Showing posts with label Open Source Textbooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Open Source Textbooks. Show all posts

Monday, September 27, 2010

Take the Dangerously Irrelevant Textbook Challenge

Dr. Scott McLeod has issued an interesting challenge to teachers and school administrators. The textbook challenge is based the idea that, in Dr. McLeod's words, "there's not much in your children's textbooks that isn't available in at least a dozen places online for free." The challenge is to prove that statement correct or incorrect. So grab your kid's textbooks and start searching. Then post a comment with your findings on this post on Dangerously Irrelevant to be entered to win a prize pack of books. The books are Tribes by Seth Godin, Catching Up or Leading the Way by Yong Zhao and Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod. I listened to and read Tribes when it came out and although its technically a business book, many of Godin's ideas could be applied to an education setting. Zhao's blog is in my RSS reader and his book is on my "to read" list.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yale Open Course - Introduction to Psychology

I saw this posted on Open Culture and immediately knew that I had to share it with readers of this blog who may be teaching Psychology this fall. The video below, This is Your Brain, is a part of a twenty lecture series offered by Yale for free viewing on the web. If you're interested in all of the course materials visit the Yale open course website. If you're only interested in the lecture videos, you can access them through YouTube.

Applications for Education
The availability of high-quality educational materials on the web increases every day. The open course offerings of institutes like Yale and MIT make it possible for anyone interested in a particular topic to access material that previously was "guarded" behind a wall of admissions standards and high price tags. Open course offerings can be fantastic resources to supplement the classroom instruction of a high school teacher.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Free Science Books Online

Science Books Online is a directory of free ebooks for all areas of science. The books range from small PDF pamphlets to full-length texts made available in electronic form for free. Most of the materials have to be downloaded in order to be viewed but there are some materials that you can view directly within your browser.

Applications for Education
Science Books Online and similar ebook directories can provide excellent supplemental materials for your curriculum at no cost. In some cases you may even be able to find ebooks that can replace your textbooks and save your school thousands of dollars.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flat World Knowledge Provides Free Textbooks

Flat World Knowledge has the potential to be a real money-saver for college students and possibly for high schools. Flat World Knowledge provides free textbooks created by experts in various academic fields. A quick look at the "find my class" section of Flat World Knowledge reveals that these textbooks are already being used in few dozen colleges across the United States. In all there are thirty-one books divided amongst eight library categories. More books are in development.

The video embedded below provides a good overview of Flat World Knowledge.

A related resource that may be of interest to you is:
Planet eBook

Save 20% on all books & DVDs from National Geographic!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Podcast - How Do You Spend Your Money?

In this episode I share a conversation that has been reoccurring throughout the last couple of years in my department meetings. What are we going to use our limited budget money for? Until recently, I’ve always argued for not upgrading textbooks every couple of years and instead save the money to invest in technology resources. But last week I joined a conversation on Michael Wesch’s blog that forced me to look at the arguments again.

This episode was recorded using the voicemail service. It’s an easy way to create mp3 voice recordings. After recording the message I dragged it into Garage Band to edit and add the intro and outro music.

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded below or use the player embedded in the right hand column of the blog. The player in the right hand column of the blog will also provide you with my previous podcast episodes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Free eBooks at Planet eBook

Planet eBook is a free service where teachers and students can find classic literature titles available as free downloads. Planet eBook adds new titles at regular intervals. Subscribe to the Planet eBook blog or newsletter to keep track of the latest additions to the collection. For browsing purposes, Planet eBook offers previews of titles through the Issuu pdf publishing service. Using the previews students can get an overview of a title without committing to downloading the entire ebook.

Applications for Education
I'm always preaching the cost-saving benefits of open source software and the same concept applies to free ebooks. Free ebook downloads can save school districts money when compared to the cost of buying novels. If you or your school is concerned about changing to a completely ebook based system, try phasing in ebooks as old novels and textbooks get worn out by students.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Connexions - Open Source Learning

Connexions is a depot of open source textbooks and lessons. Connexions has thousands of open source textbooks that teachers and students can access for free. I have written about the benefits of open source software and programs in the past which you can read by clicking here.

In the video below Richard Baraniuk gives a fantastic explanation of the benefits of open source textbooks. The video is almost twenty minutes long, so for those of you who don't have the time to watch it all, I'll summarize some of the main points of Mr. Baraniuk's talk.
1. Open Source textbooks save public schools money.
2. Open Source textbooks are easier and faster to edit and publish therefore making textbooks more relevant to today's changing world.
3. Open Source textbooks are often collaboratively written projects leading to the representation of multiple points of view on a topic.
4. Open Source textbooks are peer reviewed by more eyes than a traditionally published textbook.