DynamicBooks to Sponsor College Open Textbook Panel

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DynamicBooks will sponsor the College Open Textbooks panel at the Sloan-C/MERLOT Fourth Annual International Symposium.

DynamicBooks and the College Open Textbooks Collaborative (COT) announced today that COT Collaborative member DynamicBooks will sponsor the open textbook adopter community panel at the Sloan-C/MERLOT Fourth Annual International Symposium, which will be held in San Jose, California, on July 11 – 13.

In their panel, Building Communities of Practice to Encourage Open Textbook Use, six representatives from the College Open Textbooks Collaborative will compare the methods and tools that have been used in nine open textbook adopter communities to help instructors realize the benefits of using open-licensed textbooks to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms. The panel will also address issues such as how using higher education instructional materials will evolve and what the role of digital tools will be for both instructors and their students.

Jacky Hood, a panelist as well as the director of College Open Textbooks, is enthusiastic about participating in the conference. “The theme of the Sloan-C/MERLOT conference is an important one: Empowering Next Generation Teaching. Our panel discussion is about next generation open textbooks that achieve high quality through adopter cooperation.”

She is also delighted to have the support of DynamicBooks. “The DynamicBooks model represents the future direction of the textbook industry. Teachers want to personalize the texts they use, and students want to pay less for them. DynamicBooks meets both of those objectives.”

Nicholas Smith, the President of DynamicBooks, concurs. “The vast majority of instructors feel supported yet constrained by the “hard-wired” nature of the textbook as a predefined collection of content. Textbooks aren’t really malleable and customizable. Instructors see themselves as publishers who want to add their own content to a textbook as well as modify what’s already there. For these reasons, we need to move from the old paradigm of “album” in which students have to purchase works in an all-or-nothing proposition and in which instructors are prevented from making changes to the new world of “playlists” that contain customized content that meets the specific needs of a course. Students don’t want to pay for content they don’t use.”

The goal of both DynamicBooks and College Open Textbooks is to make open textbooks easy to edit, personalize, update and disseminate to students. Twenty-seven open textbooks from varied disciplines including history, science, business and mathematics will be available from the DynamicBooks platform in 2012 with an initial goal of having at least 100 texts. Students will pay a $20 per term fee that enables them to highlight, annotate, search, print page-by-page and easily navigate through their customized DynamicBooks.

About College Open Textbooks Collaborative

The Community College Open Textbooks Collaborative is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This collection of 15 educational nonprofit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org

About DynamicBooks

DynamicBooks puts the power of real-time, custom publishing in the hands of instructors and offers them the service and support that make it easy to use. Instructors can customize the content of any textbook or combine content from different textbooks to create learning materials that better meet the needs of their courses. Students benefit from lower cost textbooks tailored specifically for them and accessible in a variety of digital formats. Students pay for what they actually use. Finally, DynamicBooks provides new channels for publishers and authors to disseminate their work. DynamicBooks is a subsidiary of Macmillan. http://www.dynamicbooks.com.

About MERLOT

Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Teaching (MERLOT) is a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services. http://www.merlot.org

About Sloan-C

The Sloan Consortium is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education. Membership in the Sloan Consortium provides knowledge, practice, community, and direction for educators. Originally funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan-C is now a nonprofit, member sustained organization. http://www.sloanconsortium.org

About the Sloan-C/MERLOT Fourth Annual International Symposium

The Sloan-C/MERLOT Fourth Annual International Symposium focuses on the technologies that drive online learning effectiveness, highlighting research, applications and best practices of important emerging technological tools. Geared to both experienced professionals and interested newcomers to online learning, the conference will provide the latest information on emerging technology applications for online learning. http://Sloan-Consortium.org/et4online

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Marie Highby

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