Thursday, January 12, 2012

Flatworld Knowledge Succeeds in the Textbook Market as Free and Open

The digital textbook industry is definitely in it's infancy and there are many players to consider.  But since I'm on the subject, I might as well turn you on to Flatworldknowledge.com and their "free and open textbook" system.

There seem to be so many publishing solutions available these days that I'm not sure how college students or professors know how to make the right decision.  In many cases I'm certain the decision is made FOR them by some administrator or sales person.  But I like to think I'm not that jaded :)

Flatworld Knowledge has a great chart explaining their solution.  Well, actually it describes the problem and the solution...as you can see for yourself.

The books are free to the students.  Professors choose the book.  Students choose the format and price for printed versions, audio versions, and soft-cover versions.  Sounds like a pretty decent solution to me.

The very cool option that I like is allowing the professors to edit and customize the book. The books also come with slides, instructor manuals, and test-banks.  I'm not sure if those are editable though.

It may not actually be a purely "free" and "open" solution.  But it sounds like they are making a significant dent in an industry that really needs a kick in the pants.
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