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Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services

Apr 7, 2010 Round-Up: Open-Source Textbooks

posted: Wed, Apr 7, 2010

This week's round-up covers an influx of news on open-source resources and teaching strategies.

  • TOC Preview: The Future of Digital Textbooks (O'Reilly: Tools of Change for Publishing)
    "Technology is driving change in the way people teach, learn, and create. The impact of technology on teaching and learning in K-12, higher education, and professional learning has been profound, and, while no one can predict the future, it's safe to say this transformation has only just begun."
  • Open Courseware in the Liberal Arts (Inside Higher Ed)
    "Open courseware has been a transformative boon for do-it-yourself learners and institutions — particularly foreign universities — that lack the resources to develop top-flight courses and course materials on their own. But does it have anything to offer liberal arts colleges?"
  • Open Content's Higher Ed Calling (Campus Technology)
    "If the Horizon Report is on target, open content could become more mainstream in higher education this year. Such content is defined as any type of creative work or subject matter that allows for free and open copying and modifying of the information by anyone."
  • As Colleges Make Courses Available Free Online, Others Cash In (New York Times)
    "A computer in Logan, Utah, holds syllabus details, lecture notes, problem sets and exams from more than 80 Utah State University courses: but this is no secret cheat-sheet site put together by rogue hackers and pirates. Anyone, anywhere, with an Internet connection — from Bill Gates down — can log on and download these materials without cost."
  • 'Open' Your Textbooks, Please (The eLog ...eLearning at Clark College)
    "North Seattle College is hosting a Open Textbook Workshop on April 20, 2010, from 10-3, with lunch included. Come and join the effort in making textbooks more affordable. Become an advocate and trainer for Open Textbooks."
  • E-book readers: will secondary features win consumers’ hearts or leave them cold? (CrunchGear)
    "How many e-book readers do you think are out there right now for you to choose from? If you did a little digging, I bet you’d find 50 or so. Maybe 10 really worth checking out. But right now is a bit of a weird period in e-reader history. [...] [T]he question, upon the answer of which depends the success of many a device, is whether “bonus” features like second screens and weird form factors in e-readers will be enough to differentiate them from the high-profile devices pressing them on both flanks?"
  • The Course-to-Co-op Lifecycle: OpenInnovation@RIT (opensource.com)
    "There are many reasons to pursue a college education, but getting a good job is the top priority for most college graduates. The value of a degree program is closely tied to its ability to secure good jobs for its candidates -- and the Center for Student Innovation at RIT is betting that open source will play a major role in this process."
  • How a Couple of ex-Microsoft Guys Built An Open Source Powerhouse (NetworkWorld)
    "MindTouch has catapulted into a leading place in the enterprise collaborative market by harnessing open source."
  • Instructor Guide (Teaching Open Source)
    "Maybe you're an instructor, and you're using this textbook for your class. Maybe you're a self-learner, and you're walking through this textbook yourself. Either way, this appendix contains additional information that you need to consider."
  • Flat World Knowledge Partners With Barnes & Noble and NACS Media Solutions to Lower the Cost of College Textbooks (Yahoo!Finance)
    "Flat World Knowledge, the leading publisher of commercial open source college textbooks, today announced agreements with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and NACS Media Solutions (NMS) to distribute its low-cost textbooks to more than 3,000 college bookstores in their respective networks for the 2010 fall semester."

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