This is an example of why it is not really necessary for my students to pay anything for books. We have them purchase books because that’s what we think they are supposed to do. We’re bound by school policies requiring us to pick out books for our students to purchase. Somehow from an administrative perspective it looks more legitimate if students are buying books from established companies.
But it isn’t necessary academically when books like this are available for free and available in multiple formats so that they could be accessed via wikis, pdf, Kindles, iPhones, or whatever depending on student preference.
All of this should be considered as we push forward into the ebook age. We’re in a co-dependent relationship with textbook companies. I don’t know what that relationship will look like in the future, but I do know that it is still driving the school policies that prevent me from just chunking our expensive handbook and going with something worthy and accessible and free like the example provided above by Matt Barton and others from St. Cloud.
Good job, Matt. Thanks for putting this out there. Thanks for showing us what can be done.