CK-12 Big Winner in CA Free Textbook Initiative

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the first report of California’s free digital textbook initiative – which outlines how high school math and science textbooks submitted under the first phase of the initiative measure up against the state’s rigorous academic content standards. Of the 16 free digital textbooks for high school math and science reviewed, ten meet at least 90 percent of California’s standards. Four meet 100 percent of standards, including the CK-12 Foundation’s CK-12 Single Variable Calculus, CK-12 Trigonometry, CK-12 Chemistry and Dr. H. Jerome Keisler’s Elementary Calculus: An Infinitesimal Approach.

via Gov. Schwarzenegger Releases Free Digital Textbook Initiative Phase 1 Report .

Hewlett Foundation Awards $1.5 Million Grant for Open Textbooks

The third and last of Monday’s news developments also comes in the digital textbook arena — but from the free, rather than for-profit, perspective. The Community College Collaborative for Open Educational Resources said the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation had given it $1.5 million in new funds to expand its work, which focuses on increasing the number of free, online textbooks and training community college instructors on how best to use such books. Its main resource, the Community College Open Textbook Project, has dozens of college members and seeks to significantly expand the number of freely available digital textbooks it makes available.

via News: Textbook Bonanza – Inside Higher Ed.

Would be really nice if CALI could come up with some grant money to fund development of our open education resources projects including eLangdell and the Legal Education Commons.

Sony Reader Goes EPUB Only

On Thursday, Sony Electronics, which sells e-book devices under the Reader brand, plans to announce that by the end of the year it will sell digital books only in the ePub format, an open standard created by a group including publishers like Random House and HarperCollins.

via Major news: Sony goes EPUB only; scraps its own format!! | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home.

This is a big deal and puts some pressure on Amazon to open up the Kindle to more formats natively and let its ebooks onto other devices.