Open Source Textbooks Save Students $1 Billion


– [Narrator] Textbook costs
are up 800% since the 1960s. And these guys are making them free. (ding) – [Daniel] And this has saved students almost a billion dollars. – [Narrator] They’re also prototyping the textbook of the future. Intelligent digital textbooks, that create customized questions and can give immediate
feedback while you’re learning. – [Daniel] Our ultimate goal is to improve learning for all humans, to think about ways we can
help students learn more, better faster. (inspirational violin music) – [Daniel] I went to school and studied opera performance, which is probably not the
typical degree pathway people would think
going from opera to say, publishing slash technology. – [Male Speaker] You can
mean just like a little, like operatic scale. (laughing) (operatic singing) (cheering) (clapping) – [Daniel] One of the
things you do in music is you take this complex information and turn it into some art
form that helps people feel and emote. And you do the same thing in education. You take this information, you break it down, and you figure out how to share it with your students so that
they can actually learn. – [Narrator] But the
reality is many people are locked out of the
current education system. – [Daniel] Because the
cost of these resources have just sky-rocketed, you have a captive consumer model. Textbooks are sold to the faculty member, the faculty member then
assigns it to the student, and the student has to go buy it. And so we looked at that and we said this is, this is broken, there should be a better way to do this. At OpenStax we really
set out to reimagine how textbooks are delivered and how education and
technology is delivered so that individuals can
really own their own destiny. – [Drew] I wouldn’t be at Rice today if it wasn’t for OpenStax. – [Narrator] This is Drew. He found a free OpenStax
economics textbook in high school and it
changed the game for him. – [Drew] Once I realized
how accessible it was, once I realized how
digestible the content was, and the fact that I
wouldn’t have to pay for it, how much of a difference that would make. – [Tanja] I would like for
you to open up your textbook to chapter two. My name is Tanja Conerly, I’m a professor of sociology
and I’ve been using OpenStax in my classroom for over five years. – [Daniel] The old publishing model is you buy a physical textbook, our model is you get a
physical textbook if you want it, download a PDF if you want it, use it online if you want it, get an app if you want it, whatever way works best for you for free. – [Tanja] Using the word innovative is just really an understatement. – [Narrator] And it
looks like this approach is starting to have an
impact on the market. – [Daniel] So textbook
costs for the first time in 50 years started to go down in 2015. And a lot of economists actually attribute this to the price pressure that open educational
resources and OpenStax have put on the market. When we think about all
the work that we’re doing, ya’ know, access is fundamental right? Well that’s step one. Step two is to build
not just free textbooks but intelligent textbooks. – [Narrator] OpenStax
is beginning to develop technology that provides students with personalized questions
and immediate feedback. – [Daniel] We have a team
of cognitive psychologists, machine learning scientists, looking at the most
cutting edge new techniques to create textbooks that learn about you as you learn from them. And then adapt to your
individual needs and preferences as a student. – [Drew] You can live complete a problem and it can see how you’re doing your work, it can analyze, ya’ know, where you can fix up this
and what are the good things that you’re doing. – [Narrator] It’s artificial intelligence applied to learning. Another example of how OpenStax is leading a movement for open education. – [Daniel] Open means to me opportunity. – [Drew] Thank you for coming today. My name is Drew Carter. I’m here on behalf of OpenStax. – [Daniel] OpenEd is a national movement. When I first came to my first OpenEd it was maybe a 100 people
and now there’s thousands. Thousands of advocates
and passionate individuals that are championing this
idea of opening up access, opening up opportunities for innovation. – [Narrator] OpenStax’
textbooks are currently being used in more than 56%
of degree granting intuitions in the United States. And they say this is just the beginning. – [Daniel] These are the
things that get us excited. How do we take education, reinvent it, and help
more students succeed. How do we help all students succeed and making sure that they can achieve their educational dream. That’s tremendous opportunity, that’s tremendous upside potential. – [Crowd] OpenStax! (cheering and clapping) – [Narrator] Daniel and
the team at OpenStax have develop a solution
to one of our country’s biggest challenges. Subscribe to Freethink
to see more episodes of inspiring leaders who
are catalysts for change in their communities. Thanks for watching.

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20 thoughts on “Open Source Textbooks Save Students $1 Billion”

  1. jr bello says:

    I am really happy about this development, going to be going back to school

    After dropping out due bad finances and bad life choices, i am happy to do this

  2. Sha_ Tas says:

    Today, greed foreshadows about what's the best to do for the people often.

  3. Neonii says:

    Bless these guys, education hasn’t changed much over the years. But the price certainly has.

  4. JD Jaramillo says:

    great idea guys, I love it;.

  5. Michael McNay says:

    I didn't know there was a competitive market for college textbooks

  6. Night Fury says:

    "Software like sex, better when it's free"
    -Linus Torvalds

  7. Tem says:

    amazing video dude

  8. Tem says:

    great content keep up the great content

  9. Ryan6578 says:

    So how does the company make money then? Surely they're not paying the bills by giving everything out for free.

  10. Freethink says:

    What subject would you most like to learn?

  11. Freethink says:

    What do you think of this idea?

  12. Seneca says:

    OpenStax is doing a phenomenal job for the whole world. Also massive thanks to Freethink for the much-needed publicity. I hope they won't have to face too much corporate lobbying against what they do and can continue to get enough funding for their future projects.
    The fact that our college textbooks are having skyrocketing prices also reveal something very fundamentally broken with our current outdated form of capitalism.

  13. Matthew Joshua Sosito says:

    I hope this concept would expand to the world in the future so many people like in developing countries like ours in the Philippines..

  14. Sir Meow The Library Cat says:

    👏 This is such a significant development in education. Providing personalised interactive learning and teaching is the right way to go. I applaud Open Stax for all that they are doing. Kind regards from a retired teacher in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿.

  15. Dr Brooklyn says:

    Once they're free I'll use them too and I don't even go to school

  16. Kreatur says:

    This is wonderful.

  17. Ali isma says:

    1 text books factory disliked this haha

  18. Ayush Bhardwas says:

    truly beautiful.

  19. Freethink says:

    You can access the textbooks at – and if you are teaching during the pandemic, there's free resources for moving your courses online at !

  20. Elliott says:

    They should work with Bill Gates and or Khan Academy

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