In American schools there will be Linux-books

Department of Education of the American state of Utah has launched a program to develop a free e-books for students of local schools. After just a few months of Utah students will be able to freely download from the Internet tutorials that fully meet educational standards.

Electronic aids will be introduced in schools in Utah in the fall of 2012. The first free textbooks appear for secondary and high school (6-12 grade) and will cover the curriculum in math, science and English. Digital versions of textbooks will be posted on the Internet for free download. For students without home computers, also will be available to order printed versions at a price of only $ 4.

The project was launched for reasons of reducing the cost of schooling. The average price of a textbook in the U.S. ranges from $ 30 to $ 100, a figure higher than for the benefit of the natural sciences and technical disciplines. Due to the high cost of books, books for children, as a rule, buy the schools with the funds allocated from the state budget. The use of electronic tools designed to stop the rising costs associated with the fact that publishers have systematically higher prices.

The development of OpenSource-books with financial aid experts will be engaged in the Department of Education Brigham Young University under the direction of Professor David Wiley (David Wiley). In 2011, the University has held a pilot program to study the effectiveness of electronic textbooks, which was attended by 22 teachers and 2,700 pupils. Studies have shown that in a methodical plan of electronic aids are no different from the traditional “paper” competition. The cost of their production and distribution significantly below even the hard copy of the electronic textbook costs no more than $ 5.

The basis for the new benefits will FlexBooks - Free online tutorials from the nonprofit CK-12 Foundation, founded by professionals. CK-12 is developing a “free and open” textbooks that meet the educational standards of the U.S. K-12. FlexBooks available in several popular formats (PDF, HTML, ePub for iPad, AWZ for the Kindle), and include elements of media content: video, audio, and interactive tests. All that is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.

As customary in the community Open Source, teachers can not only use the textbooks, but also free to edit them. Department of Education hopes to attract to the development of pedagogical collectives of individual schools to tailor benefits to the real curriculum. In addition, teachers will be able to update the content of textbooks, the information in them reflect the current state of the science …

19 March 2012

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