Today I attended the webinar sponsored by the Ohio Board of Regents regarding Ohio’s digital textbook project. Speakers included: Darlene McCoy, Associate Vice Chancellor, Division of Affordability and Efficiency, University System of Ohio; Dr. Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project; Dr. Shu Z. Schiller, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Wright State University; and Eric Frank, President and Co-Founder, Flat World Knowledge.
Here are some notes I took from the webinar:
Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project – Improving the education of those in the state (of Ohio) is our mission and we hope to graduate 200,000 students in the next 10 years.
Steve provided a brief history of Ohio’s Digital Textbook Project which includes: Continue reading
On Monday I visited SAGE in Thousand Oaks, California and had the chance to talk with Michele Sordi, Vice President and Editorial Director for the Higher Education Group, about digital textbooks. We discussed the SAGE textbook program, barriers to digital textbook adoption, and the role of librarians in digital textbooks on campus.
Michele will join me, along with Eric Frank of FlatWorld Knowledge and Steve Acker, Research Director for the eTextOhio Project at the ACRL Conference next Spring on a panel, The Digital Textbook Movement: Opportunities and Challenges for Academic Libraries.
Questions for Michele can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The University System of Ohio has been a national leader in supporting innovations that help eliminate textbook costs as a financial barrier to college. Solving the textbook affordability crisis for Ohio college students is more pressing than ever, as large numbers of students turn to public institutions for high-quality, affordable education.
Please join Darlene McCoy, Associate Vice Chancellor, Division of Affordability and Efficiency, University System of Ohio; Dr. Steve Acker, Research Director, eTextOhio Project; Dr. Shu Z. Schiller, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Wright State University; and Eric Frank, President and Co-Founder, Flat World Knowledge, for a one-hour webcast to examine:
* Why textbooks costs have sky-rocketed
* How textbook costs impact students, faculty and institutions.
* Current initiatives by the University System of Ohio to address textbook affordability
* What defines open educational resources and open textbooks, and how they can reduce costs by 80 percent, while increasing quality and accessibility
Date: Monday, October 25th, 2010
Time: 3:00 pm ET
Duration: 40 minutes followed by a live Q&A session
The Curriki blog has a nice post highlighting 10 sources for free textbooks online. In addition to Curriki’s own site, they link to bookboon, flatworld knowledge, ck 12, open culture, Project Gutenberg, and others.
Great article today in Inside Higher Education, All in the Delivery, that discusses the rise of eBooks in higher education, specifically for textbooks. Kindle, iPad, CourseSmart, FlatWorld Knowledge, and of course print, are discussed in the context of the best method for delivery of academic ebooks. The author, Steve Kolowich, offers a nice overview and variety of stats and links. The comments thus far are nice as well.
Texas Tech University Professor, Jeremy Short, was tired of the boring and stale management textbooks, so he wrote a couple of graphic novels for his students instead. Using a college student character, Atlas Black, Short takes students through the life of a slacker college student who transforms to a successful entrepreneur.
What did the students thing? According to an article in Inside Higher Education, “formal evaluations showed that 86 percent of his students that used the book said they agreed or strongly agreed that it “compares favorably” to other management textbooks they’ve had, Short said. He added that the most rewarding part of the process teaching with Atlas Black is having students wonder what happens in the story when the book ends. “The idea of a student asking what comes next in a textbook is really just unfathomable,” he said.”
Another great part of this story, the book is published through Flatworld Knowledge, an open access textbook publisher. According to Flatworld, 25 professors will be using the Atlas Black textbook this fall.
A new Off The Shelf Column in Reference Books Bulletin (Booklist) explores open access e-textbooks. The CK12 Foundation, Connexions, Flatworld Knowledge, and Merlot are discussed. Other Off The Shelf pieces are on the articles page.
I am reproducing this post from the teleread blog, thanks Paul!
Flat World, the publisher of commercial open source college textbooks, had partnered with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and NACS Media Solutions to distribute their textbooks to over 3,000 college bookstores for the fall semester.
These are pilot programs and will launch in August. The average cost of a Flat Word textbook is $29.95 which, they say, is 75% lower than most conventional textbooks. The bookstores will receive digital files and the college instructors can then remix, reorder and add content. The stores than will use POD to provide paper copies.
(sp) I saw a presentation from FlatWorld at the TOC conference and discussed them in my top 10 takeaways from the conference. They have an interesting business model, I’ll be anxious to see if they find success at the college bookstores.
Tools of Change Conference – Future of Digital Textbooks, Feb. 23 10:45- 11:30
Speakers: John Warren (Moderator) , Eric Frank, Flatworld Knowledge; Frank Lyman, CourseSmart; Nicholas Smith, Agile Mind; and Neeru Khosle, CK12 Foundation
- What is your company doing?
- What challenge or problem are you trying to solve?
- Give an example of a successful business model and conversely, ones that don’t work.
- How will digital textbooks be consumed?