Open Source Textbooks

August 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

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    • the average student spends US$702 on textbooks per year.

    • E–books have been touted as a potential solution to high textbook costs (Butler, 2009; Albanese, 2009). An advantage of digital texts is that they “can include videos and simulations” which can help deepen student understanding (Kingsbury and Galloway, 2006). Rising sales of e–books in general (e.g., Amazon’s Kindle) may indicate a growing opportunity for electronic textbooks. On the other hand, e–books come with disadvantages. Digital rights management technologies prevent some e–books from being downloaded or used on multiple computers, and it is difficult or impossible to resell an e–book (Foster, 2005). In addition, some studies suggest students read printed pages faster than text on a screen; this may lead some students to prefer reading printed text instead of reading from the screen (Mercieca, 2004).

    • Why might an open source business model make sense for e–textbooks? One reason is that the digital version of a textbook is relatively inexpensive to distribute.

    • In the United States the two largest commercial providers of free textbooks are Textbook Media and Flat World Knowledge.

    • FWK makes their books available for customization and remixing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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