back to article Students, rejoice ... and squint! Google rents out textbooks to mobes

Google is offering fanbois and fandroids the chance to borrow academic textbooks on their smartphones. The update to the Chocolate Factory's Google Play app to allow the lending of textbooks, which often prove prohibitively expensive for students. Its iOS update adds the ability to borrow rental books, something that …


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  1. James 51 Silver badge

    Sounds a bit like safari books. The OU has plenty of text books available through that and on their own site too. Nothing new in this, just a wider market.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    MIT open courseware anyone?

    C'mon we're in the 21stC already!

  3. Don Jefe

    School Requirements

    Schools get around this by requiring the student to have a physical copy of the required text. At the university where my wife occasionally teaches the professors aren't allowed to count the student as 'present' for the class if they don't own the book and have it with them.

    It is a blatant money grab by the universities and the authors (who are often the professors) but the practice has already been proven in court. The schools are allowed to define the criteria/accessories required for taking the class. It comes back to how screwed up financing higher education has become, but that's another rant.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: School Requirements

      A friend teaches a course at a world famous university where she is required to have quizzes which use a remote control multiple choice selecting gizmo that comes with the textbook

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: School Requirements

        I think my favorite was the book that included the syllabus and the rubrics for the class on copy/scan resistant paper. No book, no syllabus. It was obviously designed in such a convoluted manner than transcribing it was more work than it was worth to a student and it had zero resell or reuse value as they changed the syllabus every semester.

        God forbid a uni student spent some of their grant money on beer and condoms when there are books to be sold to captive audiences! When I went to school it was specifically stated in the Federal grant application that a small amount was included to 'allow the student to engage in the collegiate lifestyle and social activities'.

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: School Requirements

      Don't forget 'custom editions' that can only be had through the university bookstore. Talk about a money grab. If you had any doubt that universities are willing to screw their students that should seal it.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: School Requirements

        and a new edition every year or two to cut down on reselling. I absolutely detested that aspec of my degrees. It was usually the 'soft subjects' like HCI where this kind of bollocks occured. The actual coding (x86 \ ansi c \ java etc) either didn't have set texts or used more generic sanely priced ones. I much prefered the OU's approach.

  4. GaryDMN

    A bit late to the party

    K-12 textbook publishers in the USA and Europe have already standardized on iPad (iOS). They didn't do this recently, they have been providing iPad courseware and books for a couple years. Pearson is the largest and they have a full offering available for school systems. There are millions of students in the USA that the school systems provide iPads to and the students can bring them home during the school year.

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