Textbook Transformation: IPFW Pressing Ahead Into Digital World

By Jeff Neumeyer

May 13, 2013 Updated May 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- More students leaving high school for college are going to be casting traditional textbooks aside, and using digital textbooks instead.

IPFW in Fort Wayne is making the transition, claiming students will be saving lots of money in the process.

Most young people are fine with the idea anyway, because they see the benefits of saying “Out with the old, in with the new”.

IPFW last summer launched a new program called "includED", providing students with all their required textbooks digitally as part of one, discounted fee.

It started with 40 students on board, but the numbers are exploding.

By this fall semester, it's expected more than 5,000 students on the campus will study from digital textbooks.

IPFW officials cite research data, supporting the notion that students realize cost savings of between 40 and 60 percent when using digital textbooks.

The new way of learning is filtering down to the middle and high school level.

" A lot of them are starting to move to digital books. Those students are going to be coming, hopefully here to IPFW in the next year or so, and so, it'll be a pretty much seamless transition from k-12 to IPFW, using the digital materials," says Samantha Birk, the university’s associate director of instructional technologies.

Many kids choose to simply not buy the traditional textbooks, partly because of cost.

Birk hopes availability of digital textbooks will reverse that trend, so more kids don't struggle to keep up with classroom demands.

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