2016 in Review- Print's Comeback Continues

It's still going.  Print's comeback surged into 2016 and kept running. And running.

Finding stories about Open Educational Resources (OER) on college campuses of any size became common and identified the "Demise of the Textbook Mafia". (The word got out about the textbook racket.) Students and instructors are pushing for more OER options and finding ways to grow OER. Everywhere. OER lowers costs and improves ease of use for students & instructors.

A followup on the 2015 situation with Alain Bourget at Cal- Fullerton, where the professor opted-out of using the expensive textbook required by their department for cheaper, better options. OER is the textbook of the future. OER creator OpenStax talked about how they choose which subjects to focus on.

Also related to Open Source, Creative Commons weighed in on a case between Great Minds and Fedex.  The rights of the end-user to print commercially for their own use are at issue in this case, which has a direct impact on the students' cost, choice of format, and the instructors' overall ease of use for open source documents. The High Court of India ruled in favor of educational use exemptions (Fair Use) in their country, and included with their ruling the statement that "Copyright is not a divine right". The Great Minds v Fedex has yet to be decided. We will be watching how this plays out in the coming year.

We heard more about how Millenials love print, this time from Naomi Baron in a great interview.  YouTube gaming sensation PewDiePie wrote a book this year, and created a video about it. That trend extends to other age groups in a Pew Research study found that 40% of people read physical books exclusively while only 6% only use eBooks exclusively. We saw this interesting TED talk by that explains how our brains map in 3D by relating information to edges, barriers, and borders, which has some intriguing similarities to why there may be learning advantages to using print vs digital formats.

Also related to print and education, we saw more on how handwriting is a desirable difficulty with positive impacts on memory, and some instructors are now banning laptops in class. We have learned before that students who used longhand remembered more and had a deeper understanding of the material.

Oh yea, and we saw what happens when someone tries to crush a book with a hydraulic press. It has a good ending, just like we hope everyone has for 2016.

Print is good. See you in 2017!