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​​​​​​​Open Textbooks: Challenges for Policy

June 11, 2015

Rabin Observatory, University of Haifa

Haifa, Israel

 Learning In a Networked Society 

in collaboration with

THE HAIFA CENTER FOR LAW AND TECHNOLOGY (HCLT) & THE CENTER FOR RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVES IN EDUCATION  

*funded by The I-CORE Program of the Israeli Science Foundation

The rise of digital books and open textbooks raises a series of challenges to learning and teaching practices, educational institutions and the norms and laws that govern them. Open textbooks create new opportunities for learning communities to engage in preparing educational materials to enable textbook users to access, use, copy, remix and further adapt the works to their dynamic needs. eTexbooks may also lower the price of books, so that schools and universities can make them available at low marginal cost. The rise of eTextbooks further introduces a shift of authority, challenging organizational structures and empowering individuals and participatory communities of teachers and students. 

eTexbooks involve a series of choices  on critical issues, such as the scope of ownership in a collaborative environment, the appropriate rules of attribution, terms of access and licensing schemes, surveillance of reading, innovation, and free speech. How may authority be managed and quality control secured in open textbooks? How may free access be assured, and at the same time readers' and learners' privacy be protected? How will the shift in authority affect educational institutions, relationships and processes? What are the educational, institutional and legal barriers to adopting eTextbooks in schools and higher education?

This workshop is intended to focus on these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring the technological changes from a social, educational and legal standpoint. The workshop will bring together experts from academia and government, and practitioners in the field, to discuss policy, norms and educational implications of the rise of eTextbooks.

* This workshop is supported by the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and The Israel Science Foundation