Free, online textbook publisher OpenStax launches first paid iPad version

Dive Summary:

  • Nonprofit, open-access publisher OpenStax College--which operates out of Rice University--announced Monday that it will make an iPad version of its free-to-read online College Physics text available on iTunes for $4.99.
  • iBook versions of OpenStax texts are the latest "paid extra" in the publisher's free-with-paid-options business model, which also includes paid online tutorial programs like Sapling Learning and WebAssign, but the iBooks also have extras of their own, like videos, interactive graphics, quizzes and demonstrations.
  • OpenStax--which has funding for eight textbooks and is seeking additional funds for 17 more--plans to offer its books on a wider variety of platforms, but started with iBooks because of the format's popularity.

From the article:

OpenStax, which launched earlier this year, is one of several publishers trying to combat the “access gap,” as founder and director Richard Baraniuk calls it. “In part of because of rapidly rising textbook costs, student debt is at an all-time high, and students in some cases are having to drop out of college because the combined effect of the learning materials’ cost and tuition is becoming prohibitive,” Baraniuk said. OpenStax draws from expert-generated, peer-reviewed content to create its free online texts, which cover a variety of introductory college courses. Two online-only textbooks have been published so far, with three more on the way, and the goal is to eventually offer texts for the 25 most popular college courses. ...

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Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology Online Learning
Top image credit: iTunes Store Screen Shot