Sunday, March 1, 2009

Free Digital Texts and Free Online Course Materials

Free Digital Texts and Free Online Course Materials
It's important when the free digital textbooks and free online course materials are covered by the LA Times. The issues surrounding pricey textbooks and digital alternatives are compactly discussed in this news article. ___ JH (Thanks to the blog Free Culture News for this reference.)
"Caltech economics professor R. Preston McAfee finds it annoying that students and faculty haven't looked harder for alternatives to the exorbitant prices. McAfee wrote a well-regarded open-source economics textbook and gave it away -- online. But although the text, released in 2007, has been adopted at several prestigious colleges, including Harvard and Claremont-McKenna, it has yet to make a dent in the wider textbook market."
"McAfee is one of a band of would-be reformers who are trying to beat the high cost -- and, they say, the dumbing down -- of college textbooks by writing or promoting open-source, no-cost digital texts. Thus far, their quest has been largely quixotic, but that could be changing. Public colleges and universities in California this past year backed several initiatives to promote online course materials, and publishers and entrepreneurs are stepping up release of electronic textbooks, which typically sell at reduced prices."
"Open educational resources is an amorphous category for publishers, but basically it includes e-textbooks, courses, videos, taped lectures, tests, software and other materials released online free to the public without restriction on use."

AP IMPACT: Some nonprofits can't touch their money

AP IMPACT: Some nonprofits can't touch their money
The North Carolina Symphony has all the money it needs. But in this economy, the orchestra isn't allowed to touch it.

The ABCs of federal tax breaks for college education expenses (Los Angeles Times)

You can save as much as $2,500 per student, but how much you claim depends on your income, the student's educational status and how and when you paid the bill. If you're paying for a college education, you may need an advanced degree to figure out how to claim federal tax breaks for those expenses. Read the rest ...

Sunday Reflection On The 500th Post

Warning: Post Preface Okay, so I don’t really reflect on this, the 500th post, but sure, it’s a milestone worthy of mention. So, what d’ya wanna be when you grow up? Nine-Year-Old-Son-Alex is determined to be a professional skateboarder, totally unaware that he will not be drawing any sort of regular income and the money he happens to earn will promptly pay for his regular emergency room visits. I’m hoping it’s a phase… Twelve-Year-Old-Daughter-Kate would like to be paid to watch Read more ...