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Open Textbooks Are An Ideal Solution, But Are They A Realistic Solution?

I highly recommend checking out the University System of Georgia’s webpage on open source textbooks at: http://www.usg.edu/facultyresources/resources/open_textbooks/

I feel that they really capture the true definition of — AND — the benefits of, open source textbooks. These online textbooks are commonly referred to as open educational resources or OER.

The gang over at http://www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks-reports/a-cover-to-cover-solution released a very interesting executive summary of their summer 2010 report: “A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability”

They break the report’s findings into THREE crucial suggestions designed for improvement in student textbook availability and distribution.

1. Textbook affordability solutions must satisfy a wide range of student preferences.

2. Traditional cost-reducing options have limited potential because they only appeal to a subset of students.

3. Open textbooks can reduce costs for all students and have the potential for long-term sustainability.

I feel that their report finding’s reflect the all-too-common, yet all-too-ignored everyday financial struggle of college students worldwide. The solution of open textbooks makes perfect sense in an ideal world, but the profit-motive is SURE to be a factor in how well this educational-model is embraced by the masses. The masses being the textbook publishers of course, as a select few textbook companies appear to have VERY solid foundations and roots within the higher institutions of America and they tend to “run the educational material show” overseas as well. It will be an interesting next few years in the digital learning industry, that’s for sure!

What do you think about the future of open textbooks?

Source Article: http://www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks-reports/a-cover-to-cover-solution

Source Article: http://www.usg.edu/facultyresources/resources/open_textbooks/

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