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A Better Way with Open Textbooks

Each year public schools spend millions of dollars on copyright protected textbooks. Districts do this even though we now live in a digitally dominated world, which is full of open textbooks.

Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. School districts around the world are currently exploring Open Educational Resources (OER), and they’re finding out that the cost-saving results can be significant.

The Man With The Answers

Cable Green is the Director of Open Education with Creative Commons. He knows that if states use open education resources correctly, they can experience not just lower cost educational tools, but arguably better education tools.

Cable Green Creative Commons
Cable Green courtesy of Twitter

Green has over 20 years of experience in academic technology and online learning, and he’s a leading advocate for open licensing policies. He says that the many states are spending millions of dollars on textbooks that are sometimes six to ten years out of date.

“The United States, just in K-12 spends somewhere between $6 and $9 billion a year on textbooks and other curriculum,” says Green.

Green says for that money, we get pretty terrible results. “On average our books are 7-10 years out of date. They’re paper only, we don’t have any digital versions for the most part.”

Green says he gets irritated because it doesn’t have to be this way. With educational resources from the past decade originating in a digital format all that information can be stored, copied, and distributed for a minimal cost.

Green believes by informing school districts about open educational resources; districts can spend a lot less money and get a lot better results.

Hear Green explain how Open Educational Resources (OER) can change your school district by listening to Episode 86 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

This interview with Cable Green is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The interview with Green was initially recorded in October of 2017.

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