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from the publisher’s desk
WITH SCHOOL SOON to be in session, we are pleased to
offer this special back-to-school issue to help you get your
students off to a successful new year.
If your students need help with their schoolwork,
they’ll want to check out the Khan Academy at www.khan
academy.org. Rather than put his Harvard MBA and three
degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to
work in a high-paying career, Costco member Sal Khan
chose to create a nonprofit online school dedicated to providing a free world-class education for anyone. Millions of
students have watched more than 4,120 free instructional
videos offering lessons in math, science, computer science,
history and more. Khan and his team believe in “flipping the classroom” and creating
personalized adaptive learning experiences through technology. You can read more about
Khan in our cover story, beginning on page 30.
We all remember a favorite teacher who made a difference in our life. Teacher Jeff
Charbonneau is one such memorable teacher dedicated to uplifting his students’ academic
and personal success. President Obama recently honored him with the National Teacher of
the Year award. We congratulate Charbonneau and his family, including his proud dad, a
Costco employee in Yakima, Washington.
This issue includes several articles to help you select the right dorm room supplies
(page 37) and the right technology tools (page 38) for a student. You’ll also find all kinds
of school supplies in the warehouses and on Costco.com. This is probably a good time to
check your printer’s ink supply so it does not run out the night before an important paper
is due. Costco’s ink cartridge refill program can save you money on top-quality cartridges
for printers from most major manufacturers. Cartridge prices range from just $7.99 to
$9.99 and are safe to use. Read more about our refill program on page 81 or stop by the
1-Hour Photo Center in your warehouse for more information.
Planning to squeeze in a few more barbecues before school starts? You’ll find barbecue
wine-pairing tips from Annette Alvarez-Peters on page 63 and twists on building burgers
on page 66. Enjoy the dog days of summer, from all of us at Costco. C
Ginnie Roeglin is Senior Vice
President, E-Commerce and
Publishing, and Publisher of
The Costco Connection.
from the editor’s desk
David W. Fuller
I HAVE WRITTEN before about the ways in which our
American institutions have been changing. Economic
institutions, journalistic institutions, political institutions,
entertainment institutions: All have undergone sea changes
in the past decade. Much of this has been due to the digital revolution, some of it is due to demographic shifts as
the boomers age and more than a little of it is due to
efforts at rectifying abuses or avoiding future abuses.
College is yet another American institution that is
likely to undergo an immense change in the coming few
years. Why? Money. The cost of a college education
has so far outpaced the growth in wages and average incomes that it is leaving many
millions of potential students without the opportunities of the past. Extrapolate the figure
out another decade or so and you are left scratching your head as to how any but a few
will be able to afford a private or even a top public higher education.
The marketplace may be on the verge of responding, however. Sal Khan, this
month’s cover subject (page 30), has developed an interesting online model in which
the cost of education through the college level has been not just reduced but eliminated.
Inspired by Khan, Google guru Sebastian Thrun founded Udacity, which offers free
college classes, and other innovators have also created successful online schools. Several
major universities have been dabbling with similar approaches. There’s even a term for
such operations: massive open online courses (aka MOOCs).
Can online education, without the character-building eyeball-to-eyeball social
interaction and often joyous chaos of a physical campus, really substitute for an
education as we know it? Will hybrids emerge to bring the costs within reach? It is
way too soon to know. C
David W. Fuller is Assistant
Vice President, Publishing, and
Editor of The Costco Connection.