Professors and instructors seek an unbiased way to assess textbook quality and fit, thus professor reviews of textbooks and ancillary materials they have used are key,” said John Squires, CEO of Akademos. “
Faculty feedback also suggests that discovering more affordable textbooks is a challenge because non-commercial materials such as OER texts are difficult to find and compare. What we think professors really want to know is, “How do I find the highest quality textbook with the best affordability, which fits my coursework and my students’ needs?” Akademos launched the Adoption Tool on April 18, 2012 with a webinar that featured a number of key speakers, Brian Jacobs, Ph.D. Founder and President of Akademos, Eric Fingerhut, J.D. Vice President for Education and STEM Learning at Battelle Memorial Institute, and Phyllis H. Hillwig, Ed.D. Chief Operating Officer, Words & Numbers. In this webinar not only did they discuss the launch of the Adoption Tool, but they also touched upon the challenges in the adoption process for faculty and offered solutions on how to ease this process and make it more efficient for both faculty and administration. For years Akademos has been ahead of the fray by giving its faculty options when it comes to adopting textbooks for their classes. Items like CoursePacks and Flatworld Knowledge reproductions offered affordable alternatives to the traditional textbooks. Technological innovations is another way that Akademos has stayed leaders in the game, when it comes to institutions and knowing what a school needs and wants for its students. With the launch of their eReader, their selection of ebooks allows students to purchase virtual versions of their textbooks at a significantly lower cost and gives them the convenience of having access to their book anywhere they are with a WiFi connection. Their eReader allows students to highlight and leave notes just as they would in a traditional textbook, but allows those notes to be changed or removed if the student wishes. These are just some of the ways that Akademos has tapped into the advances in technology while keeping the tradition of physical textbooks to lower the costs for parents and students. Students are in debt today at an alarming rate; student loans are reaching the hundreds of thousands and when they finally graduate, they are bogged down by debt and high interest rates that can take a lifetime to pay off. The debate over student loan debt and interest rates rage on in our government, but little is known to the public as to what booksellers like Akademos are doing to help their kids make that debt just a tad smaller. Educating students on how to shop smart for textbooks is just one way that colleges can assist them in making the right decisions, while parents can teach their children the importance of money management and saving from an early age. By the time many students get to college, it’s the first experience they’ve had with managing money or having a debit card and it can and does get them into trouble, if they don’t budget properly. Suze Orman has written a great title, The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. While this mainly deals with after college debt, it can also help with how to avoid making some of the mistakes that many college kids make when they go off to school. What Akademos is offering faculty with the Adoption Tool is a great easy way to find all of your subjects in one place, all of the most effective and popular textbook titles reviewed by peers, sorted by quality and affordability, so that faculty can have a hand in solving our student loan crisis. Allowing schools to budget wisely, saving faculty out of pocket expenses and giving students more affordable options sounds like a win-win deal to me. The future of education is upon us and it’s time we ride the wave rather than watching it pass us by.
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