Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Textbooks from State Online Source?

Darrell Steinberg wants digital library of free textbooks (Excerpt 12/13/11)

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced today that he will push for legislation to create an online open source library to reduce the cost of course materials for college students across the state. The Sacramento Democrat framed the proposed project as an effort to lower costs for students struggling to cope with higher fees and tuition rates at California's public colleges and universities…

Steinberg said the average student spends $1,300 a year on textbooks, a figure his staff said is based on projections the University of California, California State University and community college systems provide to students for budgeting purposes. Under his proposal, materials for 50 common lower division courses would be developed and posted online for free student access. Ordering a paper copy would cost $20, compared to the $200-plus price tag carried by some books. Steinberg plans to seek $25 million to create his proposed Open Education Resources system, with some funding going towards soliciting course material contributions from academics, nonprofits, Silicon Valley developers and the book publishing industry to be shared freely within the system. A new council of faculty leaders from California's public higher education system would be tasked with selecting the courses for the first round of open source textbook development and reviewing and approving the materials added to the library...

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It's great to be free:

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