Liberation of textbooks update
October 8th, 2009

A Hewlett Foundation report describes the rapidly developing digital liberation of textbooks from printing and binding. From the report:

“If it’s a dead tree [that you put the information on], you can put a higher price on it, but you can’t search for specific content or easily find inconsistencies in it,” she says. “This gives us a bigger tool chest from which to draw upon to learn. It enables instructors to ‘think out loud’ by annotating chapters with their thoughts about how to connect and value the information in the text.”

Returning Control to Educators

More broadly, Baker says, the use of open textbooks enables educators to regain control of educational content that has been largely usurped by publishing houses.

“What’s happened in higher education is that the publishing industry has dominated faculty decisions about course content,” she says. “And with more part-time adjunct professors teaching in community colleges, more instructors are stuck with those content decisions, using a text someone else picked. It’s the tail wagging the dog.”

Fatal error: Call to undefined function sociable_html() in /home/permutype/ on line 36