U of A and SU host national discussion about academic materials

News Staff - Thu Feb 09, 2012

Students face many rising costs for pursuing a university education, not the least of which is that for academic materials. This Thursday and Friday, stakeholders will discuss changing technology and approaches to creating and distributing textbooks and other products necessary for postsecondary education.

Educators, students, publishers, librarians and retailers will discuss how to ensure academic material industry quality and prosperity, now and in the future, during the Canadian Roundtable on Academic Materials, hosted by the U of A and the Students’ Union.

The first sessions began early Thursday morning, and will continue February 9-10, all throughout each day. Anyone interested in listening in on the sessions at any point can sign in as a guest here.

“New technology is changing the way academic materials can be used and distributed,” said Emerson Csorba, SU Vice-President (Academic) and an organizer of the conference.

“This conference presents an amazing opportunity to get all factions together to discuss how academic materials can become more affordable while still maintaining, or even increasing, their value to students.”

The medium for the conference is Elluminate, which is an online platform similar to Skype. By conducting the conference online, costs are minimized for all students and other participants involved.

Participating libraries, faculties and student associations come from all over Canada, including McMaster, Dalhousie, Saskatchewan, UBC, and Calgary. Major publishers, such as Cengage, Pearson and McGraw-Hill are also attending.

Topics at the conference will be presented by a variety of speakers from across Canada. Some topics include: Copyright Law; varying perspectives around digital books, academic materials and textbooks; the significance of the newly established Apple iTunes U initiative; and setting common strategies for CRAM in 2012 and beyond.

The last time CRAM took place was in 2008.

For more information please contact:
Jonathan Taves
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780-492-4236

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