The Saylor Foundation is making spirits bright and starting the New Year right by ensuring that openly licensed, free textbooks remain freely available to students. You may have seen their press release. Their “Bookshelf” page is already up and the books that are due to go behind Flat World Knowledge paywall are now freely available. They are saving us the trouble of downloading them and hosting them ourselves.
“Each of the books listed below is freely available for download, online reading, and sharing, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license. Please share this link (and the blog post) with your networks to help spread the word!
Like many of you, we have come to rely on the free-to-read versions of the excellent texts at Flat World Knowledge. We’ve woven these books tightly into many of our free online courses, all of which rely on freely-accessible (and preferably openly-licensed) materials. When Flat World Knowledge announced recently that its previously openly-licensed books would not be available for free after January 1st, 2013, we decided to preserve the whole catalog, which we now happily share with you.
We are grateful to Flat World Knowledge for developing such an excellent catalog, and while the versions on the Flat World Knowledge website will no longer be free, the publisher continues to provide its texts at prices significantly lower than standard textbooks and with much added-value in the form of supplementary materials and interactive elements.”
The Saylor Foundation certainly warrants all of our support for the coming year. I want to encourage everyone who reads this blog to seriously consider supporting this foundation. As educators, we obviously cannot rely on for-profits to keep the best interests of the students in mind.