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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Rental Firm Making Inroads with Students

Packback has received plenty of attention since its founders earned a $250,000 investment on the ABC program “Shark Tank.” The startup is an e-textbook platform that allows students to rent titles for 24 hours at an average cost of $5.

Founded by a pair of Illinois State University undergrads in 2012, the company already features 2,500 titles, has deals with the University of Chicago Press and Sage Publications, and provided content for a pilot program with McGraw-Hill Higher Education last fall.

During the pilot, 27% of students on campus rented or purchased a digital textbook from Packback. That percentage was considered successful since a student survey found that 47% said they already had the course material when the program was launched.

“We’re disrupting the used-book market disruption and paving the way to organic student adoption of the next great learning tech products,” co-founder Mike Shannon told The Washington Post, “all the while kicking back significant new revenue streams to learning content providers.”

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