More to come on this as the announcement was made just hours ago at the Open Ed conference in Vancouver, but BC Advanced Education Minister John Yap has just announced that BC will fund the creation of 40 free and open textbooks.
This is very exciting news, for both students – who will save hundreds of dollars each year in textbook costs (it is estimated students spend between $900 and $1,500 per academic year on textbooks. Open textbooks reduce this to around $300 or less when printed books are needed – or $0 for e-copies) – and the open education movement in BC.
Some highlights from the press release:
British Columbia is set to become the first province in Canada to offer students free online, open textbooks for the 40 most popular post-secondary courses.
Because the open textbooks are digital and open, they can be modified and adapted by instructors to fit different classes.
Wonderful as these will be true open textbooks that will be released with licenses that not only allow reuses, but also remixing.
Sounds like there is an aggressive timeline to get these open textbooks created and in the hands of students:
Government will work with post-secondary institutions in implementing an open textbook policy in anticipation they could be in use at B.C. institutions as early as 2013-14.
There will be more on this in the coming weeks, but this is fantastic news for higher ed in BC.