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The following table compares the capabilities of open and traditional textbooks.

Open textbooks Traditional textbooks
dynamic static
modifiable/customizable non-customizable
targeted in-depth material generic material
timely dated
personalized for local conditions standardized content
addresses multiple learning styles assumes a uniform learning style
free costly

Read about a teacher’s experience in adopting an open textbook: No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text .

Read about how an editor from a major publisher gives his insider’s perspective of the inner workings of textbook publishing.

Read Monte Wolverton’s humorous look at the textbook creation process (via Edutopia’s web site).

See a list of ideas for How-To: Toss the Text .

How are open textbooks created?

Here are two stories of how two different groups collaborated to produce open textbooks in a peer production environment.

A South African graduate student saw a need when a group of high school students told him they did not have a science textbook. This encounter led to a worldwide initiative calledthat provides free science and mathematics textbooks for Grades 10 to 12 science learners in South Africa.

An interested group of individuals started a Free Textbooks group during the 2007 iCommons Summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The group seeks to create a knowledge base to help educators worldwide develop Free Textbook projects. For more information, go to: (External Link) . Subscribe to their mailing list: (External Link) .

How can you participate?

Open textbook projects rely on volunteers who are committed to a vision of providing high-quality, freely available textbooks to the worldwide community of educators and learners. Most of the projects mentioned in this module have information on their site on how you can participate in their project. There are many levels of participation; for example, you can:

  • subscribe to their mailing list or news feed
  • proofread pages
  • contribute content you have already created
  • help locate authors who may want to contribute content
  • author new content
  • create images
  • write a review about an open textbook
  • provide translation support for content
  • donate funds to keep the project running
  • use open textbooks in your teaching and learning and talk with your colleagues about your experience
  • host an in-person event for content creators to gather and work together
  • contact the project’s coordinator and ask what is needed and how you can help.

Oer stories from around the world

It's 2 am in South Africa and a delivery van is taking 100 hard copies of the free high school science text to a school in a small village …

Your experience using open and freely shared course-related materials is valuable in the reuse and evolution of the materials. Tell us your story ; how you’ve used these materials and how their use has impacted how you teach or learn.

Activity: review an open textbook

Using the sites mentioned in this module, review a few open textbooks that you can use in your teaching and learning. If you are not ready to replace your existing traditional textbook with an open textbook, analyze what topics are weak or missing in your present textbook and use the open textbook for supplemental materials.

Activity: share your experience

We’re discussing the new avenues for teachers and learners to select and augment learning resources that meet one’s unique teaching and learning needs, including open textbooks. In the OER Commons discussion “ Teaching and Learning, ” share your thoughts about this important issue. Here are a few questions to consider in your post:

  1. If you have used an open textbook, share your experience.
  2. If you haven’t used an open textbook, what are the adoption issues?
  3. What have been your students’ reactions to using an open textbook?
  4. What are your thoughts or experiences with participating in open textbook projects? What role(s) did you take? (e.g., authoring content, editor, etc.)

For more information

The following resources have been selected to provide more information on concepts we covered in this module.

Other modules in this course include …

For more information about OER Commons, send an email to info@oercommons.org .

Use this feedback form to send OER Commons general feedback, a feature request, or information about a bug/problem you had using the site.

To see the ever-growing list of the new content providers and contributors to OER Commons, visit the Content Providers page often. You can be one too!

“quotable quote”

Knowledge is the only kind of wealth that multiples when you give it away. Schwartz, P. (1996). The Art of the Long View. New York: Doubleday.

About this module

The "How Tos" of OER Commons is a set of learning modules evolving out of the development of OER Commons ( (External Link) ), a teaching and learning network for free-to-use educational materials from around the world, created and licensed by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).

Course contributors are Lisa Petrides, Amee Godwin, and Cynthia Jimes, and online learning consultant, Patricia Delich.

For more information, visit (External Link) and (External Link) .

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The "how tos" of oer commons. OpenStax CNX. Oct 16, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10468/1.4
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