Working for Change has a cool article up about how Allegheny College in PA is trying to do away with text books. The first class (logically, I suppose), to do so was the Intro to Enviromental Science class. Instead of using a textbook, they developed a website with “readings” which linked to sites all over the web like the US Census Burae, the EPA, and the National Park Service. Its a really quite cool idea. As noted in the article, in the end it provides three things that textbooks do not, can not provide:
1 Saves Money. Average Enviro Science textbook cost? $100 Cost of the site? $0
2 Saves Trees. Apparently 20% of the paper the US uses every year goes to, you guessed it, text books. So thats 5 million trees annualy.
3 Accuracy. No textbook can possibly be as up-to-date as a website. Its just not possible.
Anyhow, check it out.