This week, we focused on the concept of open education as well as open education resources (OER’s). Open education resources are beneficial because they present both teachers and students with the ability to access informational materials online. Teachers can utilize a variety of digital content to assist in their teaching practices. Moreover, digital content is easily accessible and many OER’s are free to use.
This week’s concept was particularly interesting to me, simply because I have spent many years of my life attending university, taking numerous courses to further my education meanwhile spending hundreds of dollars on course textbooks. Although purchasing textbooks and other reading material come hand-in-hand while taking educational courses, it would be nice to somehow save on costs. Therefore, I decided to explore Open Textbook Library to see what it is all about. Before last Tuesday, I had never heard of Open Textbook Library. I discovered that Open Textbook Library is an online resource that is free to use and offers a wide range of textbooks that differ according to specific subject areas. Some of the subjects included are: Education, Economics, Engineering, Accounting & Finance, and Mathematics. However, there are many more subjects available.
Open Textbook Library is very user-friendly! It’s simple lay out makes navigating through its digital content easy and hassle free! With Open Textbook Library, any book you find can be downloaded for free. However, if you wish to print a book it states, “books can be printed at a low cost”. Open Textbook Library can be accessed from a variety of devices. Although it requires an internet connection to download the textbooks, you will have access to these books in the form of a PDF or EPUB once you are offline. Once you find a textbook you are interested in reading, Open Textbook Library offers a very detailed description about the books content as well as information about its author(s) and contributor(s).
Open Textbook Library also gives you the option to submit an open textbook to their website, just as long as it meets the specific requirements. The criteria for this can be found in the “Our Textbooks” tab, under “Submit a Book”. This is a really neat feature! Although Open Textbook Library is a free online resource and offers openly-licensed textbooks, I strongly encourage you to read the Conditions of Use as it explains in detail about the Creative Commons Copyright License.
Through exploring Open Textbook Library, I have found this resource to be valuable for adult leaners. The online reading material focuses primarily on content of a higher academic level, not suited for the elementary level or middle years level. Perhaps some of the online textbooks could be utilized by high school teachers and adapted? Would it be beneficial for Universities to start utilizing this resource aside from traditional textbooks? As an adult learner, would you use Open Textbook Library? Either way, Online Textbook Library offers free informational content and is an effective yet inexpensive open education resource. I highly recommend you check it out!
Thanks for stopping by!