Tag Archives: Merlot

Digital Textbooks and Open Educational Resources – Summary of SOCHE Think TV session

On Tuesday, May 3rd I recorded a 15 minute segment for the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education on Think TV, the local public television station in Dayton, Ohio.  My topic was the rise of digital textbooks and options available for students and faculty to access and produce textbooks and learning materials.  Below is a snapshot of my general comments with links to various sources for more information.

Our current textbook system is broken.  We have arrived at $200 textbooks and have students who cannot afford them.  As a result, students try to borrow a textbook from the library or a friend (sometimes the older edition), purchase a used one, or go without.  Neither of these options provides revenue to the publisher, thus resulting in higher price points in an effort to recover the costs or production.   What can we do about this catch 22? Continue reading

Charleston Conference – Open Textbooks Model & Library Involvement

Jeff Shelstad, Founder and CEO of FlatWorld Knowledge spoke first.

Jeff provided some stats on higher education:

  • 19.1 million students in 2010 in college
  • $850 avg spent on textbook
  • so, it’s about a 10billion industry
  • Cengage, Pearson, McGraw-Hill are the big 3 publishers along with many other small ones

Problem is that the industry has outworn their value proposition and is not willing to pay for the product the industry is offering.  Affordability is a huge problem.

36% of community college student in a study said that the cost of textbooks had caused them to leave/dropout Continue reading

Ohio’s Digital Textbook Project Webinar Summary

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

Exploring Open Access E-textbooks

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.

10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians

Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time.  Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network   about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing.  While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries.  I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading