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Re: [seul-edu] open textbooks

Chris Hedemark <hedemark@bops.com> wrote:

>I was reading on /. today about how many private universities, and now
>public universities, are requiring students to purchase $2,000+ laptop
>computers.  This is on top of the rediculously high costs of textbooks.

Read http://www.journet.com/twu/deplomamills.html. It is going to give you an interesting point of view about why those situations are happening.

>Here's what I am thinking.  If textbooks were developed in an Open Source
>fashion, it could be more effective for schools to distribute laptops
>instead of textbooks.  Every year an updated version of the text can be
>distributed to students at no cost to the school.
>The only real problem that I see is getting qualified people to write &
>maintain the texts.  What is the incentive?

In Mexico all the textbooks for elementary and secondary schools are freely distributed by the State. This means that the cost of printed books is not an issue.
Our Linux User Group is trying to go further: to create electronic, multimedia featured versions of the free books (to be used in Linux, of course). Until now, we have done some work on the History book. That way we support THE educative uses of the computer in the open source way.

As teachers, our incentive to do this is simply to be able to help a lot of students. We do not receive economical incentives, but we are not looking for them, anyway. That attitude is an integral part of the Open Source philosophy.

Alejandro Díaz
Linux User Group
Escuela Normal Manuel Avila Camacho (ENMAC)
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