So Education Publishers are surviving the downturn?

Academic publishers – who publish educational materials for tertiary education amongst others are suggesting that they are less affected by the downturn. Take a look at McGraw-Hill Education, as a friend of mine said: “What to do when your market is crumbling? Rebrand…”.  Academic publishers may be finding it easier because, after all, students have to buy their study materials, right?

Wrong. Unless academic publishers change they will also not survive.  There is a change in the way that information is given to students, lecturers are trying to find a way around the publishing monopoly in many cases and they have nothing to lose.  Writing for a large publisher can often mean loss of copyright, low earnings, no ability to influence high pricing or format and for a lecturer their main priorities are:

  • maximum exposure and dissemination of their information
  • affordability for their students
  • flexibility in presenting the information

There are now many companies looking to providing just that, look at rCampus for one.

rCampus allows students or faculty to build their own website ‘in minutes’ including the ability to use custom domain names providing users with a free learning and course management, free tutor connection free book exchange, in essence creating an online virtual school.

  • Free learning & course Management
  • Free ePortfolios
  • Free Student, Faculty & Group Websites
  • Free Book exchange

Study and faculty groups can be formed and ePortfolios used for organising work.  The course management system (rCourse) has been built by faculty who have tested it in the classrooms.  rCourse offers a class website, coursework and assignment management, message boards etc.  The website also allows you to register for classes, find a tutor in your area, and book exchange – books can be sold directly to other students.

Students themselves no longer wish to buy large textbooks for the sake of a couple of chapters, and find different ways to find information.  The Networked Student: