SEDC is researching the ways we can help district, schools, and libraries incorporate eBooks and eTextbooks into their Library Management Systems (Koha, Alexandrea, etc.) to make both free and purchased eBook titles easily available. We are still very early on in the process, but below are some links and resoruces out there for exploration.
Free & Open Source Resources
- CK-12 Foundation: CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. As a leading member of the OER movement, CK-12 is using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the “FlexBook.” With these free, common core aligned and NSES aligned digital textbooks, CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational STEM content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning through the FlexBook Platform™.
- Utah state eTextbooks for secondary science courses including 7th grade integrated science, 8th grade integrated science, Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Titles were produced in collaboration by Utah teachers in 18 districts and 4 charter schools, using the CK-12 platform.
- Flat World Knowledge: “We are the world’s largest publisher of free and open college textbooks. With our ever-expanding catalog of top quality books by expert authors, now is your chance to be a hero and help your students save thousands of dollars. Get started today and join the textbook affordability movement.” Although these titles are intended for college, they could easily be used by upper secondary teachers. Books are free for teachers to use and customize, and are free for students to read online. Students can also get low-cost printed, eBook & audio book versions.
- Chegg: “Chegg not only sells cheap textbooks and etextbooks but also rent them too, which saves students a significant amount of money each year. We even launched a new eReader to promote an interactive eTextbook experience for students, while at the same time lessening our dependence on paper books. With a brand new eReader app and an extensive eTextbook catalogue, Chegg has become a significant contributor to the eTextbook revolution.”
- OER Commons: Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. Open Educational Resources are different from other resources a teacher may use in that OER have been given limited or unrestricted licensing rights. That means they have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. For some of these resources, that means you can download the resource and share it with colleagues and students. For others, it may be that you can download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work.
- Open Education Resources, From Kansas Dept. of Education: “This webpage contains open access resources and digital textbooks that are available within the public domain. They are not copyrighted and may be customized, modified, or combined with other materials. It is our hope that this site provides educators with timely and useful resources that will assist in this process of digital learning.”
- iBooks & iTunes U iPad Apps & iBooks Author Mac App: In January 2012, Apple announced three new/improved apps and additional resoruces for the creation &/or purchase and distribution of eTexbtooks. A major part of this announcement was the participation and cooperation of a number of major textbook publishers. They will be creating new high-quality, interactive and engaging eTexbook titles for use on the iPad – for never more than $15 a piece. Apple has also made the iBooks Author app freely available for Mac computers for teachers and students to create their own high-quality eBooks. Lastly, the iTunes U app gives easy access to great podcast and video content from major univeristies and K-12 institutions, along with a platform for creating and distributing online coursework and resources.
- Weber eBook Library: Weber County School District in Utah has created their own curated, open-source eBook library that is focused on the Utah core, and are making them available to their schools and anyone else who’d like to access their resources. It will automatically detect which file type you need of your title for the device that you are accessing the site from.
- States using Digital Textbooks: In the 21st century, the concept of hardcover textbooks—dog-eared, highlighted and recycled through the generations—seems positively quaint. And yet, it’s still the norm for most American students, despite the penetration of new technology (think iPods, Kindles and smartphones) into almost every other realm of everyday life. States are coming around on digital textbooks, though, according to a new report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), and a few are setting themselves up as early models for best practices.
- Rick Gaisford from the Utah State Office of Education maintains a great Symbaloo Mix of many Open Education Resources available.
- Lulu.com for a printing option of these free and open eTextbook options you find.
- Follett eBooks, Follett Shelf & Integration with any LMS with MARC Records
- Using OverDrive to Search/Checkout/Download eBook Titles from Utah Public Libraries – Pioneer Online Library and other Utah Public Libraries are purchasing books for electronic checkout using the Overdrive Media Console system. To get started, you need to have a library card from your local Utah library, and then follow the steps outlined from the Pioneer Overdrive page, or you can take a look at the steps I’ve outlined here which are focused on using Overdrive (eBooks) and OneClickDigital (Audiobooks) for Utah Library eBooks on the iPad.
- Have something other than an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone? Here’s the eBooks and Audiobooks Manual (PDF) from Pioneer Library that details how to get started with Android, Kindle, and Nook readers.
- Notes from eBook Conference, Alpine School District, November 11, 2011