Clancy's blog

Free and Open Textbooks in Rhetoric and Writing Studies

Below is my article for this year's CCCC-IP Annual. I refer to some exciting stuff going on in our field such as http://writingspaces.org/:

The issue of access is one of the main reasons our field has held a prolonged interest in copyright and intellectual property matters. We want everyone to have access to education, art, science, and culture. We want open-access publishing in general, for our scholarship and for teaching resources. But we especially empathize with college students and their diverse financial situations; many are, as we all know, accruing student loan debt, juggling class schedules and work schedules, and, in some cases, supporting their families. Admittedly, many others are racking up high bar tabs, paying high membership dues to fraternities or sororities, and buying expensive clothes, but we maintain concern for the students who are struggling to pay their bills and whose financial future is especially uncertain. Such concern means that we -- especially those of us who, like me, are Writing Program Administrators -- often agonize about our responsibility to select textbooks that are both affordable and pedagogically sound and appropriate for our students. In this paper, I will describe two developments from the year 2010 that pertain to intellectual property and our field. One is the publication of a report titled A Cover-to-Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability by a student activist group. The other is the publication of volume I of Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, an open textbook for undergraduate writing courses.

Helpful Information about Open Textbooks

I ran across this interview with Nicole Allen, an open education activist, who updates Creative Commons on her work with open textbooks. There's also a link to a new report, A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability.

Free Software (Not Necessarily Open Source)

I recently ran across a big long list of free software. Many of the applications are not open source, but I thought some of you might be interested in these. I'm looking into CamStudio now.

Apps for Special Needs Children

I thought some of you might find these apps interesting. They are for special needs children, particularly (it seems) autistic children. These apps facilitate visual communication and help parents to help children visualize their everyday routine activities, goal/reward systems, and social situations.

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