Saving Money with Open Textbooks

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One day a few years ago a student came to ask Sonoma State University Chemistry Professor Steve Farmer a question during his office hours. The student was shaking slightly. When he asked why, Farmer was shocked to hear it was because the student hadn’t yet eaten that day. It was then he realized the high cost of textbooks led to some students skipping meals to buy required books. Farmer knew at that moment he had to do something to help.
“I found out that one of my class’ books was $400 in our campus bookstore,” he says. “So I started looking into alternatives to these expensive books.”
In the eight years since that encounter, Farmer has become one of the most prolific users of the free, open-source textbook website LibreText (formerly ChemWiki).  Now, using open source information on the site, 200 Sonoma State chemistry students are able to save roughly $10,000 total per year on textbooks.
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30 essential items for college students

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As a recent college graduate, I remember the excitement leading up to move-in day as well as the enormous amount of packing I did. That process was made a whole lot easier when my aunt gave me a laundry basket full of essentials (and some treats, too!). Here’s my guide to things that definitely come in handy in your home-away-from-home. Package all or some of them together for the most useful gift imaginable:

Topics include personal essential dorm items, linens, rook essentials, beyond the dorm. Go to my list

OU to begin using Open Textbook Network, a free textbook resource

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Textbook prices can drastically affect a student’s bank account, but faculty members at Ohio University Libraries are looking to reduce those costs.

Open Textbook Network, or OTN, a resource for peer-reviewed academic textbooks, will start being used on campus come fall semester.

Kelly Broughton, the assistant dean for research & education services at OU, said, as a member of OTN, OU Libraries now has access to a suite of materials to adapt to the faculty at OU in support of efforts to reduce the costs of course materials to students.

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Top 10 Must-Have Apps for Students

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Expert Author Varun Kumar

College time is a challenging phase of the life. Everything you do, it can have good or bad effects on your future. Many challenges are waiting in your way and overcoming them would be quite simple for you, if you become a tech savvy guy. Today, every adult uses the Smartphone and it has become quite an essential part of our lives. Youngsters mostly use their cutting-edge smartphones for chatting, gaming and social networking, but this device was built for many other important works. Students can take advantage of this device to improve their knowledge and gain better grades in the exam.

You may get amazed by knowing that many graduates are using Smartphone apps to improve their skills. The app designers introduce some great features related to employment and education plans. The educational apps bring students on a platform, where they can share their study plans, notes and update each other with upcoming opportunities. Things become quite better and easier, when smart people work in collaboration with each other. You can ask some genius students of your class to download some useful apps and help you in your studies. We are listing the Top 10 Must-Have Apps for Students, which can make the study easier and more enjoyable for them.


When it comes to choose the note taking apps, experts suggest only Evernote. It is the best app that comprises features like creating, clipping and bookmarking important notes. Students can create a personal library to store essential notes related to their field. This app works as an amazing to-do list program. It holds records for your daily works and it shows notifications on right time. It is quite better than other bulky to-do-list apps. You can get Evernote app for both iOS and Android smartphones and it is compatible with all the web browsers.


It is an exceptional support for your learning. CliffNotes is an interesting app, which faculties hate the most. It preciously eliminates needs of books, if you download all the chapters related to your course in the app. It is free for iOS platform users and they can get it through the iTunes app store. Android users can also get the basic version of the app for free. This app introduces educational guide with digital layout. This app features Cream Plan for short time studies and Full Study Plan for complete study of the notes. Choose your plan and get it started now.


There is no need to attend boring French or Spanish classes anymore because now you can have the most interesting source of learning exotic languages. Let’s download Duolingo and start learning any language you want. It comprises languages like English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch and many others. You can download it for free from the iTunes or Google Play Store and start learning your favorite language.

Wolfram Alpha:

This app is a hug of information regarding any topic you need. You can use it to generate the current unemployment rate across the nation or world or find the solution for any complex equation. Wolfram Alpha comprises the best computing power that turns it into a great source of solutions. Search it on any famous app store and you will get it for free there. It is quite user-friendly and a smart app for your Smartphone.

Scanner Pro:

Now there is no need to find a digital scanner for scanning the copies of the documents. Scanner Pro is a great tool for Android, iOS and Windows platform based smartphones. It creates high-quality scan copies of documents, which you can attach in mails and then send it to your classmates and teachers. It is a great tool for sharing notes and other details on smartphones.


RefMe is quite a famous platform for referring projects and papers. It is widely used on the web and now it is also available as app. This would be quite easy to use, even better than the desktop site. Whether you want reference for your projects or for papers, use this app and you will find multiple references. This app is also the best guide for creating new projects with authentic references. All the daunting phases of projects become quite easier with this app.


When you have got a project to do in your college, at least three people would work on a project. It is necessary to keep records of how much work has been done and how much work is left to do. You can create a to-do-list by using Wonderlist and share it with your classmates to keep them updated. It helps you in finishing your job much faster. You can form reminders, set the time for completion of project and finish the work according to plan.


The maximum kids of 90s have used the paper planner to keep records of assignments, homework and tests. Many of us have forgotten it, but that paper planner is now turned into a digital app and it is famous as myHomework app. It is available for almost platforms and you can download this app from Google Play Store, iTunes or any other app store. It helps you in being updated with pending assignments, upcoming tests and projects. You will not miss any important date, if you use this app.

Sleep Cycle:

Every student hates waking up early in the morning. Many students don’t sleep enough and feel quite tired the next day. Sleep Cycle is built especially for those students, who don’t take healthy sleeps. It analyzes your sleeping pattern and helps you in taking healthy nap every night. Now no more tiredness and no more health issues because you will know that when you should sleep and when you should wake up in the morning.


Nowadays, every student keeps the Smartphone in his pocket. This phone is quite essential for every person and sometimes it also becomes the reason of punishment. Suppose, you are in the class, the teacher is teaching a serious topic and your relatives or friends starts calling. This would be the worst part of whole day, if you have forgotten to silent your Smartphone. No teacher appreciates such misbehavior and you should be careful about it. After all, we are not machines, who can do everything perfectly. That’s why you need help of an app that can silent your Smartphone automatically during college time. Studious is that app, which you are searching for. You can set schedules of your class in this app and then feel tension free during the class time.

All the apps we have mentioned above are built especially for students by considering their various requirements. Almost smartphones offer 5GB-8GB internal storage capacity. You should use that large amount of memory to store some useful apps for perfect study. You will be a better student in your studies and you won’t miss any opportunity to prove you are a sincere student. All the apps in above given list are free to download. Some apps may charge a few bucks for their premium versions, but not all. So, choose apps that you need the most and download them now to be good in your studies.

I am Varun Kumar working as a Freelance Guest Blogger & content Writer. I love to write on Gadgets and Apps

I would like to add a Number 11 great App for college students, Cheap-Textbooks Price Search Android App. The App finds the lowest local and online book prices including Rental, Used, eBook, New and International. We also show you the best prices to sell back textbooks. Your phone camera becomes a barcode scanner for quick results. Rent or Buy directly from the app or email the results to yourself, parents or others in your address book. Compare college textbook prices anywhere on your Android device to find the cheap sources

Why You Should Go Away for College

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In the past decade, an undergraduate degree or some other form of advanced training has become more vital than ever, to successfully enter meaningful employment. Today, an undergraduate degree has the same employment obtainment power as the high school diploma did for former generations. However, college is more than just getting a degree. More than ever college is about obtaining real world experience, creating life-long connections, and developing into a well-rounded individual. There are so many questions to think about when going to college. What do I want my major to be? What do I want to do when I graduate? Etc. However, the most important question might be, where do I want to go to school? There are two important considerations unrelated to major: Stay at or close to home? Move far away from home?

Some of the most vital reasons to go away to college are recounted here, as lived by me, a real live college senior.

1. It gives you greater independence.

It allows you to thrive in a way you cannot if mom and dad are a 5 minute to 1 hour drive away, or in the next room. If you’re still living at home you never get the chance to meet challenges without the crutch of a parent coming through the door momentarily.You have always relied on your parents.The closer they are, the fewer the opportunities to break that pattern.

When you don’t live at home there is no one to wake you up in the morning to make sure you go to your 8am class, you simply have to be self-motivated to succeed. Going away to college allows you to cut the tie and learn to do things for yourself, whether it be setting up a dentist appointment, or in more advanced years, paying your electric bill.

2. It’s a chance to discover who you are

The average college student is still discovering who they are while they are in college. Going to a new place for college can open you up to experiences and people you would never meet in your hometown. This can help shape your life and become who you want to be. Not who your parents want you to be. Not whom your childhood friends and peers see you as. Something more, something still changing and still growing. Can you grow and change closer to your parents. Of course, you can. However, people often say college is a time for experimentation. Being away at university helps you figure out, in an unfamiliar environment, what you like, what you do not like, and what you want to do with your life.

If you stay at home you are more likely to keep doing what you have always done. This may not be a bad thing. However, moving somewhere new could help you discover a completely different side of yourself. Micro-cultures are a fact. Going away to school increases your opportunities to discover other ideas, and ways of living, rather than sticking with the familiar and comfortable.

3. It pushes you out of your comfort zone

Starting over in a new place can be scary, especially when you do not know anyone. It is a very valuable skill to have and one you will probably need after university.

The average individual needs to experience new people at some point in their life, rather than be surrounded by familiar faces. In order to learn how to handle people and grow culturally as a person, one must place themselves in a new environment with faces that are anything but familiar.

People who are successful in the real world know how to handle people in different situations. They need to adapt to being more outgoing and social even if they are an introvert. These skills can be obtained by going to college away from home.

High school graduates wanting to go to college should give serious consideration to moving away from home. Going away for college provides additional opportunities for a student to develop priceless real world skills, ahead of the peer who remains closer to the home. It will improve their odds of meeting their full potential, provided they understand self-discipline when it comes to class attendance and homework.

While getting a degree is the main focal point in going to college, one should not underestimate the many other benefits of attending a university. Especially one miles away from home.


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