Free Open Source and Open Content Educational Materials

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Introduction

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We are all used to the idea of free public lending libraries. Benjamin Franklin helped to get this idea started in the United States well over 200 years ago. Moreover, the idea of free public schools for all is well accepted and implemented in many countries. Almost always, a school has a library.

Thus, it is not too great a leap to have a vision of free education and educational materials being made available to people of all ages throughout the world. Free precollege education could (should) be a birthright for all. Quoting from the United Nation's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human rights (article 26):

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Education a Birth Right is an article by Ban Ki-moo, Secretary General of the United Nations. It provides more recent information on this topic:

When I was a child in war-time Korea, we were constantly told to study hard. That was the only way to invest in our future — and it worked. Everything I am, I owe to education — including textbooks donated by the United Nations agencies United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Worldwide, a huge amount of progress has occurred in education. The Internet and the rapidly improving telecommunications access and facilities throughout the world have brought a new dimension to the idea of universal, free education. Many volunteers and organizations are willing and able to create educationally sound materials and make them available free on the Web. It is within the world's capabilities to provide a very broad range of free distance education-based curriculum on the Web, and good progress is occurring. See, for example, a discussion of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Of course, we have to think carefully about the meaning of "free." You know that someone has to pay to have "free" public libraries. Similarly, the Internet is not free. However, the Internet is paid for by a very large number of organizations and institutions, so the cost is widely distributed and there is considerable economy of scale.

In addition, it costs to access the Internet. However, there are many places (such as public libraries, schools, some entire cities, many airports and restaurants, and so on) where this cost is not directly charged to the people using the service.

Finally, there is the cost of the devices people use to access the Internet. These have declined in price so that it is now feasible to provide them free to every student. How rapidly this is occurring or will occur varies considerably from country to country.

In the United States, the cost of public education in 2014 was approximately $12,000 per student. Think about the connectivity devices and the connectivity that can be purchased for one to two percent of this amount ($120 to $240) per student per year.

You know that the price of tablet computers and laptop computers continues to decline, while their capabilities continue to increase. I, personally, make extensive use of a Kindle Fire tablet computer that retailed (in 2016) for $50. Indeed, later in 2016 I twice saw special sales where the Kindle Fire tablet was available for $33 (limit, one). In July of 2017, Amazon Prime had a one day sale in which the newest Kindle Fire table computer was $29.99(limit 10). This tablet computer represents a tremendous amount of capability for a quite modest price.

Although this inexpensive tablet computer has a relatively small screen, I find it quite acceptable for reading online materials. Suppose that a student were only using such a connectivity device to read online materials, and that on average such a tablet computer wears out after three or four years. This one educational tool would provide a student access to the world's largest library at a cost of about $10 to $15 per year. (Of course, this does not pay for the connectivity.) I find this mind boggling!

Many schools now provide all of their students with a tablet or laptop computer for use in school and/or for use both at school and home. Most colleges and universities in the U.S. and other developed nations now assume that their students have easy access to computer facilities—personally owned and/or provided by the school.

This leaves us with a continuing problem of how to make effective use of such computer facilities in learning and in using one's learning. How much progress are we making in providing all students with free access to those parts of the collected knowledge of the human race that are needed in acquiring a good precollege education, a good 2-year or 4-year college education, and graduate school education?

Historically, precollege and higher education have become very dependent on textbooks. Technology for printing and distributing textbooks became well developed. Authors, publishers, and distributors found that they could make considerable money through engaging in the textbook writing, publishing, and distribution business.

Computer technology has made possible a major change in this industry. Writers such as myself can write and edit our materials and make them available free on the Web. While the "for profit" components of the writing, publishing, and distribution system have continued to be robust and profitable, the "free on the Web" materials have significantly impacted the market.

The remainder of this IAE-pedia document examines sources of free books, textbooks, and related instructional materials available on the Web. A number of sources of other types of free content are given at the end of this document.

What Is Free?

When you check a book out of a public library, you can read it "for free." Contrast this with renting a video, viewing it once or twice, and returning it. In both cases there is a cost. In the former case, the cost is to taxpayers and contributors to the library, and in the latter case the rental fee. In both cases you are legally prohibited from making a copy either for yourself or to give to another person.

Now, consider use of the Wikipedia on the Web. This material is free. In addition, you can make and distribute copies, and you can modify your copies for non-commercial uses. The Wikipedia is the world's largest encyclopedia, and different versions of it are available in a number of different languages. See the diagram (from year 2016) given below.

Wikipedia.png


The Wikipedia makes use of a Creative Commons License that provides detailed information about the rights of the reader/user. Quoting from the linked document:

A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created. CC provides an author flexibility (for example, they might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of their own work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.

Currently there are seven different Creative Commons licenses.

Creative Commons Licenses.png


The Information Age Education (IAE) document you are currently reading and all other IAE documents are distributed free subject to the sixth Creative Commons license in the list given above.

Writers and publishers use a variety of terms to describe materials that are available free on the Web. For example, they may be described as open access, open content, or open source. Certainly, you are free to read the material that is made available. But before you go further and make copies to give to other people, modify the copies and give them to other people, sell either the original or modified versions, or make other uses, you need to check into the copyright laws and the restrictions placed on the material by the publisher/author.

The Web provides many thousands of sources. Currently, there are a number of Open Content projects that have scanned and/or are scanning millions of books and making them available online. Some of the books (especially, those out of copyright) are available free. For lists of many of these materials, see the section on Free IAE Resources at the end of this article.

Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and fair use are complex legal issues. Here are two definitions from the Oxford Dictionary

  • Copyright: The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.
  • Fair Use: (In US copyright law) the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder.

Quoting from an Educational Fair Use discussion in a Stanford University Library article:

Publishers and the academic community have established a set of educational fair use guidelines to provide “greater certainty and protection” for teachers. While the guidelines are not part of the federal Copyright Act, they are recognized by courts and the Copyright Office as minimum standards for fair use in education. A teacher or pupil following the guidelines can feel comfortable that a use falling within these guidelines is a permissible fair use and not an infringement.

For the most part, these definitions do not provide enough detail for teachers and student to decide whether or not their use of materials is violating copyright law.

Quoting from Jennifer Howard's 2011 interview of copyright expert Nancy Sims:

If Nancy Sims had to pick one word to describe how researchers, students, and librarians feel about copyright, it would probably be "confused."
A lawyer and a librarian, Ms. Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She's there to help people on campus and beyond—both users and owners of protected material—understand their rights.
...
Fair use is complicated—but you can also call on the principle of "classroom use." Ask Ms. Sims for a quick working definition of fair use—when it's OK to use copyrighted material without permission—and she just chuckles. "There is no such thing as a quick working definition of fair use," she says. The shorthand she sometimes uses is that fair use "is the breathing space for freedom of expression within copyright law."
What many faculty members don't realize, she explains, is that "fair use is not the only kind of noninfringing use" available to them. "The really important exemption that I talk to people about is the one called the classroom-use exemption." An instructor teaching students face-to-face in a nonprofit educational setting has a good deal of leeway to show them a lot of copyrighted material. For instance, "you can play a whole movie in class if you fit in the exemption category," Ms. Sims says. "And none of this is fair use."
Don't be ruled by fear. "Because lots of academic types of fair use are not very well settled in the law, there's room for lawsuits, unfortunately, or at least for complaints," Ms. Sims says. Nobody wants to get sued. She urges people—and the institutions they work for—to shift the focus from "Will I get sued if I use this?" to "What is it we want to do, and then how can we do that within copyright law?"

People need to comply with the law, she says, but they should focus first on their research and teaching missions. The document includes links to a number to additional resources. For example:

Digital Filing Cabinet

As a routine user of free instructional materials on the Web, and as a teacher of teachers, I have found it very useful to develop my own personal Digital Filing Cabinet. For me, this is a Web page that contains links to materials that I want to access from time to time. For example, I have a Math Education Digital Filing Cabinet. More broadly, I think of the entire collection of IAE documents as my Personal Digital Filing Cabinet. I find it indispensable to my professional work.

I strongly recommend that you create a Personal Digital Filing Cabinet—perhaps as a word processing document or perhaps on the Web—both for your own personal use and for sharing with your professional colleagues. When you find a document on the Web that you may want to read again sometime in the future or share with a colleague, add it or its Web address to your Personal Digital Filing Cabinet.

Developing Free Educational Materials

There are a growing number of projects that focus on providing free textbooks and other instructional materials specifically written for students in courses and/or for people who just want to learn on their own. While the Wikipedia is often cited as a good example, one can think of much of the material on the Web as falling into this category.

This idea of free interactive Web-based instructional materials represents a major paradigm shift in educational publishing. The goal is to write educational textbooks and pieces of textbooks, and make them available as free, open source materials on the Web.

This is a worldwide effort and has been going on for a number of years. Quoting from the 2007 Cape Town Open Education Declaration:

We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.
This emerging open education movement combines the established tradition of sharing good ideas with fellow educators and the collaborative, interactive culture of the Internet. It is built on the belief that everyone should have the freedom to use, customize, improve and redistribute educational resources without constraint. Educators, learners and others who share this belief are gathering together as part of a worldwide effort to make education both more accessible and more effective.

Historically, many teachers have developed good quality materials for use in their teaching, and have shared these materials with their fellow teachers. Many teachers share lesson plans or ideas for lesson plans. A large number of teacher-developed lesson plans are available free on the Web. The Internet has made it easy for people to make their materials available free to a huge potential readership. Instead of sharing materials with a few colleagues and students, one can now share them with the world.

However, except in rare cases, there is a major difference between a lesson plan and the textual materials (both for the students and for the teacher) that one finds in high-quality, commercially-published materials. What is gradually beginning to happen is that some teachers are writing commercially-publishable materials and making them available free on the Web.

I (David Moursund) have been doing this for about a decade. As you can see in my Professional Vita, I have published more than 60 books. Currently, some of my older books and all of my newer books are made available free on the Web in both PDF and Microsoft Word formats.

Learning Objects

Developing instructional materials for one specific learning objective is one approach, and can be less overwhelming as a goal for the teacher who wants to develop such materials. Quoting from the Wikipedia entry on Learning Object:

A learning object is "a collection of content items, practice items, and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective". The term is credited to Wayne Hodgins, and dates from a working group in 1994 bearing the name. The concept encompassed by 'Learning Objects' is known by numerous other terms, including: content objects, chunks, educational objects, information objects, intelligent objects, knowledge bits, knowledge objects, learning components, media objects, reusable curriculum components, nuggets, reusable information objects, reusable learning objects, testable reusable units of cognition, training components, and units of learning.
The core idea of the use of learning objects is characterized by the following: discoverability, reusability, and interoperability.
Learning objects offer a new conceptualization of the learning process: rather than the traditional "several hour chunk", they provide smaller, self-contained, re-usable units of learning.
They will typically have a number of different components, that range from descriptive data to information about rights and educational level. At their core, however, will be instructional content, and probably assessment tools. A key issue is the use of metadata.
Learning object design raises issues of portability, and of the object's relation to a broader learning management system.
Adapting a definition from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center, Robert J. Beck suggests that learning objects have the following key characteristics:
  • Learning objects are a new way of thinking about learning content. Traditionally, content comes in a several hour chunk. Learning objects are much smaller units of learning, typically ranging from 2 minutes to 15 minutes.
  • Are self-contained – each learning object can be taken independently.
  • Are reusable – a single learning object may be used in multiple contexts for multiple purposes.
  • Can be aggregated – learning objects can be grouped into larger collections of content, including traditional course structures
  • Are tagged with metadata – every learning object has descriptive information allowing it to be easily found by a search.

Online Publishing of Free Textbook Types of Materials

Currently, relatively few teachers are sharing free textbook-like materials on the Web. Here are some possible reasons for this:

  1. Many teachers are not comfortable with the quality of their own writing. Many find that writing for public consumption is both painful and—sometimes—embarrassing. They lack easy access to content editors and copy editors, and often do not feel comfortable in asking for such help from their fellow teachers.
  2. From the point of view of many teachers, publishing on the Web is far more frightening than just running off a few photocopies to share with friends. (This may be vaguely related to the fact that many teachers are most comfortable in their teaching when their classroom door is closed and there are no visitors. At the same time, they freely discuss teaching strategies with their fellow teachers.)
  3. Publishing on the Web requires knowledge and skills that a great many teachers do not have. Moreover, readers are gradually expecting an increasingly high level of quality in the publication of such "professional" materials. In addition, publishing one's materials on the Web tends to carry with it some responsibility to keep the materials up to date.
  4. Developing and writing high-quality materials takes a lot of time. Many teachers feel that they do not have the time for such activities. Moreover, the "reward" system in education often offers little encouragement to teachers who might do such work. This is true at both the precollege level and in higher education.

While such challenges can be daunting, we do not need every teacher to be developing materials and full courses to be made available free on the Web. However, many teachers are capable of making a contribution. The teachers of a particular discipline in one school district could collectively take it upon themselves to accomplish the development of one course or a significant piece of one course. Such an activity would not be too much different from the "Lesson Study" activity that now engages many teachers.

Free Textbooks

A 5/2/08 Google search of the expression free online course materials produced about 1.8 million results. A 6/5/2016 Google search using the same search expression produced about 236 million results. Clearly, this is a dramatic increase in the amount of such material available on the Web. However, it is important to be very careful about copyright. Here is a repeat of the warning given earlier in this article:

But before you go further and make copies to give to other people, modify the copies and give them to other people, sell either the original or modified versions, or make other uses, you need to check into the copyright laws and the restrictions placed on the material by the publisher/author.

Community College Consortium

Quoting from the Community College Consortium website:

The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) at the Open Education Consortium is composed of over 250 community and technical colleges representing individual, regional, and statewide consortia members in 17 North American states and provinces. Our mission is the promotion of open education policies and practices to expand access to education and improve teaching and learning.
The open education movement encourages the creation and reuse of free, high-quality open educational resources (OER), open textbooks, and open source learning systems.… A wealth of openly licensed and public domain content is currently available at open repositories on the web providing learning resources for teachers and students. [Bold added for emphasis.]

The site includes links to open textbooks for 23 course areas such as Anthropology & Archaeology, Art, Biology & Genetics, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, etc.

Free Business Textbooks

The Free Business textbooks site covers a wide range of areas such as Accounting, Accounting for Managers, Basic Business, e-Books, Courses, Career Options for Graduates, etc. It includes a Business and Economics Audio/Video Internet Library.

Free Tech Books

The Free Tech Books website provides links to free books in Computer Science, Mathematics, Supporting Fields, Operating Systems, and Programming/Scripting. As of 6/5/2016, there were 912 items available. Quoting from this website:

This site lists free online computer science, engineering and programming books, textbooks and lecture notes, all of which are legally and freely available over the Internet.
Throughout this site, other terms are used to refer to a book, such as ebook, text, document, monogram or notes.
What's the Catch?
None. All the books listed in this site are freely available, as they are hosted on websites that belong to the authors or the publishers.
Please note that (a) we do not host pirated books and (b) we do not link to sites that host pirated books and (c) we do not even link to sites that link to sites that host pirated books.
Please also note that each author and publisher has their own terms and conditions in the forms of free / open documentation licenses, public domain or other specific ones.
You are allowed to view, download and with a very few exceptions, print the books for your own private use at no charge. In fact, you are encouraged to tell others about the books. [Bold added for emphasis.]

Global Text Project

The Global Text Project is an excellent example of free textbooks. Quoting from the website:

"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." (Nelson Mandela)
We publish open content electronic textbooks that are freely available from this website. We focus on content development and Web distribution, and we will work with relevant authorities to facilitate dissemination by other means when bandwidth is unavailable or inadequate. The goal is to make textbooks available to the many who cannot afford them.

MIT Open Courseware

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an outstanding example of free college level material. Quoting from the website:

The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.”
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
Through OCW, educators improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication.

As of 6/5/2016, the MIT site indicates that it contains materials from 2,340 courses and has had 200 million visitors.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Quoting from the Wikipedia:

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. It is the leading trend in distance education/open and distance learning domain as a consequence of the openness movement.
The idea of open educational resources (OER) has numerous working definitions.[3] The term was firstly coined at UNESCO's 2002 Forum on Open Courseware and designates "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work". Often cited is the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation term which defines OER as:
"teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge"

Dian Schaffhauser offers a number of useful OER links in her article, 16 OER Resources Every Educator Should Know. Quoting from the website:

Open educational resources not only save students from triple-digit (or more!) textbook costs, but they also allow instructors to mix-and-match content for a more personalized, engaging learning experience. Here are 16 resources that offer a wide range of content and tools to help implement OER in just about any course.

OpenStax

The goal of the OpenStax project (formerly Connexions Project) is to assemble a large collection of relatively current college level and K-12 academic materials that the authors make available under a Creative Commons license. These materials are then available for viewing on the Web, for organization into textbooks for students to use free on the Web or to print, and for printing hard-copy bound books at a relatively modest cost. Quoting from the website:

OpenStax is a nonprofit based at Rice University, and it’s our mission to improve student access to education. Our first open source college textbook was published in 2012 and has since scaled to more than 20 books used by hundreds of thousands of students across the globe. Our adaptive learning technology, designed to improve learning outcomes through personalized educational paths, is currently being piloted for K-12 and college. The OpenStax mission is made possible through the generous support of philanthropic foundations. Through these partnerships and our alliance with other educational resource companies, OpenStax is breaking down the most common barriers to learning and empowering students and instructors to succeed.

Richard Baraniuk is a Professor at Rice University and Director of the OpenStax project. He started work on the project in about the year 2000. I highly recommend his February, 2006, TED Talk. It paints a picture of a new way of developing, publishing, and sharing materials, and how this will change the world.

Wikibooks

The Wikibooks project began in 2003. Its mission is to create a free collection of open-content textbooks that anyone can edit. The current collection contains both complete books and book segments of significant size.

As of July 2017, this site makes available 2,963 books divided into the categories: Computing, Humanities, Science, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Languages, Engineering, Standard Curricula, and Miscellaneous. See, for example Big Cats. Many of the books are "works in progress."

Repositories

Ascione, L. (3/10/2017). Considering OER? Here's what you need to know. eSchool News. Retrieved 3/13/2017 from http://www.eschoolnews.com/2017/03/10/oer-6-things-know/.

Quoting from this document:

OER are teaching and learning resources that are free to use and share. They also are adaptable and can be customized for a specific class or student. Repositories such as The Orange Grove, the Education Network, and OER Commons help educators locate and learn how to incorporate the resources into their instruction.

Free Books and Journals

Many colleges and universities pay for licenses or subscriptions for a wide range of copyrighted online resources. They make these resources available "free" to their students, faculty, and staff. Such resources tend to have a permanency that makes them useful in courses that will be taught a number of times. Again, check carefully for any copyright restrictions on these materials.

Especially for students in higher education, free open access journals may well be part of the content in a course. There are a number of ongoing projects to provide free open access (open content, but not open source) books and journals on the Web.

The following subsections provide examples of sources of free books and journals.

Open Access Journals

AERA maintains a list of education-related, peer-reviewed open access journals. Quoting from the website:

To the best of our ability to discern, we have included only links to electronic journals that are scholarly, peer-reviewed, full text and accessible without cost. We have excluded professional magazines that are largely not refereed, and commercial journals that may only allow access to a very limited number of articles as an enticement to buy. By restricting membership in this way on the list that follows, we hope to do what little we can to promote free access world wide to scholarship in education

As of 8/13/2016, the Directory of Open Access Journals website describes its accomplishments:

  • 8,979 Journals
  • 6,369 Journals searchable at Article level
  • 130 Countries
  • 2,258,666 Articles

National Academies Press

The National Academies Press both sells its books and makes many of them available free online. In June, 2016, more than 5,000 books were available free online. Many of these are suitable for use in education. See, for example, the Searchable Collections. Quoting from the website:

Discover the best collections of books that the National Academies Press has to offer in selected subject areas. Handpicked by NAP staff, these are the most current and relevant resources. Search inside each book or search across all the titles in each collection to learn more about key issues in science, engineering, and medicine.

Here is the first part of the list of collections and other items from the list:

  • Airborne Chemical Exposure.
  • Animal Geophysical Union.
  • Arctic.
  • Climate Change.
  • Competitivenes.
  • Cosmos.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Space Exploration and Weather
  • STEM Education
  • Teaching mathematics.
  • Women's Adventures in Science

Project Gutenberg

Quoting from the Project Gutenberg website:

Project Gutenberg was the first provider of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971 and his memory continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today.
Project Gutenberg offers over 50,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.
We carry high quality ebooks: Our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers.
No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, we kindly ask you to donate a small amount so we can buy and digitize more books. Other ways to help include digitizing more books, recording audio books, or reporting errors.
Over 100,000 free ebooks are available through our Partners, Affiliates and Resources.

Free Kindle Books from Amazon.com

SpringerOpen

On June 28, 2010, Springer announced a new site for open-access journals. This endeavor is now called SpringerOpen. Quoting from the website:

SpringerOpen, launched in June 2010, includes Springer’s portfolio of 160+ peer-reviewed fully open access journals across all areas of science ranging from very specialized titles to SpringerPlus, our interdisciplinary open access journal that covers all disciplines.
In August 2012, due to the growing demand for open access and the success of our SpringerOpen journals, we expanded our offering to open access books. Published under the SpringerOpen brand they complement our established open access journal portfolio.
SpringerOpen journals and books are made freely and permanently available online immediately upon publication. They are subject to high-level peer review, author and production services ensuring quality and reliability of the work. Authors publishing with SpringerOpen retain the copyright to their work, licensing it under a Creative Commons license.

The Assayer

The Assayer is another good source of free books. Quoting from the website:

The Assayer is the web's largest catalog of books whose authors have made them available for free. Users can also submit reviews. The site has been around since 2000, and is a particularly good place to find free books about math, science, and computers. If you're looking for old books that have fallen into the public domain, you're more likely to find what you want at Project Gutenberg.
You can browse the catalog by clicking on a link in the bar above. You need to become a member if you want to post your own reviews, add books to the database, or participate in discussions of books. Click here to become a member. Membership is free, and the only personal information you need to give is your e-mail address. (We won't spam you, and other visitors will only be able to see your address if you say it's OK.)

Free Newspapers

A 6/5/2016 Google search of the expression free archived newspapers online produced nearly a million results. See, for example, Wikipedia: List of online newspaper archives. Quoting from the website:

This is a list of online newspaper archives and some magazines and journals, including both free and pay wall blocked digital archives. Most are scanned from microfilm into pdf, gif or similar graphic formats and many of the graphic archives have been indexed into searchable text databases utilizing optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Some newspapers do not allow access to the OCR-converted text until it is proofread. Older newspapers are still in image format, and newer newspapers are available as full text that can be cut and pasted. Most text is in ASCII, some are using Unicode for diacritical marks not available in ASCII. Google now indexes many newspaper archives.

In the above quote, "pay wall" means that "free access" may be limited to subscribers to the publication and their clients, e.g., faculty and students using a university library. This Wikipedia site provides links to materials published in about 85 different countries.

Chronicling America

Quoting from this U.S. Library of Congress website Chronicling America:

Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

Free Online Educational Resources from IAE

Lists of Free Online Resources

Moursund, D. (2016). Fair use. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Fair_Use.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free educational videos. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Educational_Videos.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free IAE math education materials. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_IAE_Math_Education_Materials.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free math education videos. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 7/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Math_Education_Videos.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free math software. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Math_Software.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free open content libraries. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 6/27/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Open_Content_Libraries.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free open source and open content educational materials. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Open_Source_and_Open_Content_Educational_Materials.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free open source online databases. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Open_Source_Online_Databases.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free open source software packages. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Open_Source_Software_Packages.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free science education software. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Science_Education_Software.

Moursund, D. (2016). Free science education videos. IAE-pedia. Retrieved 8/17/2016 from http://iae-pedia.org/Free_Science_Education_Videos.

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The original version of this page was created by David Moursund and edited by Ann Lathrop.