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Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services

Jan 27, 2010 Round-Up: Open-Source Textbooks

posted: Wed, Jan 27, 2010

Weekly collection of news on the web, rotating through the following topics: open-source textbooks, language instruction, proficiency testing, lecture captures, and information technology in higher education.

  • Richard Baraniuk on open-source learning (ted.com)
    "Rice University professor Richard Baraniuk explains the vision behind Connexions, his open-source, online education system. It cuts out the textbook, allowing teachers to share and modify course materials freely, anywhere in the world."
  • Texas Seeks Open Textbooks (oerconsortium.org)
    "The Texas Education Agency (TEA) seeks 'to identify and acquire state-developed/state owned open-source textbooks'". PDF download of TEA proposal available.
  • California Open Source Textbook Project (opensourcetext.org)
    Project web site. "The California Open Source Textbook Project (COSTP) is a collaborative, public/private undertaking. It has been created to address the high cost, content range, and consistent shortages of K-12 textbooks in California."
  • Wondering what cool new technologies are on the Horizon? (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
    "Well then look no further than the Horizon Report! Published each year as a joint publication of the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), the Horizon Report seeks to identify the six technologies that have the greatest potential to impact education over the next five years." What's coming within the next year? Open content and mobile computing.
  • Prescription for consumers challenging academic textbook cartels (boingboing.net)
    Presents "an overview of U.S. academic textbook marketing politics," including suggested remedies and open-source textbook alternatives.
  • Pricey textbooks go digital (Times Herald-Record online; Middleton, NY)
    Several upstate NY institutions -- Mount St. Mary College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Orange, Marist College -- are making electronic versions of textbooks available to students, as textbook prices and the demand for alternatives increase.
  • Some professors using alternatives to expensive textbooks (statepress.com; serving Arizona State Univ)
    "ASU instructors are using alternative resources in the face of rising textbook prices to help their students’ pocketbooks."

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