Jeffrey R. Young

As Textbook Companies Try New Options, Many Students Say Price Is Biggest Factor

Professors assign textbooks (or other materials) that they view as required to succeed in their courses, but some students say they go in with a wait-and-see attitude: They delay a week or two into the semester, and then obtain only the materials that seem truly necessary to them.“I try to read the vibe of the teacher and see how it’s going to be,” says Ursula Abdala, a senior at University of Texas at Arlington. “If I feel that one book will save my life this semester, I’ll break down and buy it,” she says. “I’m usually broke.”

Turning a Football Field into a Farm: How the ‘Urban Work College’ Could Lower College Costs

When Michael Sorrell took over as president of Paul Quinn College in 2007, the place was nearly broke and faced a possible loss of accreditation. Sorrell wasn’t interested in following the usual playbook for running a college, so he took unusual steps right from the start. He cut the football program, for instance, and turned the playing field into an urban farm.

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As Campuses Move to Embrace OER, College Libraries Become Key Players

Textbook publishers typically deploy sales reps to campuses to convince professors to adopt their titles. But who makes the pitch for free or low-cost alternatives to textbooks known as OER, or open educational resources?Increasingly, the answer is the campus library.

New Media Consortium Unexpectedly Shuts Down, Citing ‘Errors and Omissions’ by CFO

A nonprofit known for its annual “Horizon Reports” on the future of technology at K-12 schools, universities, and museums abruptly shut down this month after officials discovered the organization was out of money.“The New Media Consortium (NMC) regrets to announce that because of apparent errors and omissions by its former Controller and Chief Financial Officer, the organization finds itself insolvent,” the group said in an email message sent to its members on Monday afternoon. “Consequently, NMC must cease operations immediately.”

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Ready Station1? Former MIT Dean Shares More Details About Her New Research University

When Christine Ortiz announced nearly two years ago that she was taking leave from her job as a dean at MIT to build a new kind of research university, the idea went viral, even though she offered few details. The effort didn’t even have a name yet.

How Teaching Using Mindfulness or Growth Mindset Can Backfire

Art Markman is an expert on what makes people tick. The psychology professor at UT Austin has also become a popular voice working to translate research from the lab into advice for a general audience. He’s co-authored popular books, including Brain Briefs Answers to the Most and Least Pressing Questions About Your Mind. He also writes a blog for Psychology Today magazine, and co-hosts a podcast through Austin’s NPR station called Two Guys on Your Head.

How a Blind Student Who Felt Locked Out of STEM Classes Challenged—and Changed—Her University

Students who are blind rarely major in math or science, and Emily Schlenker understands why, from personal experience.A pre-med major at Wichita State University, Schlenker was born without sight. But that hasn’t slowed down her fascination with organic chemistry. What has repeatedly snagged her ability to study it, however, has been when homework assignments include charts and graphs that her screen-reading software can’t process.

Hitting Reset, Knewton Tries New Strategy: Competing With Textbook Publishers

Knewton drew heaps of hype and investment by promising to provide artificial-intelligence technology to major textbook companies to make their content more adaptive. Now the company has pivoted, and it is poised to formally announce its own online courseware that will compete head-to-head with those publishing giants.

In a City Marked By Low Economic Mobility, One University Hopes to Build a ‘Tech Pipeline’

For Terik Tidwell, teaching kids to code is not just about algorithms or apps—it’s about economic mobility.

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Libraries Look to Big Data to Measure Their Worth—And Better Help Students

Libraries have long counted up the books on their shelves to show their value. That meant Harvard University’s library (with 18.9-million books) was clearly superior to Duke University’s (with 6.1-million volumes) or University of California at Riverside’s (with a mere 3 million titles).

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