Biology 101, Presented by FedEx

I realize I am a little late on this, but a small company in Minnesota has decided to place ads in college textbooks, which means that instead of paying $500 or $1,000 for a semester’s worth of textbooks, a student might someday pay … $0. (HT: Alon Nir.)


dolcevita1972

Couldn't we be a little more creative & say Biology 101, Presented by Abbot Labs. Or how about Finance 101, brought to you by Chase. Any other good ones?

Found on the Ground

I'm extremely thankful that for my major, I could just check out most of what I needed from our school or local library.

But this journalist doesn't seem to have done his homework (pardon the pun).

"But so far, the model hasn't spread to college textbooks _ partly for fear that faculty would consider ads undignified."

Undignified, that's all? What about that advertisers in textbooks could eventually gain enough clout to influence the content? I don't see Ford or Exxon being too comfortable sponsoring a science book that talks about global warming, for example.

Textbook prices are the least of higher ed's worries.

And, as with any large and complex problem, it won't be long now before politicians of all stripes see the mutual benefit in pretending to solve it together.

They'll manage to get together for five minutes without sniping at each other, pick off the smallest of the problems, and declare the crisis in higher ed to be solved.

Read more...

trai_dep

There's a matter of consent. It can be argued that buying a magazine is an implicit consent to view ads therein. Or strolling along Times Square.

Students can't CHOOSE which text books to read. Yet their eyeballs are the ones that are monetized.

Want cheaper books? Try coming out w/ less superfluous editions (I recall almost every year a "new" edition came out, containing VERY little new material but effectively killing the used book market for that course's book the following year).

Book leasing would be an interesting business model to try out, except for the above shennannigans by publishers. The fault isn't in the stars, dear Brutus, it's the book publishers.

RotoAuthority

Why are textbook prices the least of higher ed's worries? I mean, if you're referring to the students, the prices are a joke on some campuses.

Found on the Ground

I mean that textbook costs are not nearly as crushing as the debt most students will graduate with.

So, while textbook prices certainly are outrageous, and relief in that area is a worth-while subject to focus on, it seems like an easy target compared with the fact that the current generation graduating from college is going forth with a financial burden heavier than any that American society has ever asked young people to carry before.

Quality students will not choose to be public servants such as teachers, nurses, or librarians, because it doesn't enable them to pay off their college debt.

It seems that more and more low- and moderate-income students are being effectively priced out of higher education, which isn't good for anyone.

Oh, also, I saw an interesting article today by Randall Stross at NY Times on ads in textbooks, called "Words of Wisdom vs. Words From Our Sponsor".

He says:

Textbooks used in the classroom are, like the instructors themselves, extensions of a university's autonomy and no more likely to be considered an appropriate place for corporate ads than the classroom lectern (or the instructor's forehead).

"Freeload Press seems unlikely to be the company that will succeed in adding commercial messages to the typical college textbook.

"Its problems begin with that unfortunate name, which conjures an image of party crashers cadging free beer, not a publishing concern striving for the highest intellectual standards. It was founded two years ago and has found the going slow."

Read more...

dolcevita1972

Couldn't we be a little more creative & say Biology 101, Presented by Abbot Labs. Or how about Finance 101, brought to you by Chase. Any other good ones?

Found on the Ground

I'm extremely thankful that for my major, I could just check out most of what I needed from our school or local library.

But this journalist doesn't seem to have done his homework (pardon the pun).

"But so far, the model hasn't spread to college textbooks _ partly for fear that faculty would consider ads undignified."

Undignified, that's all? What about that advertisers in textbooks could eventually gain enough clout to influence the content? I don't see Ford or Exxon being too comfortable sponsoring a science book that talks about global warming, for example.

Textbook prices are the least of higher ed's worries.

And, as with any large and complex problem, it won't be long now before politicians of all stripes see the mutual benefit in pretending to solve it together.

They'll manage to get together for five minutes without sniping at each other, pick off the smallest of the problems, and declare the crisis in higher ed to be solved.

Read more...

trai_dep

There's a matter of consent. It can be argued that buying a magazine is an implicit consent to view ads therein. Or strolling along Times Square.

Students can't CHOOSE which text books to read. Yet their eyeballs are the ones that are monetized.

Want cheaper books? Try coming out w/ less superfluous editions (I recall almost every year a "new" edition came out, containing VERY little new material but effectively killing the used book market for that course's book the following year).

Book leasing would be an interesting business model to try out, except for the above shennannigans by publishers. The fault isn't in the stars, dear Brutus, it's the book publishers.

RotoAuthority

Why are textbook prices the least of higher ed's worries? I mean, if you're referring to the students, the prices are a joke on some campuses.

Found on the Ground

I mean that textbook costs are not nearly as crushing as the debt most students will graduate with.

So, while textbook prices certainly are outrageous, and relief in that area is a worth-while subject to focus on, it seems like an easy target compared with the fact that the current generation graduating from college is going forth with a financial burden heavier than any that American society has ever asked young people to carry before.

Quality students will not choose to be public servants such as teachers, nurses, or librarians, because it doesn't enable them to pay off their college debt.

It seems that more and more low- and moderate-income students are being effectively priced out of higher education, which isn't good for anyone.

Oh, also, I saw an interesting article today by Randall Stross at NY Times on ads in textbooks, called "Words of Wisdom vs. Words From Our Sponsor".

He says:

Textbooks used in the classroom are, like the instructors themselves, extensions of a university's autonomy and no more likely to be considered an appropriate place for corporate ads than the classroom lectern (or the instructor's forehead).

"Freeload Press seems unlikely to be the company that will succeed in adding commercial messages to the typical college textbook.

"Its problems begin with that unfortunate name, which conjures an image of party crashers cadging free beer, not a publishing concern striving for the highest intellectual standards. It was founded two years ago and has found the going slow."

Read more...