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Open Source Textbooks

This is an update on a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Free Textbooks.

I came across an article dated from Monday on the Wired Blog Network: Open Source Textbooks, that I’d like to publicize/add to my two cents on the issue.

I’ll repost the most pertinent links from that article (you should still go an read it):

Flat World Knowledge

Open Content

Global Text Project

As all of you who are involved in higher education know, the system (for lack of a better word) faces some very serious problems.  Not, of course, that it’s the only industry that has obstacles to overcome, nor that it’s the end of the world or anything…

My take is that the relationship between economic disparity and education is among the toughest and most important challenges that education, preK – post grad, must overcome.  The facets of the issue range from inadequate college prep in poorer K-12 districts, higher ed options limited by finances, drastic differences in family and social support for students of different economic classes, to conflicts between students’ work and study schedules for students who need to hold jobs while in school (who I believe are a majority).  It seems to me that transitioning to new models for textbook distribution that offer more affordable options to students could provide a significant step toward creating a society in which ambition is more imporant than a family’s economic class.

Update (on the update) (9/11/08):

Virginia Announces Physics ‘Flexbook’ Solicitation
–Request for Collaboration calls for assistance in development of open source physics “Flexbook”–

also from Slashdot.

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