Open Source Textbooks? Brilliant!

Paul Lilly

A recent article in The New York Times is a must read for any college student. No, it doesn't illustrate 101 different ways of serving up Ramen Noodles and other low-cost cuisine, but it does examine the idea of open-source textbooks, which could very well leave plenty of room in the budget for more robust meals (or bigger parties).

Spearheading the open-source textbook movement is Scott G. McNealy, co-founder and former chief executive of Sun Microsystems. Ever since Oracle acquired Sun earlier this year, McNealy has been focusing his attention on Curriki, an online portal for free textbooks and other course material.

"We are spending $8 billion to $15 billion per year on textbooks [in the U.S.], McNealy says. "It seems to me we could be put all that online for free."

Open-source textbooks, which are often written by retired teachers or groups of teachers, are starting to gain in popularity, according to The New York Times. But NYT says the movement has also been slow going.

Read the full article here .

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