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Schools start adopting open source textbooks

By Associated Press   |  Posted Jan 30th, 2012 @ 8:24am


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah classrooms may soon be making the switch to open-source online textbooks that can be cheaper and easier to update.

The Utah State Office of Education announced this month it will develop and support the open textbooks for language arts, science and math. The agency is urging schools and districts to adopt the books this fall.

Sample comparison
Current textbook cost: $80
Students using book per year: 1,200
Textbook replacement cycle: 7 years
Current spending per student per year: $11.43
Open textbook spending per student per year: $7.76
Source: opencontent.org

Officials say open textbooks are written by experts, vetted by their peers, and posted online for free downloading and use by anyone. They also can be printed.

Pilot programs provided printed open textbooks to more than 3,800 Utah high school students at a cost of $5 per book, down from an average cost of $80 for a science book.

State superintendent Larry Shumway says the new strategy will help keep textbooks up to date.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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