Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Digital Textbooks Win in California

In May 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced an initiative “to make California the first state in the nation to offer schools free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students.”


Math and science texts were emphasized.


California currently spends about $400 million per year on textbooks.

Earlier this week, the results were announced, and they are surprising:

Of the 16 free digital textbooks for high school math and science reviewed, ten meet at least 90 percent of California’s standards. Four meet 100 percent of standards, ... .

A group that did very well in the initiative was CK12.org, a non-profit dedicated to using open source approaches to reduce the cost of textbooks for K-12 students around the world. They call their textbooks “Flexbooks,” and they’re available as PDFs under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA).

[http://about.ck12.org/]

[snip]

Interestingly,
Pearson Education’s biology textbook only met 31 of 67 content standards. The list of standards not met is very long in the final report.

CK12.org has also partnered with Virginia to expand its efforts.

[snip]

But with $400 million on the table in one of the nation’s largest economies, it may be only a matter of time before that money is redirected toward closing that divide.

1 comment:

  1. Content is now beginning to be created around free digital textbooks http://www.sagemilk.com/press.php. Open source digital textbooks could offer even move value than traditional textbooks because supplimental learning material will be created from many sources. What's next chemistry taught by iPhone?

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