First Open Textbook Conference Scheduled in Minneapolis
The first meeting of an initiative to make more
textbooks available to college students will take place August 5-7 at the
Cities campus of the University
Representatives of more than 75 colleges and
gather for the Open
Textbook Network's (OTN) first Summer Institute. Participants
will work together to develop strategies for building and developing
textbook programs on their campuses. Conference sessions will equip them
the tools they need to persuade faculty members on their campuses of the
benefits of using a Creative
Commons license to reduce the textbook costs that
can range as high as $1,300 annually for students.
"As many institutions make a commitment to empower
their faculty in the potential of open textbooks, they're also
organizations' talent to sustain open textbooks on their campuses,” said
Ernst, director of the Center for Open Education at Minnesota and
the Open Textbook Library.
The Open Textbook Library is the first searchable
catalogue of open textbooks, most of them already reviewed by OTN
faculty members. At the moment, more than 185 titles are available.
Among the higher education institutions that have
joined the network along with Minnesota are the North Dakota University
University of Arizona, Virginia Tech and Macalester College.
The Summer Institute will coincide with a
also at the Twin Cities campus August 4-6, which will feature Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas as well
speakers from higher ed and K-12 talking about how they use open source
including the Moodle open source course management system, in education.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.