California Takes a Big Step Forward: Free, Digital, Open-Source Textbooks - Megan Garber - The Atlantic
Arthur Lozinski stashed this in Just plain AWESOME!
Why did California have to innovate this?
The new legislation encompasses two bills: One, a proposal for the state to fund 50 open-source digital textbooks, targeted to lower-division courses, which will be produced by California's universities. (Students will be able to download these books for free or pay $20 for hard copies.) The other bill is a proposal to establish a California Digital Open Source Library to host those books.
Why isn't a startup doing this?
Eleven Learning and boundless do similar things; I think the natural problem is inertia and syllabi.
Professors control the textbook market with their recommendations; they recommend or require a certain textbook, that textbook -- at least in the pre-Chegg era -- is/was only available for purchase brand new for $150.
Open textbooks won't change anything unless professors require/recommend them in lieu of new editions that have a few pages changed from the last edition and/or a creative resource that matches all required textbooks with open textbooks -- which is hard for the average student to discern at the moment of checkout and/or recommendation.