uomWhy not jump aboard the open source bandwagon since the world does seem to be moving in that general direction as well in tech matters? That is what the University of Maryland is currently considering, to make use of open source textbooks since textbooks happen to be the single fastest growing expense for college students, apart from the constant twin thorns of rent and cost of living. Many other universities too, are looking for a solution when it comes to textbooks, and the University of Maryland would not be the first to implement such an idea since both the University of California and the University of Washington have already kicked off programs to offer their students a catalog of free and freely available open source textbooks.

The university system has already rolled out a pilot program where is currently testing the use of open source textbooks, and up to 1,100 students happen to participate in the pilot that is spread across a range of universities throughout Maryland. These open source textbooks will be very different from the ones sold by Coursesmart, Inkling, and Amazon, since the open source textbooks have been assembled from materials that were gathered from a range of free sources, where some of them are in the public domain, while others aren’t.

Non-profit groups such as the CK-12 and the 20 Million Minds Foundation too, are working hand in hand with educators in order to develop and distribute open source textbooks, where these tend to be released under a CC, GPL, or other license that paves the way for free use, sharing, and distribution.

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