CK-12 Brings Digital Books into the Classroom
We've written before about companies that help get digital textbooks into the hands of college students, and now there's a foundation that provides a similar service to K-12 schools. CK-12 is a non-profit organization that develops "flex-books," collaboratively-created digital textbooks licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license so users can adapt the content to their own needs.
Available books run the gamut from middle school math and advanced trigonometry to U.S. history and earth science. All content is developed by educators, many of whom carry advanced college degrees, and the books themselves can be views on an iPad, Kindle, or on any device with a PDF reader.
CK-12's founders say they launched the website in response to the need for high-quality, low-cost textbooks that can be easily updated as the need arises. "We need a more flexible and less expensive system to create and distribute books and online content. The K-12 system needs to be provided with access to high quality online content, and simple solutions to create, customize, update, and print. This new concept provides a system that will follow an open educational resource philosophy to place content online that can be 'mixed, modified, and printed' to suit a teacher's need while adhering to curriculum standards."
Open and collaborative textbooks can easily be a boon to cash-strapped school districts and private education institutions looking for ways to cut costs. As a side benefit, any project that brings open source philosophies into the classroom gets an A+ in our book.