Where to find Online Textbooks
  • Open Culture - Find a list of 200 Free Textbooks written by knowledgable scholars. Check back often for new additions
  • Open Stax - From Rice University, free college-level textbooks developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course. A few of the subjects available: statistics, biology, physics...More subjects and high school levels books are being planned.
  • The new Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in, draw to highlight details, and conduct open-ended primary source analysis. Full teaching resources are available for each set. (free on IBooks; work best on an IPad)


Wanting to create your own textbook? ONLINE?
CK-12's Jumpstart Your Curriculum is offering six
weekly webinars beginning June 20th for teachers who want to learn how to create CK-12 FlexBooks. FlexBooks are digital textbooks that you create and customize to meet the specific needs of your classroom. Registration is free.
See some step-by-step suggestions below. Also, see the Blended Learning page for more resources.
How to grow a “textbook”
By Joyce Kasman Valenza (with some updates and special additions for clarifications)
February 1, 2011

Regardless of how you feel about textbooks in this brave new world of open curricula and academic sharing and supereasy digital publishing, this may be the best time ever to be without them. The classroom texts (or courseware) that many of us may be unaware we are building have potential beyond the power of ordinary text.
Here are textbook-growing strategies and portals for selecting text-y resources.

Start with an outline. Use your district’s scope and sequence, existing state and national standards or the Common Core State Standards as they are published and developed.

Grab a virtual binding. You’ll need some type of teacher-friendly platform for building a virtual binding.
(See the Blended Learning page for more information on platforms)
  • Wikispaces for Teachers -
  • Other options are PBwiki (now PBWorks), Google Sites, LiveBinders, and Netvibes;
  • or a course management system, like Moodle;
  • or a social networking platform, like Edmodo, Spruz, or Ning.
  • BookBuilderis a site that allows you to create your own book or rate someone else's book. The tool on this site can be used to create, share, publish, and read digital books.
  • Amazon’s new Kindle Textbook Creator Beta helps you convert PDFs of your textbooks, course notes, study guides and other educational content that includes complex visual information like charts, graphs and equations into Kindle books.

Unpack and publish your traditional documents. Use any of a growing variety of publishing tools to publish your existing content. Upload those docs. Get the embed code and transform them into super-attractive, flip-able, shareable, searchable online books. Try Issuu.

Grab a few solid updating tools.
(See the RSS Feeds and Widgets pages for more information)
To fully exploit the dynamic potential of an online textbook, you’ll want to search for RSS feeds and dynamic widgets that inform learning in your content area. Consider the news and journal sources that are truly relevant to your course(s) and simply access relevant feeds whenever you see that lovely little orange RSS square.

Grab books for solid, more static content. Visit Google Books (or any of a growing number of ebook portals) to get full and generous partial (preview) views of course relevant books to link to and embed. See the E Readers and Online Books pages for some more possibilities.

Grab database content. For dynamic, authoritative content, you can’t beat subscription databases. (See Infohio) See Media Specialist for necessary usernames and passwords!

Grab the right search tools. Build a list of search tools that are relevant to your class and your learners’ needs and levels. (See Resources for Research Page)

Grab your own presentations and shop for the best of others. Publish your presentations on a portal like SlideShare or AuthorStream. Embed them on the appropriate pages of your text. Shop for presentations that others have posted for sharing. Embed those, too.

Grab a couple of pathfinders.
(See the Webquests-Pathfinders page for more information)
Search for pathfinders using the language of your content area and the word pathfinder. IPL is a great place to look- for example, in the search box, type world war II pathfinder and you will get all kinds of great resources.

Grab some film. Portals include Snagfilms, and Top Documentaries - a FABULOUS site that has documentaries on a wide range of subjects which you can view online or download. The topics are grouped by theme, such as "Conspiracies", "Biographies, "Drugs", "Music", etc. This is great for your students and would be a great asset to an online book.
Also check out the Videos Online Page.

Grab some open-source curricula.
Net Texts - a free, Web-based system that provides teachers with access to a library of over 21000 Open Educational Resources (OER), which they can combine with their own resources to create and publish lessons.

See the Common Core page for more open educational resources or try the "Just English", "Just Science", "Just Social Studies", etc. pages listed on the left hand side of this wiki.

Grab some student work. You can publish the best written work using digital publishing tools.

Set reasonable "textpectations." You can’t build all this e-texty goodness in a day. You won’t build it in a semester. But you can build a base for growing a dynamic, elastic, and powerful text. Work with a librarian. Engage your learners. Build with your grade level or content-area partners, whether or not they are in your building. If you build it, they will learn. And so will you.

Other Recommended Resources

CK12 Flexbook
www.ck12.org/flexbook
Curriki
www.curriki.org
Khan Academy
www.khanacademy.org
TED
www.ted.com
eTexts/Curricula
http://only2clicks.com/pages/joycevalenza/350887