While I’ve written at length about Clayton Christensen’s Disrupting Class book, another disruptive innovation on the horizon is digital textbooks and a related disruption, open source digital textbooks. On May 6th, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched an initiative to make California the first state in the nation to offer schools free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students. The purpose of the Free Digital Textbook Initiative is to provide students, teachers, and parents free digital textbooks for high schools that cover the course content in mathematics and science.
CLRN is proud to be a partner in this innovative initiative.
Today, May 27th, Governor Schwarzenegger, Superintendent O’Connell, and the State Board of Education announced a call for submission of free digital textbooks. Between today and June 15th, CLRN will work with content developers of open source digital textbooks to submit their downloadable textbooks for review. While several wiki-type textbooks are available on the web, which contain interactive links, this first phase of the project will be limited to those resources that can be downloaded. Mathematics subjects that will be reviewed include geometry, algebra II, trigonometry, and calculus. Science textbooks will include physics, chemistry, biology/life sciences, and earth sciences.
Beginning in late June, CLRN’s mathematics review site, coordinated by Jim Shaver, and CLRN’s science review site, coordinated by Cathy Dickerson, will commence reviews, which are expected to be completed by July 23rd.
You might be surprised how many open source textbooks are out there.
CK-12, <http://ck12.org> a California non-profit, specializes in creating high-quality, open source textbooks. They’ve created a new model, the Flexbook, where users can customize the content in their books. The Commonwealth of Virginia recently took advantage of CK-12 by creating the “21st Century Physics” Flexbook to supplement their adopted physics text.
The Free High School Science Textbook project < http://www.fhsst.org/ > is a University of Cape Town, South Africa initiative that has created physics, chemistry, and mathematics books for high school students.
Textbook Revolution < http://www.textbookrevolution.org > is a student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors. The volunteers have assembled links to a variety of textbooks which are organized by subject. Users may also search by keyword or browse by copyright license, including public domain, Creative Commons, and All Rights Reserved.
Merlot, short for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, is run by the California State University Chancellor’s Office. Merlot < http://www.merlot.org/ > has compiled a list of more than 200 open source college textbooks, many of which are appropriate for high school classrooms.
These are just a few of the projects that collect links to open source textbooks. I’m certain we’ll discover more as textbook submissions progress.
open source textbook California CLRN Textbook Revolution CK12 MERLOT review