This still makes no sense to me. First, there’s no “copying.” Second, isn’t answering a question a “factual” statement? How can answering a question be copyright infringement?
Tag Archives: textbook
Ron Graham has a new post about two services for accessible textbooks: The AccessText Network and Texas Text Exchange (TTE). Both of these services involve digitizing textbooks and sharing them with others. From the post:
As a former blind college student, I know the value of, and appreciate, having accessible textbooks.
The textbook publisher Pearson has responded to California’s textbook initiative (reported by OEN) by submitting content for curriculum approval. According to their press release, the material supplements Biology, Chemistry, Algebra 2, and Geometry. From the press release, quoting the CEO of Pearson’s North America division:
There are many critical issues still to be resolved: how we ensure that low income and disadvantaged students receive equal access to technology; how we address the needs of English language learners; and how we protect the intellectual property rights of content and technology creators to support future investment and innovation.
Yesterday OEN reported that the state of California will be migrating to online textbooks for K-12. John Timmer at Arstechnica has more details on the approval process for prospective textbooks. The process itself will be handled by the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN), and is anticipated to complete an expedited review before the upcoming school year begins. From the article:
“We’re pretty excited about what we’re seeing,” he [CLRN's Director] said. “We actually have one commercial publisher who is submitting several of their textbooks [as open sourced material] for review, so this will be pretty groundbreaking, and I think it will be a paradigm shift for the publishers as well. They’re taking a paid resource they used to charge the districts for, and basically allowing the districts to download it for free.”
BBC News and Slashdot are reporting that California is adopting online textbooks statewide. The move is due to California’s budget shortfall and hopes to save some of the $350 million spent on textbooks last year. Note that this decision does not automatically mean open textbooks. From the BBC News article:
From the beginning of the next school year in August, maths and science students in California’s high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review.
Gavin Baker at Open Access News points out that a new publisher of free textbooks, called Bookboon, has launched. The textbooks are ad-supported and appear to be fully copyrighted. From Bookboon’s “About” page:
You can download the books for free and without providing any personal details. The books are provided in PDF so that you can print the books and/or read them offline. In the books there are relevant advertisements on every third page on average.
Darren Draper has a recent blog post chiding David Wiley and Stephen Downes for not acknowledging the possibilities of open textbooks in K-12 settings. From the blog post:
Surely there must exist some progressive district(s) out there willing (financially forced?) to take a gamble on what many of us see as a very possible future for textbook creation and distribution. Or is it really a gamble? Frankly, to me it appears to be one of the best options out there. For I see the creation of open textbooks – by the very teachers that will be using them – as a way for teachers to finally get the textbook they’ve been hoping for. Not the text that teachers must endure, but the one that they collaboratively fashion.
Creative Commons has announced that Flexbooks is now in beta. OEN reported a little over a wekk ago the release of a physics book through Flexbooks. Flexbooks is sponsored by CK-12 Foundation, a non-profit organization. The textbooks are licensed CC-BY. From the “About” page on CK-12:
Using a collaborative and web-based compilation model that can manifest open resource content as an adaptive textbook, termed the “FlexBook”, CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality, locally and temporally relevant, educational web texts. The content generated by CK-12 and the CK-12 community will serve both as source material for a student’s learning and provide an adaptive environment that scaffolds the learner’s journey as he or she masters a standards-based body of knowledge, while allowing for passion-based learning.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that the German company PediaPress now prints selections from Wikipedia on demand. Wikipedia has set up a web page to customize each book. A 100-page book costs $8.90 and takes 2-15 business days to ship. From the article:
As like-minded books-on-demand projects such as the Espresso Book Machine have shown, there’s at least some kind of a market for readers of made-to-order books, so it’s not inconceivable that some Wikipedia visitors will order special volumes as gifts or buy texts that they can mark up with marginalia. Wikipedia says the press is doing brisk business: It sold more than 1,000 German-language books in its first month of operations.
Government Computer News is reporting the beta release of an open-source physics textbook. The textbook was created in collaboration with the Virginia Departments of Technology and Education, engineers, scientists and volunteers. Strangely, the article claims that the physics book is the “first” open-source textbook. However, the release is still a step forward in openness for the state of Virginia. From the article:
The Virginia Physics FlexBook is an effort to update educational material more quickly than can be done with traditional textbooks. The typical review and procurement cycle of states and school systems, coupled with the several years it can take for changes to make their way into published texts, means that students in even the best schools could be using material that is a decade or more out of date.