Wikibooks to offer free eTexts for education
By Robert Brumfield, Assistant Editor, eSchool News
November 2, 2005

The Wikimedia Foundation--the group known best for the open-source,  
freely licensed encyclopedia project Wikipedia, which invites users  
to write, edit, and expand upon encyclopedia entries to create a  
collaborative, free-to-use online information resource--has begun a  
similar initiative for textbooks.

If the effort catches on, it could have a profound impact on the for- 
profit textbook and online content markets for schools.

Wikibooks invites users to collaboratively write and edit freely  
licensed, online K-20 textbooks and related nonfiction, such as  
literary criticism, for all subjects. The project uses wiki web- 
publishing software, which permits users to read, edit, and write the  
eTextbooks themselves. Wikimedia describes the software as "a vast  
simplification of the process of creating HTML pages, and thus a ...  
very effective way to exchange information through a collaborative  
effort." The intent is that online communities of experts and novices  
will police the eTextbook content for readability, accuracy, and the  
latest advances in the field.

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Wikibooks project

Gesmer Updegrove LLP

McGraw-Hill Companies