About EdTech Books
We have created this site and provided all of our content freely, because knowledge should be free, and educational technology should lead the way!
Our goal is nothing less than providing the best open textbook publishing platform and author experience on the web!
We have four guiding values for this initiative:
- Freedom — All of our content is freely available, and most of it is free to remix, reuse, and redistribute without seeking permission.
- Accessibility — We design all of our content with a mobile-first mindset that focuses on making content fast and accessible to all.
- Usability — All of our content undergoes ongoing usability testing to improve our users' experiences.
- Quality — Our content is created by leaders in the field, and much of it undergoes similar peer review processes used by journals or editorial review processes used by book publishers.
The impacts of a resource like this are multi-faceted and difficult to quantify, because it can improve learning, foster sharing, increase collegiality, and provide a variety of other social benefits. For a current estimate of our quantifiable cost savings to students, however, please visit our impact page.
We only include content on this site that is gratis (free as in no cost), but not all content may provide freedoms to users for remixing, etc. (free as in freedom). Each book included in this site is released under its own license, and some include chapters or other content that may be released under yet another license. If you have questions about reuse, remixing, etc., please consult the copyright notice on the individual work.
Books that are hosted on other sites (e.g., PressBooks) that we link to may have their own licensing requirements.
To learn more about licensing and copyright, check out this introductory chapter on the topic.
Can Your Textbook Do This?
Why Don't More Faculty Go with Open Textbooks?
Current and emerging research on faculty perceptions and barriers to open textbook adoption reveals that almost all faculty believe that open textbooks are a good idea, but few actually use them. The reasons for this are three-fold:
- Time: Faculty do not believe they have the time to create or adapt open resources, or another way of interpreting this is that faculty see work in this area as not being valued in terms of how their jobs are structured. For instance, if a faculty member has to decide whether to spend their time writing an open textbook for hundreds of students or publishing a research article for a few dozen scholars to read, they will typically go with the latter, because their job performance is evaluated based on numbers of articles published, not impact on students.
- Availability and Perceived Quality: Many courses do not have good open textbook options, those that exist may be difficult to find, or those that are found may not seem to be of very high quality. Most faculty who create open textbooks do not hire a type-editor to check for grammatical errors or a graphic designer to create a provocative cover; they also do not hire a marketing team to spread the word about the book or to get endorsements. This means that open textbooks are often difficult to find and may not initially seem to be of very high quality when compared to their commercial alternatives.
- Technical Expertise: Once a textbook is found, it is typically provided in a manner that faculty cannot easily edit or remix it (e.g., as a book-sized PDF). Similarly, when faculty want to create an open textbook, they often lack the technical knowledge necessary to create it in the expected formats that are common today (e.g., a mobile-friendly web version).
These barriers are real and prevent most faculty from moving in the direction of open textbooks. But, it is precisely to address these barriers that we created this platform!
Some educators believe that the textbook, like print media, is effectively dead or that it perpetuates poor pedagogical practices. We sympathize with these attitudes but also recognize a few realities.
First, most courses in the U.S. still rely upon a textbook (69% according to Seaman & Seaman, 2018). Second, much of the lack of adoption of open educational resources (OER) can be attributed to their lack of perceived quality and difficulty in finding them. And third, packaging OER into a usable, flexible textbook format makes these resources more appealing and accessible to diverse educators who exhibit a wide array of technical skills and motivations to use OER. In short, open textbooks provide a simple, first step into the world of OER, and though some may criticize open textbooks as not being radical enough, it is precisely their combination of the old and familiar with the new and radical that makes them a trialable, compatible, and relatively advantageous innovation (cf., Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 2003) that practically any educator can readily adopt.
What's the Catch?
"Are you going to monitize this thing or something?"
Nope. It's all free. Forever. We're just educators who care about our students and also want to make life easier for other educators.
"How do you pay for this?"
The platform's intentionally hard-funded from faculty allotments of departmental budgets so that we never have to worry about a grant running out. Individual books might be created with grant funding, but the platform itself isn't.
"Is this really open?"
Yes. We plan on releasing the source code soon but haven't yet just for practicality reasons. Our development process is so fast that anyone else who installed the platform would be needing to make daily updates to keep up. Other than that, we really don't know how this project could be any more open. Everything's free, easily remixable, and doesn't require a single login.
"Why do I have to log in with Google?"
For security reasons, we have elected not to collect more information from users than is necessary, meaning that we never store passwords or other sensitive information if we can help it. Instead, we rely upon third parties to authenticate our users and only store a user ID provided by the third party. Currently, Google is the main provider, but we hope to add others in the future.
Note that by using an external service to login we also are not collecting information from that service or allowing them to gain access to your content on our site. So, if you login with Google, we won't have access to your Google documents, and Google won't have access to your EdTech Books chapters. Rather, we are only using the login mechanism itself and not other data or resources that the third party might provide.
"Why am I limited to 10 books?"
This is a temporary measure as we scale up. We're happy to increase your limit. Just email us.
We have worked hard to design and continually improve this site to be the best open textbook platform on the web. Some features include the following:
- Simple, intuitive, easy-to-navigate interfaces
- Mobile-first and flexible layouts
- Interactive and audiovisual elements, such as practice quizzes and embedded videos
- PDF downloads of books and individual chapters
- Audiobooks of chapters
- h5p embedding
- xAPI data collection and A/B testing for continual improvement and research
- Automated peer review request system
- Google Analytics
- Reading API for including book and chapter contents in your own app
- All content is indexed and searchable and is included in search engines such as Google and Google Scholar
By hosting or linking to content on this site, we do not claim ownership of the content, and we or our partners should not be viewed as supporting the veracity or opinions of content authors. All specific content items merely reflect the opinions of their authors.
Publish with Us
Want to get your book published and reach a wider audience? Want to do research on user experiences with your book? Please review our Publishing with Us page, and we'd love to chat with you about hosting your book for free.
It's been fabulous working with this platform - so much easier and more well-designed than the other OER platforms out there.
Submit an Existing Book
Do you have a great, free textbook that you would like to see included in our list? Submit a link to your book, and we will attempt to include it.
Contribute to a Project
If you would like to contribute to an existing project by writing or editing a chapter, please contact the book author(s) directly.
For a list of projects that are currently soliciting contributions, please visit the current projects page.
If you have questions or requests, please direct them to the website administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.