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items tagged with St. Ambrose University

A Textbook Case: Why Digital College Materials Haven’t Taken Off
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-23 14:13:03

At the beginning the school year, in a chemistry class at St. Ambrose University, Professor Margaret Legg offered students the option to buy a less-expensive e-book instead of the usual physical textbook. No one opted for the digital version.

Kelsey Berg, a sophomore majoring in biology, said she had already bought the hardcover edition. Had the e-book been offered before she bought it, Berg said she still wouldn't have purchased it. "I don't like reading on a computer. It's hard to concentrate," she said, adding that it wasn't worth the cost, either, because one can't sell an e-book back.

Many college students are embracing digital and open-source textbooks, which are accessed through computers and digital readers such as Amazon's Kindle. For some, it provides a more convenient way to carry multiple textbooks. Beyond being easier on students' backs, e-books are also better for the environment, because no natural resources are used in the production or transportation of a physical book.

But the major selling point is a lower cost compared to new textbooks. Textbooks cost an average of $900 per semester, according to the federal Government Accountability Office. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has been advocating for reducing the prices of textbooks, which they say have risen faster than the rate of inflation in the past several years.

Although e-books are often 50 percent less expensive than unused print editions of textbooks, the cost evaluation isn't quite so clear-cut. In many cases, there's little or no cost savings to students in the long run.

And some people, like Berg, resist e-books for other reasons.


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Fall’s Swell, and Ends Well: Fall Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-08-31 12:00:00

Kathi Osborne, Carrie Saloutos, and Jessica Swersey in Circa '21's Mid-Life! The Crisis MusicalAt last count, there were a whopping 46 area-theatre productions scheduled between September and December, and included among the titles are A Dog's Life, The Big Funk, Scrooge!, Don't Hug Me, and Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical. It's the season that my editor, Jeff, has been waiting for!


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Exit, Stage Left: Michael Kennedy Concludes His 40-Year St. Ambrose Tenure with "Sweeney Todd"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-04-14 12:00:00

Michael KennedySt. Ambrose University instructor Michael Kennedy, who has directed more than 75 collegiate theatre productions over the past 40 years, remembers the first - and, to his recollection, only - public complaint lodged against one of his shows, which appeared in the Diocese of Davenport's weekly newspaper The Catholic Messenger.


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Much Ado About Many Things: Spring Theatre in the Quad Cities and Surrounding Areas
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2009-03-04 01:43:43

The Prenzie Players' Much Ado About NothingThe Quad Cities' spring theatre season will be bookended by Shakespeare, with the March 6 opening of Much Ado About Nothing, and Sophocles, with the May 28 debut of Oedipus Rex. But just because these plays are, respectively, more than 400 and 2,400 years old, it probably isn't wise to enter them expecting the expected. This Sophocles, after all, is subtitled The Audacity of Oed, and this Shakespeare is being staged by the Prenzie Players, so in both works, you may as well expect anything to happen; considering our lineup also features titles by Stephen Sondheim, Neil Simon, Euripides, and Mel Brooks, I'm thinking you can say the same for the theatre season as a whole.


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The Essentials 2008: A Dozen Names to Remember
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2008-12-17 08:42:25

Essentials Tyson Danner (left) and James Bleecker (standing), with Jackie Madunic and Jason Platt, in Angels in America: Perestroika For the third year in a row, I've composed a list of 12 area-theatre participants who devoted their time, energy, and skills to numerous theatrical organizations and venues during the past year. And once again - happily and inspiringly - it hasn't been necessary to repeat names from one year to the next; local theatre, to the great good fortune of local audiences, never seems to run out of talent.


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