4 Sources Of Open-Source Textbooks | TeachThought
" ... For several years, ed-tech advocates in traditional and online schools have heralded digital textbooks as the wave of the future — and many schools, both k-12 and post-secondary, have their surfboards ready to ride that wave. In Huntsville, Alabama, schools are taking steps to become the first in the nation to use only digital textbooks. In Florida, recent legislation requires that in 2015, all K-12 instructional materials must be provided in a digital format. In fact, in February 2012, the Obama administration called for all students to use digital textbooks by 2017, in conjunction with the release of its Digital Learning Playbook. But as schools pledge to embrace electronic textbooks to save money and enhance learning, and proponents genuflect to South Korea as the leader in both educational technology and outcomes (textbooks in South Korea will be nearly entirely digital by 2015), skeptics contend that digital textbooks aren’t living up to their promise. They point to recent studies, such as one by Daytona State College, that found cost savings of only one dollar for students who used electronic textbooks instead of printed material ... Amidst the clatter of the debate, one group of advocates is making an important distinction: Not all digital textbooks are created equally. These are supporters of the open source movement. Open-source educational resources — usually abbreviated as OER — are distinct from other digital media in their licensing agreements. These books have an open copyright license that enables anyone to access the publication, and to alter and distribute it without infringing on any copyright agreement, such as the calculus teacher mentioned above ..."