Remember that semester when you paid over $1,000 for textbooks, only to find out four months later that they were all worthless when you tried to sell them back to your local campus bookstore?
For dozens of years, the textbook industry has been able to con college students into a gamed system where students purchase expensive textbooks on top of an ever increasing tuition, housing and living situation. When students finish a semester, they come to a rude awakening that the books that cost them hundreds of dollars become worthless.
The textbook publishers had such a huge grip on the industry that they themselves dictated and worked to make sure students would be unable to find a way to save money on textbooks. Changed editions of textbooks could have only a few minor differences and prevent students from being able to sell their old textbooks. However that is all about to change.
A free and new service called Boundless has emerged and offers students at the University of South Florida a free alternative to textbooks. The service is made possible using Open Education Resources and by working with professors and Ph.D. students around the country. Students can search for their course name and textbook and find a Boundless alternative to their textbook. The interface allows students to take notes and make flash cards, more study tools will soon be available as well.
Hundreds of USF students have jumped at this new opportunity as they continue to deal with increased tuition costs and fees at the university, decreased scholarship funds, in addition to increased living costs due to gas and food price increases. If a textbook is found to be unavailable, a student's contact information is taken down and they can receive a notification when an alternative textbook for their course and textbook becomes available.
With the cost of education climbing and families searching for a way to cut costs, Boundless is exactly what is needed for the education industry today.