If you are anything like me, you get VERY frustrated on behalf of your students with the cost of textbooks and other materials. A lot of institutions of higher education around the country - especially public institutions, which are heavily supported by taxpayer dollars - are adopting low-cost initiatives. In 2011, Washington launched its Open Course Library project, aiming to keep the cost of course materials to the student to $30 or less. The Washington state legislature funded the project, knowing that in the long term the taxpayers would be saving money. Along with many other institutions, the Maricopa Community Colleges has launched its own low-cost initiative, Maricopa Millions, where a "low-cost" course is defined as one which will cost the student $40 or less in total for course materials.
There are two big ways in which you can help students...
Gather existing Open resources that have been shared by others and would be appropriate for learning in your courses, and start using them! The list of resources below may help you get started:
Creating your own materials isn't as difficult as you may think - there are so many easy-to-use web tools and mobile apps out there to help you create images, videos, slideshows, infographics, electronic posters, ebooks, etc., that pretty much anyone can create great content!
WHICH BRINGS US TO THE POINT OF TODAY'S TEACHING TIP - check out these linked resources, and you'll discover how easy it is to create a web-accessible ebook for your students using http://atavist.com! To get started, and/or to answer just about any Atavist-related question you might have, go to http://help.atavist.com/
"Atavist was founded by Evan (a writer), Nick (an editor), and Jeff (a programmer) back in 2011, when conventional wisdom held that “the end of the attention span” was upon us and that “the death of longform” was imminent. We believed instead that the web could be a thriving home for deeper stories, beautiful design, and innovative publications. So we built a software platform to make it all possible, and a magazine to show how it’s done.
I discovered Atavist while I was on sabbatical in 2015-2016, searching for a "device-agnostic" ebook authoring tool (i.e., a tool that would create an ebook that students could use regardless of the device that they were using, as long as they had an internet connection). Atavist best suited my needs for several reasons:
Awesome people who want to help you do awesome stuff in the classroom! Join the conversation here or in our Facebook Group: CGCC Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment