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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wikibooks to offer free eTexts for education

I mentioned wikibooks last week in a post that outlined several projects online that anyone can edit and contribute to. And yesterday, Stephen Downes signposted this article by Robert Brumfield, Assistant Editor, eSchool News which discusses wikibooks in more detail.

Key features of the article for me were as follows:
  • Because the content is freely licensed, "it can be freely adapted by teachers to their local conditions, without having to get permission..." (I agree, as a tutor I always liked to personalise my own learning resources and often worried about copyright issues if using other peoples stuff)

  • "When you get feedback from teachers on the local level, the cycle can be much faster than it could ever be in a traditional publishing environment," Wales said. (Jimmy Wales, is the founder of Wikimedia. And again I agree, inaccuracies can be changed and material updated quickly by willing volunteers. How often have you been just absolutely IRRITATED by an error in a text book that you can’t change?!)

  • "Textbooks are really expensive and get out of date quickly…If people thought a Wikibook was of adequate caliber, I think it would be a slam-dunk in universities ... in community colleges and public colleges, where the reality of the economy is bearing down on education, you can imagine how successful a good Wikibook could be."

If you use text books in your work but haven’t yet had a look at wikibooks, now might be a good time to at least browse and make a note of the site. The list of books is clearly growing so possibly worth noting the web address and checking back periodically with an eye on your future resource needs.

via OLDaily


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At 9:14 am, Blogger katie smith said...

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