Who remembers the Kinko’s packet?

28 01 2010

Who remembers the Kinko’s packet? I’m talking about thick copy booklets with plastic binding that used to be a mainstay in college education. Since I was a history major, I remember them in practically every class in college. As I’m currently looking at the two-part monster I got for my Economic Sociology graduate seminar in Fall 1993, I can say with certainty that they lasted into the 1990s….until the Copyright Police took them away.

Might the iPad serve as their functional equivalent? From the Atlantic online:

Apple hasn’t yet released the particulars of its iBook app, but it heralds a potential textbook revolution for three reasons. First if the online store allows chapters to be purchased individually, professors and students will enjoy unprecedented freedom to assign chapters rather than volumes. That would be welcome news for cash-strapped students since textbooks can easily run $300 or more a semester, even though much of the content goes unread.

Please, let it be true. Please.


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3 responses

29 01 2010
Cassandra

The schools I attended had different procedures for coursepacks:

At Highly Selective College, they just gave us copies paid for by the departments. Except for new profs, who no one told they had copying privileges. Many of us were peeved at having to pay $10 for 5-10 articles, but we did it.

At Snotty Ivy Grad School, they had an campus copy business that sucked us for every dollar they could. They were the first to start touting the whole Copyright Police party line, so we just bit our tongues and started to find ways to make our own copies on the cheap. This worked for most profs, except for the out-of-touch, who didn’t really care about what we paid for their out-of-date articles that weren’t in the library, any database, or even the department library.

At Semi-Public Research U, I encountered a mixture of the above, with a heavy leaning towards “I’ll put this folder of master copies somewhere you all can make copies and return them at your leisure.” Except, well, those masters always seemed to go missing only to reappear the day the readings were supposed to be done by. (Thanks, thieving grad students! You’re the best!) Then the library starting allowing “electronic holds,” where a prof could submit a request, the library would acquire an electronic copy (complete with all copyright permissions), and we could download, print &/or read a copy at our whims. This seems the best option, especially since they were able to get permission to use chapters of out-of-print books.

I see no reason why the textbook monopoly would sell milk (individual chapters) when they are already making a fortune by forcing people to buy the whole cow (the way overpriced textbook). Right now, more people could start shifting to the coursepack by using older materials, but they oftentimes cannot due to institutional pressures.

Heck, I’ve even heard the kinderflakes whine they’d prefer to buy a book (which they can sell back for pennies on the dollar) instead of a bunch of useless photocopies. They have a slight point. Too bad they’re often not reading either one …

31 01 2010
Hue

This is minorly related to what your blog is about….my friend in Alabama teaches English Composition to college freshmen. Her first assignment….12 students texted it to her….written in OMG!!!! They were shocked when she gave them 0s!

I’m so old that when one made a “xerox” copy, the powder would make the page dark grey and it came off on your hands. I also know how to do shorthand and have an old cloth typewriter ribbon and a pack of carbon paper on my shelf for the nostalgia!

Kinkos? I lusted after those spiral-bound booklets!

1 02 2010
Jonathan Rees

Hue:

I’ve seen studies that say that texting does not change the way students write. Nevertheless, I don’t believe them.

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