About EdTech Books
We do not have a scarcity of resources in the world. ... What we have is a scarcity of collective moral conscience.
The only legitimate role for new media and technology in education is to increase our capacity to be generous with one another. The more open we are, the better education will be.
We have created this site and provided all of our content freely, because knowledge should be free, and educational technology should lead the way!
Our goal is nothing less than providing the best open textbook publishing platform and author experience on the web!
We have four guiding values for this initiative:
- Freedom — All of our content is freely available, and most of it is free to remix, reuse, and redistribute without seeking permission.
- Accessibility — We design all of our content with a mobile-first mindset that focuses on making content fast and accessible to all.
- Usability — All of our content undergoes ongoing usability testing to improve our users' experiences.
- Quality — Our content is created by leaders in the field, and much of it undergoes similar peer review processes used by journals or editorial review processes used by book publishers.
The impacts of a resource like this are multi-faceted and difficult to quantify, because it can improve learning, foster sharing, increase collegiality, and provide a variety of other social benefits. For a current estimate of our quantifiable cost savings to students, however, please visit our impact page.
We only include content on this site that is gratis (free as in no cost), but not all content may provide freedoms to users for remixing, etc. (free as in freedom). Each book included in this site is released under its own license, and some include chapters or other content that may be released under yet another license. If you have questions about reuse, remixing, etc., please consult the copyright notice on the individual work.
Books that are hosted on other sites (e.g., PressBooks) that we link to may have their own licensing requirements.
To learn more about licensing and copyright, check out this introductory chapter on the topic.
What Are We Doing?
This webinar hosted by the AECT Research and Theory Division provides an overview of some of the projects occurring through EdTech Books.
Can Your Textbook Do This?
Why Don't More Faculty Go with Open Textbooks?
Current and emerging research on faculty perceptions and barriers to open textbook adoption reveals that almost all faculty believe that open textbooks are a good idea, but few actually use them. The reasons for this are three-fold:
- Time: Faculty do not believe they have the time to create or adapt open resources, or another way of interpreting this is that faculty see work in this area as not being valued in terms of how their jobs are structured. For instance, if a faculty member has to decide whether to spend their time writing an open textbook for hundreds of students or publishing a research article for a few dozen scholars to read, they will typically go with the latter, because their job performance is evaluated based on numbers of articles published, not impact on students.
- Availability and Perceived Quality: Many courses do not have good open textbook options, those that exist may be difficult to find, or those that are found may not seem to be of very high quality. Most faculty who create open textbooks do not hire a type-editor to check for grammatical errors or a graphic designer to create a provocative cover; they also do not hire a marketing team to spread the word about the book or to get endorsements. This means that open textbooks are often difficult to find and may not initially seem to be of very high quality when compared to their commercial alternatives.
- Technical Expertise: Once a textbook is found, it is typically provided in a manner that faculty cannot easily edit or remix it (e.g., as a book-sized PDF). Similarly, when faculty want to create an open textbook, they often lack the technical knowledge necessary to create it in the expected formats that are common today (e.g., a mobile-friendly web version).
These barriers are real and prevent most faculty from moving in the direction of open textbooks. But, it is precisely to address these barriers that we created this platform! (For more information on overcoming barriers, see Irvine et al., 2021.)
Some educators believe that the textbook, like print media, is effectively dead or that it perpetuates poor pedagogical practices. We sympathize with these attitudes but also recognize a few realities.
First, most courses in the U.S. still rely upon a textbook (69% according to Seaman & Seaman, 2018). Second, much of the lack of adoption of open educational resources (OER) can be attributed to their lack of perceived quality and difficulty in finding them. And third, packaging OER into a usable, flexible textbook format makes these resources more appealing and accessible to diverse educators who exhibit a wide array of technical skills and motivations to use OER. In short, open textbooks provide a simple, first step into the world of OER, and though some may criticize open textbooks as not being radical enough, it is precisely their combination of the old and familiar with the new and radical that makes them a trialable, compatible, and relatively advantageous innovation (cf., Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 2003) that practically any educator can readily adopt.
Who Uses Our Books?
Most of the people reading our content are finding it through search engines, but by tracking how readers get to our site, we can also see that our books are increasingly being used by universities and other organizations all over the world. Some notable entities that utilize our content in their courses include the following:
- Asbury University
- Arizona State University
- Baker University
- Brigham Young University
- California State University
- Casper College
- Columbus State University
- Emporia State University
- Framingham State University
- Idaho State University
- Indiana Wesleyan University
- Juniata College
- Loyola University Maryland
- Manhattan College
- Michigan State University
- Montana State University
- Northern Arizona University
- Northern Illinois University
- Oklahoma State University
- Plymouth State University
- Purdue University
- Royal Roads University
- San Francisco State University
- State University of New York
- Texas A&M International University
- University of Alabama
- University of Alabama-Birmingham
- University of Alaska
- University of Central Oklahoma
- Universidad EAFIT
- University of Louisiana
- University of Massachusetts
- University of Memphis
- University of Minnesota
- University of Victoria
- University of Virginia
- University System of Georgia
- Winthrop University
What's the Catch?
"Are you going to monetize this or something?"
Nope. It's all free. Forever. We're just educators who care about our students and also want to make life easier for other educators.
"How do you pay for this?"
In its early years, the platform was intentionally hard-funded from faculty allotments of university budgets so that we never had to worry about a grant running out. As we have scaled up, we have found it necessary to shift to a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) in Utah, USA, that operates from optional membership fees via Patreon. Please consider donating to help us grow.
Readers and authors are not required to become members in order to use our core tools. However, we do utilize some add-on authorship features that are only available to members in paid tiers, such as text-to-speech and translation services.
"Why don't you run this as a non-profit?"
Though our ideals and practices generally align with those of a non-profit, at our current stage of development it makes more fiscal sense to operate as an LLC in order to more simply navigate the U.S. tax system and to reduce overhead costs associated with accounting and legal support.
This may change in the future, but our core goal, values, and commitments will not. In particular, we plan to never charge readers or authors to access or create open educational resources and to remain ad-free forever.
"Why do I have to log in with Google or ORCID?"
For security reasons, we have elected not to collect more information from users than is necessary, meaning that we never store passwords or other sensitive information if we can help it. Instead, we rely upon third parties to authenticate our users and only store a user ID provided by the third party. Currently, Google and ORCID are the main providers, but we hope to add others in the future.
Note that by using an external service to login we also are not collecting information from that service or allowing them to gain access to your content on our site. So, if you login with Google, we won't have access to your Google documents, and Google won't have access to your EdTech Books chapters. Rather, we are only using the login mechanism itself and not other data or resources that the third party might provide.
"Why am I limited to 10 books?"
This is a temporary measure as we scale up. We're happy to increase your limit. Just email us.
Accolades and Awards
- The 2023 MERLOT Classics Award was presented to Robert W. Maloy, Torrey Trust, Allison Butler, and Chenyang Xu for their book Critical Media Literacy and Civic Learning.
- The 2022 AECT Annual Achievement Award was presented to EdTech Books.
- The 2022 BYU Early Career Scholarship Award was presented to Royce Kimmons for his work with EdTech Books.
- The 2021 AECT Scholarly Advancement of Teacher Education and Educational Technology Award (TED) was presented to Royce Kimmons for his work supporting authors and learners via the EdTech Books platform.
- The 2021 AECT People's Choice Theory Spotlight Award Winner (RTD) was presented to Isa Jahnke, Yvonne Earnshaw, Matthew Schmidt, and Andrew Tawfik for work stemming from their open book Learner and User Experience Research.
- The 2021 AECT McJulien Best Paper Award (CLT) was presented to Spencer P. Greenhalgh, Daniel G. Krutka, and Shannon Oltmann for their journal article "Gab, Parler, and (Mis)educational Technologies: Reconsidering Informal Learning on Social Media Platforms" in the Journal of Applied Instructional Design.
- The 2021 Texas Tech University Libraries Open Access Award for Open Education was presented to Cecil R. Short for his book K-12 Blended Teaching.
- Building Democracy for All was identified as a High-quality Educational Resource by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Massachusetts Materials Guide to Grade 8 Civics in 2021.
- Building Democracy for All was selected as a Featured Educator Resource of the Educating for Democracy Initiative in 2021.
- Building Democracy for All was selected as a Featured Open Access Textbook by MERLOT—the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning Online and Teaching—in 2021.
- The 2019 AECT Outstanding Book Award (RTD) was presented to Richard E. West for his book Foundations of Learning and Instructional Design Technology.
- The 2018 AECT Outstanding Book Award (D&D) was presented to Richard E. West for his book Foundations of Learning and Instructional Design Technology.
We have worked hard to design and continually improve this site to be the best open textbook platform on the web. Some features include the following:
- Simple, intuitive, easy-to-navigate interfaces
- Mobile-first and flexible layouts
- Interactive and audiovisual elements, such as practice quizzes and embedded videos
- PDF downloads of books and individual chapters
- Audiobooks of chapters
- h5p embedding
- xAPI data collection and A/B testing for continual improvement and research
- Automated peer review request system
- Google Analytics
- Reading API for including book and chapter contents in your own app
- All content is indexed and searchable and is included in search engines such as Google and Google Scholar
For more information about features, please visit the complete feature list. Or to see a list of recent updates, visit the updates log.
By hosting or linking to content on this site, we do not claim ownership of the content, and we or our partners should not be viewed as supporting the veracity or opinions of content authors. All specific content items merely reflect the opinions of their authors.
Publish with Us
Want to get your book published and reach a wider audience? Want to do research on user experiences with your book? Please review our Publishing with Us page, and we'd love to chat with you about hosting your book for free.
It's been fabulous working with this platform — so much easier and more well-designed than the other OER platforms out there.
Submit an Existing Book
Do you have a great, free textbook that you would like to see included in our list? Submit a link to your book, and we will attempt to include it.
Contribute to a Project
If you would like to contribute to an existing project by writing or editing a chapter, please contact the book author(s) directly.
For a list of projects that are currently soliciting contributions, please visit the current projects page.
This site is developed and maintained by Dr. Royce Kimmons at Brigham Young University.
If you have questions or requests, please direct them to the website administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.