Thursday, August 13, 2009

Open Source Textbooks in California

The state of California is making a push to provide public schools with free, open source digital text books. I think this is a great idea, the ideas taught in K-12 are fundamental to life long learning. What is more is that the information taught is not proprietary (mathematics, biology, earth sciences) it belongs to EVERYONE!. So why should a school fork out $100 per book per student?

Instead provide a set of books that are freely available, and do not require printing (read unnecessary environmental impact). Gone would be the days of textbooks vandalized by students writing on them. Gone would be the day of using outdated information (get a new version for every class). Gone would be the common practice of schools writing big checks to publishing companies to provide text books to students.

This just seems like a win win win.

Ironically, in the investigation that the state of California did the Open Source books were the ones who came out on top pretty much across the board.