Charles Lowe came to our class to talk to us about copyright, Writing Spaces, and the film Rip: A Remix Manifesto. We asked him questions and he answered them, and then one of my classmates interviewed him.
Dr. Lowe was very nice and very funny, but also a little intimidating. He has so much knowledge about so many things, at first it makes him hard to talk to. (Plus he’s forevermore tall, especially compared to me!) I was a little nervous about asking him questions because I didn’t want to ask the wrong thing, or ask something and make myself feel stupid. But the more our class talked to him, the easier it became to speak up and ask the questions I wanted answered.
He answered all of our questions to the best of his ability, even when we didn’t really know how to phrase what we were trying to ask. His ideas about open textbooks such as Writing Spaces and how they would affect the book publishing industry were very interesting. I never realized how much money the textbook companies made. But it does make sense when you think about it. Textbooks don’t come in and out of style based on who reads and recommends them. Students don’t usually have the option to buy the book, or to not buy the book. (We didn’t have to buy the book for this class. But I didn’t know that, so I spent almost $200 on a book I didn’t even need!) Plus classes (like math) have material that hasn’t changed for the past few hundred years, and probably won’t be changing anytime soon. The publishers just make their money from printing new editions of the same material over and over.
If everybody had the incentive to do something about the amount of money spent on textbooks, like Dr. Lowe, it would majorly cut the amount of money students spend during their college experience. Like Dr. Lowe said, writing teachers should be able to write their own textbooks. That way, the teachers are teaching what they want to teach and what they feel is important, and the student is saving money.