By Sara Bernard
They’re free, they’re customizable, and they meet state standards.
Those are the three biggest selling points of CK12 Flexbooks, digital educational content for K-12 schools.
FlexBooks are developed through a combination of author donations, licensing partnerships, university collaborations, and incentives for community-based authorship, and teachers can customize them to their hearts’ content.
“We can’t make all kids get an education,” says Neeru Khosla, CK-12′s co-founder and executive director, “but we can make it simpler, easier, and more affordable. That’s the philosophy behind the openness as far as I’m concerned.”
While print is still not out of the picture, Khosala says , open-source textbooks are certainly the wave of the future.
Q: Have you seen a lot of growth in the open source movement in education recently?
A: Yes, we’ve made a lot of strides. For me, it’s the spirit more than anything else. It’s not about profits. It’s about making sure that everyone has access to information. You can argue, “How can you expect people to have access to information if they don’t have access to computers?” But I think that more and more, computers are becoming readily available in libraries and schools.
The open educational resources movement is also creating more organized sources of information — more contextualized information, rather than just, “Here it is, now you have to go find it.” There are a whole bunch of other organizations like us, such as the Open Learning Initiative from Carnegie Mellon. Continue reading