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… so goes the nation?

As goes California - Brian Kenney

Brian Kenney (Editor-in-Chief : School Library Journal) has his say on California’s embrace of open source textbooks in his editorial, ‘As Goes California: A flawed initiative could become a fabulous opportunity, School Library Journal, Sep 2009’ . Link to HTML version here.

In Kenney’s opinion, California’s knee-jerk reaction to the financial crisis (going to open source science and maths textbooks could save $2 million USD) will fail. He sites the shortage of school and student computers and the lack of a complementary policy to roll out laptops to every student. Could this decision by California be increasing the edcuation divide between rich and poor?

This need not be bad news. California’s considerable might in the textbook industry may well lead others to follow, or at the very least, provide a counter-example to successfully implementing the open source textbook model. Kenney suggests that the move will ‘establish a beachhead for digital textbooks. Let’s hope it’s not another Gallipoli.

Kenney describes the open source movement as a boon for librarians and media specialist.

We could infuse these textbooks with different points of view in multiple formats, customize them to address diverse learning styles, and make them the launching point of Guided Inquiry.

He closes by quoting Marc Aronson, an educator/blogger (Nonfiction Matters)

Out of the rubble of the economic crash is coming this great moment of opportunity, we just have to figure out how to seize it.


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