Yoda: Open Source Textbooks (and Videos) Inevitable — Publishers, Elsevier, Thomson Reuters Oblivious…

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yoda with light saberOpen-Source Textbooks Gain in Push for College Affordability
ABC News (Michael Melia of Associated Press)

The standard textbook for Fundamentals of General Chemistry I at the University of Connecticut has a list price of $303. For students who use the version professor Edward Neth is preparing for the fall semester, the cost will be zero. An early adopter of open source textbooks, Neth said he turned to the new technology out of frustration with spiraling prices of commercial textbooks.

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Eagle: Open Source Textbooks

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300 Million Talons...
300 Million Talons…

Open source textbooks not flunking out

Finally, a bit of good news on the college costs front: A study out of Brigham Young University finds that free open source textbooks do the job pretty darn well. The study of nearly 17,000 students at 9 colleges found that open source textbooks (or open educational resources — OERs in academic lingo) found that students learn the same amount or more from the free books across many subjects. (Here’s a sampling of the sorts of texts available, via a University of Minnesota site.) What’s more, 85% of students and instructors said open textbooks were actually better than the commercial ones.

Sepp Hasslberger: Liquid Democracy Rising…

Access, Politics
Sepp Hasslberger
Sepp Hasslberger

Political decision-making by elected representatives is far removed from those who go to the election booth once every four or five years. Liquid democracy uses the internet to reduce the distance between citizens and decision makers…

Liquid Democracy: The App That Turns Everyone into a Politician

Liquid Democracy is one of the boldest contemporary innovations in democratic decision-making. The idea uses web technology that allows users to interact in new ways.

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