Open Source Textbooks? Brilliant!

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Biceps

Because the big publishing companies will sue and lobby and scare until it is made illegal - there is WAY too much money at stake here.  The basis of their argument will be quality-control and standardized curriculum, but they will do everything they can to make open-source texts illegal. Bet your bottom dollar.

Conspiracy theorist? No. Cynical? Definitely.

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willychamp36

That sounds like a real sound theory....publishing companies are going to sue professors and teachers for writing books and putting them online for free.  If that's the case couldn't Microsoft sue Linux for making their stuff free?

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jfunk46360

I am a high school teacher.  High school students are required to pay book rental, but many families can not pay or choose not to pay.  That puts the burden back on the local school district.  I would like to see open source textbooks succeed simply because of the poor quality of published books.  I get tired of texbook companies tweaking the books slightly, slapping a new cover on the front, raising the edition number another notch, and changing a mint for the result.  Textbook companies have been gobbling each other up in recent years and the lack of competition shows in the poor quality of their books.

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silentrob187

As a college teacher this will help some, but it will not replace texts. It takes time to put this info together (lots of time) and there is very little prestige attached to it.  So if there is no money in it people will simply stop writing new texts, a must for science.  What you get for free will be exactly that--a free effort.  Of course for some intro classes this doesn't matter much, but for other classes it does.  I think the custom texts being pushed by publishers is the real future (i.e. you choose which chapters you want).

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espalmer

As a techie this news is a bit old, but exciting none the less. As a teacher in an inner city high school I highly doubt this will work. Over 1/2 my kids do not have a computer at home, if they do 1/2 of them do not have access to the internet. Most use their cellphones for IM and twitting.

Also this overlooks the fact why the publishers make testbooks....$$$$$$. If it is free there goes their business model. Perhaps the cost could be cut to districts that "subscribe" to the online services. The trees would love less hard copies ;)

 

 

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roninnder

I believe this is targeted towards college students.  Do high school students have to buy their textbooks now?

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