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Kyle Denlinger @kyledenlinger
, 12 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Hey #OpenEd people, get ready for a rant.
I just learned that my campus bookstore is going with Cengage Unlimited. The "Netflix for Textbooks." One price ($120) per student per semester, thru the bookstore. I have *feelings* about this, but I don't see much written about it, so here goes. 1/
Cengage Unlimited is billed as a cost-saving mechanism, which is fine. But this is assuming that it gets wide faculty adoption, which isn't a given. Otherwise, it's just another cost on top of traditional textbooks. 2/
Actually, *worst-case scenario* is wide adoption. If there's wide adoption, that means massive platform lock-in, and it's game over for both faculty and students. Here's why: 3/
Platform lock-in means a two things: reduced choice and inevitably higher prices. 4/
Reduced choice: faculty can now only choose those textbooks and homework systems on the platform. If they want something from outside of the platform, that's an add'l cost to the student. 5/
Reduced choice: students can no longer choose where or how to buy their books. The market for used, rented, and borrowed books is basically destroyed. Pay the fee or you don't have access. 6/
Higher prices: if Cengage eventually achieves the goal of significantly reducing costs by having every student pay only the $120 fee and nothing else, well, that sounds like 100% platform lock-in. Guess what happens next? 7/
With faculty locked into the platform, that $120/semester starts. creeping. up. Why on earth wouldn't it? They've built a captive audience! And even when (if?) competition emerges, for faculty, switching platforms is a total pain. 8/
This ain't Netflix, where I can decide I don't want to pay $12/mo to watch TV, or decide go to Amazon and scratch my entertainment itch there. This is our teaching and our students' *learning* we're talking about. 9/
This isn't about cost savings. This is about platform lock-in. Resist this. 10/10
Oh, and there's this, which is delightful. blog.taaonline.net/2018/04/cengag…
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