From Gloria Colvin, President, Florida Library Association:

The development of open access textbooks is a growing movement, prompted in part by the high costs of many textbooks.  The following is information about the open-access textbooks available to Florida students through the Orange Grove digital repository provided by David Nelson, Project Manager of the Open Textbook Project at the Florida Distance Learning Consortium.

The State of Florida is the home of a growing shelf of open textbooks through its innovative program, Orange Grove Texts, Plus. The University of Florida’s Mathematics Department tops the stack with three calculus books, a series called Concepts in Calculus. Provost Joseph Glover and Math Department Chair Jed Keesling sponsored the authoring effort by paying Professors Miklos Bona and Sergei Shabonov for their time spent writing the books. The first book, Concepts in Calculus I, was pilot tested during the Spring 2011 semester with over 1,000 students. It is being used this year by over 1,600 students at UF for a savings to students of over $50,000. It is now freely available for any student anywhere to download from The Orange Grove, Florida’s digital repository, where accompanying WebAssign videos and problem sets can also be obtained. The book carries a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative works 3.0 unported license (CC BY-NC-ND). The second and third books in the series are scheduled for pilot testing in Spring 2012. The books are being edited and published by University Press of Florida, as part of the Orange Grove Text Plus collection, with support from the FIPSE-funded Open Access Textbook project.

Two other open textbooks developed in Florida soon to be found in the Orange Grove Texts Plus collection are on Theater and American Government. Introduction to Theatre is being edited by Dr. Charlie Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Florida, and is scheduled for pilot testing in the Spring semester of 2012. Dr. Timothy Lenz, Professor of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University is in the process of authoring the open textbook American Government. Over 130 additional texts reside in OGT+ for student and faculty use.

The Orange Grove is home to over 40,000 instructional resources for Florida educators. The open textbooks collection contains 135 Orange Grove Text Plus higher education open textbooks, 188 K-12 open textbooks, four WebAssign supported books, and 4,880 chapters of InTech books in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine. The open textbook collection is open to everyone, and sharing, distributing, and remixing of the textbooks, when the license permits derivatives, is strongly encouraged.

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