California governor signs free digital textbook law

Marquette La CC-BY-NC-ND

In chapter 10 of my ITGS textbook I discuss open learning resources, including open source text books. I have also written on this blog about the increasing amount of open courseware being made available.Today California governor Jerry Brown signed a law enabling the creation of a website hosting free copies of digital textbooks. The state of California will pay universities to create 50 open source textbooks for the site.

One of the aims of the project is to reduce the amount students pay for textbooks, which can often run into hundreds of dollars. This should also enable a much larger audience access to the resources – which will be licensed under the Creative Commons licence and therefore legal for anybody to download and distribute.

Of course, questions remain. Will this truly help make information more readily accessible? Will the books be high quality? What will be the reaction (and the impact on) traditional textbook publishers?

Source article: The Atlantic

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