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Sheffield Hallam University Creative Commons Licence

1.1 About this Resource

The term open textbook  is used in this resource to describe a collection of material on a specific topic that is made available to be freely used by students, teachers and others. This is part of the wider open educational resources (OER) movement and the increasing use of open content in higher education as a ‘technology to watch’ (New Media Consortium, 2010). One characteristic of open textbooks is flexibility and the option to modify the contents according to pedagogical needs of the teacher and the learner. This project (see About the DeFT Project) set out to create an open textbook  ‘Digital Literacy (DL) for Open and Networked Learning’ in the form of materials for teacher education and guidance on practice in teaching and learning in the school sector involving digital literacy. How to use and re-use this open textbook is explained in 1.2 How to Use and Re-use this Resource.

Electronic books (or e-books as they are commonly known) are books in digital format that can be read on an e-book reader or application such as this one, which is WordPress based. While the main differences between printed and electronic versions of books has to date been limited to formatting and the display of pictures and video, this resource attempts to include interactivity in the form of a facility, Thinking Space, that allows the user (following registration) to select, annotate and export content into his/her own open textbook document. This resource is available in EPUB format  as well as PDF.

There has been a rapid increase in sales (see online) of e-book readers and the emergence of e-publishing formats. The JISC National E-book Observatory project has examined the current status of the take-up of e-books in higher education. Publishers are responding to this opportunity (see 10 reasons to use E-books) and open platforms such as Wikipedia have introduced Wikipedia Book Creator and free customised books (see video) based on readers own Wikipedia selections of content, including the option to have this printed by Wikipedia’s PediaPress in colour hardback or softback (see video) as a book authored by Wikipedians. The future of the traditional book (see The Future of the Book video by design firm Ideo) in the light of a decentralised publishing model is an important context for this resource

See also:
How open textbooks are changing learners’ lives (see Mark Horner video)
Further reading: E-books (Delicious)
2011 Horizon Report by New Media Consortium identifying e-books as a ‘technology to watch’ with a one year or less time to adoption with some interesting data on usage

1.1 About this Resource Tags COMMENTS (public) ANNOTATIONS (private)