More Open Textbook News

study released recently found that open textbooks can reduce costs for students by 80%, which would reduce average student spending from $900 to $184 per year. 

Unfortunately, open textbooks aren't yet available for every course, but there are still savings for students if teachers use them instead of traditional print texts or even eBooks from commercial publishers.

Some new textbooks are available for SociologyCollege Algebra and College Success. Repositories of open textbooks such as Open Textbook CatalogOrange Grove Texts (a project of the Univ. Press of Florida and Florida's digital repository) and College Open Textbooks can get you started in finding a suitable text.

There are a growing number of these repositories. As with many other "open" projects, there are opportunities for commercial services to connect to open projects Flat World Knowledge, a startup publisher of open textbooks operates on revenue from optional products such as print copies and study aids.

Writing Spaces is a project to develop a series of introduction to writing texts that  uses a model similar to academic journals.  Authors submit chapters or articles, which are peer reviewed by an editorial board and published as a collection.  Like other scholarly works, these open textbooks benefit authors by increasing their visibility among peers and satisfying requirements for tenure at some institutions.

The Open Course Library, which is jointly funded by the State of Washington and the Gates Foundation, will create open materials for the state's 81 largest community college courses.  The materials will include not only open textbooks, but other openly licensed resources such as lecture notes, PowerPoint slides and homework exercises.

Teachers can sign the Faculty Statement on Open Textbooks and help spread the word to their colleagues.


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