UNYP’s first semester with Perlego

Once again, we find ourselves wrapping up the Fall semester here at UNYP. Although 2020 has been a challenging year, it has pushed us to become more open to innovations and technologies that facilitate the education process and help students persist with their studies. One of these was our Perlego subscription, which significantly helped UNYP students and faculty to continue the semester uninterrupted during the second national lockdown in the Czech Republic.

The digital era has successfully disrupted the education system worldwide. A decade ago, we used printed textbooks; now we use online platforms such as Perlego, conveniently accessing our books through smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Although technology can’t replace the university experience, edtech provides resources to make education more convenient for professors and students alike. 

Perlego: an online digital library service for UNYP’s students and faculty 

In the fall of 2020, UNYP partnered with Perlego, an online library for academic and non-fiction books, to provide UNYP students with free digital textbooks. Online content has emerged as an essential solution to ensure that learning continues throughout the coronavirus epidemic, with many students unable to access books in the UNYP library. This collaboration enables UNYP to offer free and unrestricted access to all books published on the Perlego platform to all current students and faculty. Students can read from 400,000 titles across 500 subjects available from 2,800 publishers, using Perlego.com, tablets, and smartphone apps. 

We asked Dr. Dan Šťastný, Dean of UNYP’s School of Business, about his and his faculty’s experience of working with Perlego.

“From the educators’ point of view, online digital libraries such as Perlego greatly support students struggling at this time to access needed content and help them save money in the process. We know that managing finances can be one of the most stressful parts of the whole university experience for students. Each physical copy of each academic textbook (and textbooks are required for every class in every academic year) costs about 500-700 CZK. You do the math. UNYP is always looking for new ways to help our students, and we have them at the heart of everything that we do. We hope that during these difficult times, UNYP’s relationship with Perlego will provide our students with the additional tools and encouragement they need to achieve their ambitions. Especially this year, when everyone has had to continue studying and learning remotely.”

Dr. Šťastný added, “Many professors from my department expressed that they appreciate UNYP’s management effort in providing everyone with the resources they need to study remotely. Of course, Perlego is not going to replace the physical UNYP library, or the SUNY Empire online library, for example, but it certainly contributes to the variety of available resources for students of all disciplines: business and finance, marketing, international relations, political science, psychology, and communications. Naturally, there will still be people who will want to buy print textbooks because they prefer writing notes on the text. However, in my opinion, Perlego has solved this issue remarkably by adding an option to highlight the text and add notes, at least in the desktop version.” 

We live in the digital era when information has become more accessible, so universities and educators evolve and are more often required to play the role of mentors to their students, rather than instructors who repeat content to the class. For the University of New York in Prague, in these fast-changing times, the next logical move has been to explore new ways of providing library services online. 

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