College of Liberal Arts

May 12, 2010 Round-Up: Open-Source Textbooks

Wed, May 12, 2010

More discussion of open source materials and devices in higher education this week.

  • May 12: Webinar: In Search of Affordable Textbooks: How "Open Access" Can Reduce Costs (The Future of Education)
    "This webinar will explore open-access textbooks, an increasingly popular solution that can help reduce costs dramatically."
  • Can Professors Teach Open Source? (
    "At, we think so, and we wrote a book to help. The following excerpt comes from the Foreword of our new textbook, Practical Open Source Software Exploration, which is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA-3.0. It's a book that works like an open source software project. In other words: patches welcome."
  • Teaching Open Source Software (Creative Commons)
    "If you’re like me, then you don’t know much about software; if you’re not like me, then you know about software but not much about open source software (OSS). Regardless of which camp you fall into, there’s good news—you can learn about open source software (and help others learn about it) through open educational resources on OSS online." 
  • The Virtual University (The American Prospect)
    "Why cash-strapped colleges need to stop worrying and learn to love the online classroom."
  • Dr. David Wiley, Chief Openness Officer Of Flat World Knowledge, Profiled In DIY U, New Book On Transforming Higher Ed (HigherEd Café)
    "A new book by Fast Company magazine staff writer Anya Kamenetz, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, hits stores this month and prominently profiles Flat World Knowledge and its Chief Openness Officer, Dr. David Wiley, as open-education innovators." 
  • A Comics Format Textbook Goes to Business School (Publishers Weekly)
    "Flat World Knowledge, an unusual 'open source' textbook publisher that offers its textbooks online for free, has teamed with three professors to produce, Atlas Black: Managing To Succeed, the first book in a comics format textbook series that teaches principles of business management at the college level."
  • EdTech: Why Can't Elroy Blog? (
    "The question for today is: Why are we spending huge sums of money on hardware and software licenses for the classroom—i.e. SmartBoards, BlackBoard, Databases, etc.—when most of the Internet-based learning environments are open source and free?"
  • Texas' Clout Over Textbooks Could Shift With Market (Texas Insider)
    "With the Texas board of education expected to adopt controversial new standards for social studies next month, many observers and news outlets have emphasized that the action may have ripple effects that reach classrooms far beyond the Lone Star State. [...] Yet the extent of Texas’ reach is a matter of debate, and recent legislation opens up new sources of digital learning materials for the state’s school districts."
  • The Device Versus the Book (Campus Technology)
    "When it comes to meeting the demands of academic reading, today's e-readers are not yet ready to replace the textbook." 
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