The California Learning Resource Network is proud to announce the review results for Phase Three of Governor Schwarzenneger’s Digital Textbook Initiative. During Phases One and Two of the initiative, CLRN reviewed free and open-source textbooks that could be downloaded as either a PDF or as an open-source EPUB file. Phase Three focused on one direction future digital textbooks may take: online, interactive textbooks. For this round, CLRN accepted both commercial and open-source textbooks that were both online and contained at least one interactive component. While fourteen “books” were received for review, today’s release includes thirteen results and the news is dramatic.
Six of the thirteen submissions met all the content standards for their courses, and two resources met all but one standard for their courses. In all, ten interactive textbooks met more than 90% of the content standards.
CLRN would like to thank the CK-12 Foundation, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, and Teachers Curriculum Institute for contributing resources for review.
Phase Three results prove that high-quality, interactive textbooks are in the pipeline and that publishers are working to create media-rich resources that engage students as they master the content standards.
Phase One of the Digital Textbook Initiative focused on math and science high school textbooks, including geometry, algebra II, trigonometry, calculus, biology/life science, chemistry, physics, and earth sciences. Within two weeks, content developers submitted 20 books for review. CLRN’s mathematics and science review sites, located at the Kings and Humboldt County Offices of Education, reviewed each book for alignment to California’s academic content standards and reported back their findings. After four books were withdrawn, CLRN found that four of the 16 books met all the content standards for their courses and an additional four met all but one standard.
Hoping to encourage content developers to support the open-source format for e-books, EPUB, Phase Two of the Initiative asked publishers to submit resources in the EPUB or PDF formats. CLRN added two mathematics courses to the original four: linear algebra and probability and statistics as well as four history-social science courses. In all, professors and CK-12 submitted 17 books for review during Phase Two, of which 11 had Creative Commons licenses. Ten of those books met all the content standards for their courses. Combined, CLRN reviewed 37 high school textbooks, finding that fourteen books met all the content standards for their courses. An additional five books met all but one standard. Sources for these books are evenly divided between college professors and CK-12. Complete reviews and a full report about each digital textbook are available on CLRN’s web site.