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Sunday, September 28, 2008

E-books and law schools

There have been a few articles on e-textbooks recently. The Seattlepi reported this week that law schools, book publishers and e-book device makers Amazon and Sony were expected to meet in Seattle yesterday. The focus? e-books for law schools.

The article notes that "A typical law student lugs around 28 pounds of books worth about $1,000 per semester. In creating cutting-edge future lawyers, some legal professors say, paper is a problem." It goes on, "What this workshop will do is bring the reformers of legal academics together -- the most distinguished scholars who have built their reputations on pedagogical reforms." Having discussions about the pedagogical aspects of e-textbooks is a critical step for the eventual adoption of the technology in higher education.

As noted in a follow-up piece that appeared in The Pendulum,

The Kindle costs $359 on Amazon.com, which is relative to what a college student may spend on books for one semester. The wireless service is free and allows access to the store, e-mail and Wikipedia.org. The absence of paper will contribute largely to cutting costs. Although the device is pricey, it could save students money in the long run. A better timeline for the possible adoption of this technology by universities may be more apparent after the results of Saturday’s meeting between publishers, device makers and school representatives are announced.

We will be watching for follow-up news and will post links in here when we learn more about anything that came out of the meeting.

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