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Pearson Launches Pearson +, Netflix’s Wannabe for Textbooks

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Photo: Adam Berry (Getty Images)

As if there weren’t enough services with a “+” in the name, here’s another one for your list: Pearson +, Netflix’s popular college textbooks.

Pearson recently introduced Pearson +, a desktop and mobile application that will offer e-textbooks from the company’s catalog on a two-tier subscription model. A one-level course for $ 9.99 per month gives students access to one Pearson textbook, while a multi-level course for $ 14.99 gives students access to over 1,500 textbooks. In a press release, the company said Pearson + will offer students the “most flexible and inexpensive” way to access digital textbooks and learning tools. The app will be released on US campuses. in the fall

If you compare this offer with the prices for printed textbooks on Pearson’s website website for the moment, which includes laboratory manual at $ 63.99 and engineering textbook at $ 181.32 among a host of other prices – that sounds like a bargain.

“It is clear to students that they prefer the convenience and accessibility of digital learning tools like Pearson +,” Pearson CEO Andy Byrd said in a press release. “With Pearson +, we are reimagining the learning experience for students and building a direct relationship with them, which will allow us to further improve the product by adding the features they want.”

Byrd added that the company wants students to spend less time worrying about buying their books and more time in college. In addition to digital textbooks, Pearson + subscribers will also receive a suite of learning tools, including audio versions of books, advanced search functions, previewmade and customizable cards, and the ability to change the fonts and backgrounds of books, among others.

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Now, while this all sounds trendy, let’s recall the key thought here: Pearson + allows one-time or unlimited access to Pearson’s book catalog. This can be very nice, but how Financial Times notes that many students are given textbooks from various publishers.

It can also create another problem: forcing professors to choose textbooks that may not be the best for the class.

“Perhaps access agreements or pressure from students with subscriptions means that faculty members are forced to buy a textbook that is not necessarily best suited for a given course,” Eddie Watson, deputy vice president. President for Curricula and Educational innovation at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Times reported. “The risk is that this excludes other options that may be more open and accessible.”

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