OpenStax College publishes first iBooks textbook

Rice University-based publisher unveils College Physics, plans future iBooks textbooks

OpenStax College has published College Physics, the first iBooks textbook that is based on a free, open-source textbook from Rice University-based publisher OpenStax College. The open-education resources (OER) publisher said it plans to create iBooks textbook versions of additional textbooks for heavily attended college courses from its growing catalog.

The dynamic, interactive iBooks textbook version of College Physics costs $4.99 and contains interactive graphics, videos, quizzes, demos and other added features that enable students to immerse themselves in the material.

“Millions of iPads are used in education today, and we want to offer the benefits of OER to every iPad user,” said OpenStax College director Richard Baraniuk.

Baraniuk, Rice’s Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said the iBooks textbook version of College Physics helps OpenStax College meet two goals. First, it makes OpenStax materials available to millions of students who either own an iPad or attend a school that uses them. In addition, the iBooks textbook versions of the books will provide OpenStax College with a steady source of revenue to pay for the conversion of future titles for the iPad.

“OpenStax College iBooks textbooks represent a new quality benchmark for open-education resources,” said OpenStax College Editor-in-Chief David Harris. “Quite simply, they represent the highest OER quality in the world. For an incredibly low price, students and school districts can rapidly realize the cost of the iPad through the savings of these e-books.”

The iBooks textbook version of College Physics offers an engaging, full-screen experience that is full of interactive diagrams, photos and videos, Harris said.

“Students can dive into an image with interactive captions, full-motion demonstrations and embedded quizzes,” he said. “They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the screen, and they can highlight text, take notes and search with ease.”

OpenStax College’s next three titles — Biology, Concepts of Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology — will be completed in early 2013, and sample chapters will be available through the iBookstore this fall. Baraniuk said OpenStax College also has begun raising funds to develop free textbooks for algebra, chemistry, economics, U.S. history and psychology.

College Physics is available for $4.99 from the iBookstore on iPad or at:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/college-physics/id575595601?mt=13.

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.