Two new players just made some splash in the race to the market shares of online textbooks. Amazon.com just announced a textbook rental program that lets students decide the length of the rental and adjusts the price, and even offer a rent-to-buy option. All student annotations remain available, even after the rental is over.
McGraw-Hill also came up with a new option for electronic textbooks called McGraw-Hill Campus. This initiative allows institutions to integrate McGraw-Hill content in a learning management system without requiring users to login to their site.
MH Campus® is a service that allows faculty (whether using McGraw-Hill books or not in their course) to instantly browse, search and access McGraw-Hill educational materials and services (e.g. eBooks, test banks, PowerPoint slides, animations and learning objects, etc.) within the school’s Learning Management System (LMS) at no additional cost to the institution.
McGraw-Hill basically uses its bank of non-textbook external resources to promote the use of their textbooks. That’s pretty smart and useful to educators, in my opinion.
These commercial offerings are great for students who don’t want to buy an expensive textbook, even in a digital format.