Students! Do you like the idea of lighter backpacks, more accessible course materials, and more money in your pockets? Then you will like a new initiative at Jackson College called Textbook Zero — or “TBZ” for short.
What is Textbook Zero (TBZ)?
Since Fall 2017, all courses at Jackson College offer digital text options. Students can still purchase regular printed texts if available and preferred, but digital course materials, including e-textbooks, will also be available.
What are the benefits of TBZ?
Digital texts are usually cheaper, faster, lighter, and better than regular textbooks:
- Cheaper: The price differential between e-texts and printed texts can range depending on the textbook, but on average, e-texts are 20% less than traditionally printed books. Some e-texts, known as Open Educational Resources (OERs), are totally free.
- Faster: No worries about book inventories and no hassle with long lines at the book store: Digital course materials can be accessible right away as long as you have an internet connection.
- Lighter: You can store all your digital course materials on one device—no more having to lug heavy textbooks everywhere you go.
- Better: According to a recent survey of college students, roughly 80 percent of students preferred using a digital device for school work activities compared with just working with printed materials.
Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey: College Students, conducted by Harris Poll, (June 2015). Accessible online at http://www.pearsoned.com/wp-content/uploads/2015-Pearson-Student-Mobile-Device-Survey-College.pdf
What kind of device do I need to access digital materials at Jackson College?
The minimum device specifications that we recommend to students as they look into device options that can maximize their learning at Jackson College include the following:
- Device should carry a current version of Windows. Windows 7 or higher is currently supported by Microsoft, but note that Windows 10 would be best in terms of longevity.
- It should have (or should be able to connect to) a physical keyboard. Tablet computers that offer a detachable keyboard meet this requirement.
- It should offer 8GB of RAM (memory) or higher.
- It should have dual band wifi capability (also known as 802.11ac). This includes both 2.4Ghz and 5 Ghz bands—both are available on campus. Note: The 5Ghz band handles heavy traffic better than 2.4 Ghz.
Important Note: Different programs may have more specific and more robust device specifications, but the specifications listed above are recommended as a minimum.
Do I need to buy a new device?
Just because we are making this recommendation doesn’t mean you must buy a new device. If you already have a laptop or desktop computer that you like, you should continue to use it until it becomes clear to you that it no longer meets your needs.
Where can I find one that meets the TBZ specifications?
Devices that meet the specifications above can be found at most computer retailers. On JC’s campus, there are two great options for students:
- The Jackson College Bookstore offers a variety of computer options and it also accepts financial aid as a form of payment (see below for details). Visit them in person on Central Campus in Potter Center or online at bkstr.com.
- A nonprofit organization called Digital Inclusion recently opened its doors on the first floor of William Atkinson Hall where the library is located. Visit http://direcycle.org for more information and to view the types of computers they may have in their inventory.
What options do I have to pay for a new device?
You can pay out-of-pocket anywhere computers are sold, including the JC Bookstore and Digital Inclusion. If you have remaining financial aid after paying tuition and course fees, visit the JC Bookstore, where you can use that balance to purchase a device, as well as other course-related materials. Only the JC Bookstore accepts financial aid as a payment option.
- Where can I find out more information about Textbook Zero?