University students will soon be buying or renting digital textbooks, says Dan Rosensweig, revolutionizing one of the lamentable rites of a university education: lugging heavy and expensive textbooks all over campus. Rosensweig is a Silicon Valley insider who, a year and a half ago, stepped down as C.E.O. of Guitar Hero to pioneer tomorrow’s digital university. According to Rosensweig, over 90 percent of students still buy or rent traditional paper textbooks and the digital information they do receive is often non-required reading material.
What’s the Big Idea?
The future of university education is digital. As digital devices continue to improve, the book as we know it will all but disappear from university students’ classroom experience. But this is only one feature of the coming digital campus. Student-to-student applications will allow classes to connect socially, discuss lessons, rate professors, exchange and even sell class notes. Rosensweig is helping to develop an online student-to-student business where the truant can purchase class notes written by those who attend classes.