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State of Washington Launches Digital Textbook Repository

Earlier this year the Washington state legislature followed in the footsteps of California and other states. It set aside three quarters of a million dollars to create a new program which will reduce the amount that the state spends each year for college textbooks.

The first phase of that program launched today.The Open Course Library was created by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and it acts as a central repository for digital textbooks and course materials for the college classes with the highest enrollments. Right now only 42 classes are covered, and they’re grouped in the core requirements of math, sciences, and history.

Most (but not all) of the course materials are free, but the important detail here is that they all meet the standards set by the state of Washington. If a teacher adopts one of the CC licensed textbooks for a class then the students will be able to reduce their textbook costs considerably. But it’s not all peachy keen. Some of the materials in the OCL are still going to cost students money; luckily there’s an upper limit of $30.

Phase 2 is about to launch and it will add corsework for an additional 39 classes. The should be available in Spring 2013

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