Education department goes digital with textbooks

Education major Yesenia Macias, Sioux City, uses her iPad to access digital textbooks for the first time as professors Dr. Kathy Knipper and Dr. Ruth Schock look on.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — For a college student, nothing brings on the “back-to-school blues” like paying for textbooks.

That’s why the Briar Cliff education department is thinking “green,” saving money — and the environment — by going digital. Starting this semester, all education textbooks will be electronic, available online with a pin code and a few clicks.

“The digital library is dramatically cheaper than buying or renting textbooks.”

— Dr. Kristen Crabtree-Groff, education division chair

“Bring on the 21st century!” says Dr. Kristen Crabtree Groff, the division chair of education at BCU.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the price for new textbooks has risen nearly 80 percent over the past decade. That’s an unnecessary expense for a college student who’s already stretched thin, according to Crabtree-Groff.

“The digital library is dramatically cheaper than buying or renting textbooks,” she says.

It’s also environmentally friendly, which falls in line with Briar Cliff’s theme for the 2013-14 academic year: "Reverencing Creation." And since every BCU undergraduate already receives an iPad tablet, you’ll be seeing fewer students hauling those 50-pound backpacks around campus.

Says Crabtree-Groff: “You can just bring your iPad to all your education classes and never have to carry those heavy books."

She adds that the digital textbooks offer all the same things the physical versions did — and more:

"The digital library includes study materials, additional resources and videos," she says. "You will be able to highlight, take notes and print sections."

Tags: Campus, Academics, Education