Category Archives: Boundless News

Boundless in the News: Textbook Industry Changes

breaking the bindings of traditional textbooks

This week we’re excited to be included in stories about the changing textbook industry.

boundless in fast company

Disrupting the Lucrative Textbook Industry

Fast Company explored the history of the textbooks this week, and questioned the emergence of digital offerings in this industry. When more than two-thirds of students report not purchasing a textbook due to cost, it’s clear affordable, modern alternatives are needed.

To be truly disruptive in the industry, you have to be innovative in what you offer — both for students and educators. CEO Ariel Diaz told Fast Company:

“We started with a focus on students to make sure that we’re building great products for them. In addition, along the way, we saw an increasing number of educators coming to Boundless to use the content in their classroom.”

Read the article. Continue reading

Boundless: Award-Winning Digital Textbooks

Boundless - Award-Winning Digital Textbooks

EdTech Digest recently crowned Boundless as the winner of its 2014 Cool Tools Award for Digital Textbooks. We’re honored to be selected as the winner in this category as we continue to serve millions of students with our digital textbook offerings.

Boundless includes an array of study tools and learning technology that make our textbooks more effective than traditional textbooks. Austin J. from Princeton University told us recently that our learning technology is a crucial part of his studying. He said:

The continuous review that Boundless weaves into its chapters and quizzes are dynamite. This reinforcement ensures that hard learned facts are not forgotten as the course progresses, and allowed me to build on the material MUCH easier than I would have been able to do with a traditional textbook.

The judges at EdTech Digest recognized Boundless’ leadership in digital reading and studying in its annual awards. 

“There is a lot of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these cool tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero, who oversees the program as Editor in Chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps, and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward this education revolution for the benefit of future generations.”

As we march on to a post-textbook world — one where we finally put down traditional textbooks and move toward more modular and effective alternatives, in digital form — we’re honored to be recognized as a leader in this space.

Read the announcement on EdTech Digest. 

How to Use Open Resources in the Classroom

how to use open resources

With the cost of education higher than ever before, educators are turning to affordable, accessible educational content options. The wealth of open resources available online means educators have countless options for their classes, but actually finding and implementing this material in the class can be a daunting task for many.

Boundless CEO Ariel Diaz recently co-hosted a webinar with Dr. Tracey Wyatt, Dean of Assessment and Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness at York College, on how to use open resources in the classroom. Catch highlights from their webinar below, and view their slides to learn more.

The Benefits of Open Resources

Open educational resources, also known as OER, provide vast, high-quality content that can be molded and utilized across many different platforms. These resources are used across the educational landscape for teaching, learning, and assessment. Continue reading

Feel the Love: Educators Tell Us Why They Love Boundless

Professors across the country have been assigning their students Boundless textbooks instead of traditional print textbooks. Because Boundless prices are a fraction of the cost students are usually asked to pay, both professors and students benefit from Boundless textbooks – plus, our online textbooks come with built-in study and teaching aides as part of our Boundless Learning Technology and Teaching Platform. If you’re thinking about switching your classroom to Boundless soon,  these educators can tell you what it’s like.

Our content is vetted and curated by a team of subject matter experts, and is peer reviewed to ensure that it meets our high quality standards. Even after our content is published, we continue to improve it based on feedback from thousands of professors and students who use it every day. Dr. T. Heath Ogden, an Assistant Professor of Utah Valley University, remarked on the quality of Boundless content.

Heath Ogden

I would recommend Boundless to instructors who are looking for quality, vetted, open source material, that is easily customized to the content level and detail for introductory Biology Classes. Continue reading

Boundless Report: Ushering in a Post-Textbook World

Today, Boundless is releasing our report Ushering in a Post-Textbook World to highlight college students’ transition from traditional to digital learning resources. We surveyed nearly 650 college students about how they study, the high cost of textbooks, and exactly how they feel about the move to digital alternatives. We found that digital learning alternatives are quickly becoming as popular, and even overcoming, traditional resources. These trends are leading us closer to a post-textbook world, where physical reference materials give way to digital resources that deliver better education with greater access.

Download a copy of our report, or read a summary below.

report cover.001

Continue reading

The Right Time to Study: Spaced Repetition Helps You Study Better

boundless spaced repetition.001

At Boundless, we constantly work to improve learning through technology. Helping students study more effectively is one of our key goals — and the Boundless Learning Technology in our premium textbooks helps students understand and remember concepts better, so they’re better prepared for class and lifelong learning. Spaced repetition is a core component of our learning technology.

This is the second in a two part series about the science behind Boundless Learning Technology. Read part one, which focuses on active recall.

What is spaced repetition?

Spaced repetition shows that there is an ideal time to practice what you’ve learned to best remember the information. Our learning tech knows this, and optimizes student studying to match up with this ideal timing. Continue reading

Using Boundless Teaching Aids in Your Class

Boundless makes teaching easier for educators with customizable textbooks and teaching aids as part of our Teaching Platform. Save time in your busy schedule with pre-built teaching slides customized to your Boundless textbook!

PowerPoint presentations for every chapter

Once you’ve selected a book and created a class in your account, click the “Teaching Resources” tab inside your class page. This gives you instant access to download PowerPoint slides that match the content in your textbook. Presentations are available for each chapter of your book, and include chapter and section outlines, summaries of key concepts, definitions of key terms, and visual aids.

Easy to edit and share

Boundless provides a strong foundation for class slides, but we know each educator has a unique teaching style. So we’ve made our slides completely editable and shareable. Tweak, re-order, or add to the content in your slides as you see fit. We even encourage you to share the finished results with your colleagues and  community. Continue reading

Watch: Boundless CEO Speaks at White House Education Datapalooza

Earlier this month CEO Ariel Diaz presented Boundless to more than 600 attendees at the White House Education Datapalooza. The Datapalooza featured innovations in postsecondary education, including Boundless. Ariel showed how Boundless uses open content and data to create affordable, effective teaching and learning tools used by millions.

Watch his talk!

Check out slides from the talk below.

Boundless Goes to Washington: CEO to Speak at Education Datapalooza

Today, Boundless CEO Ariel Diaz will be in Washington to present at the White House’s Education Datapalooza, which highlights innovations in education. Diaz will discuss how Boundless uses open content and technology to provide more effective, affordable, and accessible education for millions of learners.

Watch video from Ariel’s presentation!

Read more about the event and Ariel’s presentation in the press release below and tune into the live stream.

boundless education datapalooza

Boundless CEO to Present at the White House’s Education Datapalooza
Ariel Diaz to Discuss How Data and Technology can Improve Quality, Access and Affordability of Education

Boston, MA (January 15, 2014)Boundless, a company creating affordable and effective online textbooks and learning tools that improve education for millions of students, today announced that CEO Ariel Diaz will present at The White House’s second annual Education Datapalooza. The event will highlight innovations in postsecondary education, including Diaz’s presentation.

“The Education Datapalooza is a perfect environment to discuss how technology and data can improve higher education by lowering costs and increasing accessibility to education,” said Diaz. “Boundless is uniquely positioned to turn the textbook industry on its head, a $7 billion industry that affects nearly every student who attends college today. Textbook costs are now 812 percent higher than they were three decades ago, and students struggle to shoulder the cost burden each semester. I look forward to presenting our approach to democratizing textbooks and bringing affordable, high-quality educational content to more students.”

Ariel Diaz is the founder and CEO of Boundless, a company creating affordable college textbooks from the best open content on the Internet. As an experienced entrepreneur, Diaz understands the opportunity to improve the educational landscape and help students save money by directly offering them high-quality textbook alternatives. Learn more about Boundless online at

photo credit: Francisco Diez via photopin cc

Marching Forward: Boundless Settles Lawsuit with Traditional Publishers, Continues to Change Education

Our founding goal: improve education
Boundless was founded to change and improve the foundation of one of the world’s oldest industries: education. We set out to bring education into the digital age with affordable products students and educators would love. In 2010, as the idea for Boundless began to take shape, the iPad had just been introduced, and it was clear that with the combined power of the Internet and open educational content change was coming to education. We were ready.

We were ready because we knew that education was in desperate need of innovation. Just take a quick look at the state of education today: Costs are surging, to the detriment of students mired in over a trillion dollars of debt. Effectiveness is plummeting, with the US no longer near the top of developed nations. And it’s going in this direction at a time when the world is changing faster than ever, making education, and the skills needed for lifelong learning, more important than ever.

Over the past three years, Boundless has grown steadily, pursuing our goal of changing education. What started as a crazy and fragile idea morphed into an early prototype, as we launched our beta product in the fall of 2011.

The plot thickens: sued by incumbents
Shortly after launch, about a year into our development and during our beta period, we received the unfortunate and surprising news that we were being sued by three of the world’s largest textbook publishers: Pearson Education, Cengage Learning and Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing Group (owned by Macmillan Publishers).

The case alleged unfair competition, false advertising, and copyright infringement, while not accusing us of copying actual text. We disagreed with the allegations and immediately took to defending ourselves publicly and in court. Our country is built on respect for law, which is vital to maintain progress and innovation. The legal system can also be slow, so it was critical that while defending ourselves we continued to focus on what was within our control—innovation on behalf of students and education.

We took the news in stride, and continued growing our team and focusing on doing what we do best – building great products, responding to the needs of students, and learning quickly about this emerging world.

Resolving our dispute and moving forward
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve settled the lawsuit. In agreeing to a confidential settlement agreement, along with a public judgment and injunction entered by the Court, the parties have resolved the dispute. The resolution allows the parties to move forward and focus on their mutually shared goal of helping students learn. Boundless now has a clear path for building and marketing its OER-driven textbook alternatives without treading upon the Plaintiffs’ rights, and it is confident that it is in compliance and will not have further legal issues with the Plaintiff publishers. In turn, Plaintiffs have reinforced the strong protection they have in and to their copyrighted works and the related goodwill that they and their authors have established, and look forward to Boundless operating its business within the agreed upon framework.

A year and a half of progress and innovation
Looking back, it’s incredible to reflect on all we’ve accomplished in the year and a half since the lawsuit began.

At the time of the lawsuit in March of 2012, our beta product was reaching a few thousand students, in three subjects with about 10 titles. Our product was a very basic web-only reader and our team had less than 10 people.

Since then, we have doubled the size of our amazing team, released two major student-facing products, built a brand new educator platform, grown our content sevenfold, and increased our usage and reach more than 3 million students and educators. This is not only incredibly exciting, it is also a testament to the strength of our team and vision.

All along the way, we’ve been focused on the student experience to provide affordable, better learning tools. This month, we opened Boundless up to educators, too, with a the new Boundless Teaching Platform. This new platform empowers educators to customize and assign affordable textbooks. It also goes beyond textbooks with the ability to track student progress, assign readings and homework, and download editable and shareable PowerPoint slides to support their lectures.


Marching towards our vision and a post-textbook world
While it’s fun to reflect on what we’ve done, it’s even more important to look ahead to what we still have left to do to change education.

We live in a time with amazing technology and opportunity. We carry around the entirety of human knowledge in our pockets. Whether this helps you satisfy a nagging trivia question, self-diagnose a bodily pain you have, or expand your knowledge, it’s clear our interconnectedness is revolutionizing all sorts of industries and solving real-world problems.

And yet, given how far we’ve come in so many areas, it’s incredibly sad and frustrating to think how far behind we are in the world of education and educational content. We all deserve better.

Today’s technology means that we can achieve better quality products AND lower costs. Yesterday’s trade offs of cost at the expense of quality (or vice versa) are no longer relevant in a world full of digital surplus.

Furthermore, the educational publishing industry is in the midst of the biggest and most exciting transformation in decades. We are seeing a transition from physical to digital, especially increasingly mobile. A transition to open content powered by the Internet. An opportunity to create communities of learners, educators, and content creators like we’ve never seen before. An opportunity for world class products to quickly reach millions and millions of students with the efficient distribution we’re seeing.

The transition to a digital educational content foundation has been slowed by a conservative industry, a search for new business models, and a lack of great products.

Thankfully, we’re finally on the verge of solving this.

Ariel Diaz
Founder and CEO, Boundless