. It'll still produce physical textbooks, but students will rent by default with the option to buy after the rental period ends.

The price of textbooks has increased 183 percent over the last 20 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price of a new print textbook can easily reach into the hundreds of dollars. Under Pearson's digital-first strategy, ebooks will cost an average of $40.

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