Last night, I wrote a piece on the need to really rethink DRM in education. No sooner had I posted it than @CK12FlexBooks was following me on Twitter. Always the intrepid link-clicker, I started digging around the CK-12 Foundation website and couldn't help but be impressed. When some serious Silicon Valley heavyweights get together with Stanford academics and experienced K-12 educators to start producing high-quality, open content, chances are good that you'll at least find a few neat ideas.
It looks as though CK-12 is way beyond "neat ideas", though. According to their website,
CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the “FlexBook,” CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning.
The content generated by CK-12 and the CK-12 community will serve both as source material for a student's learning and provide an adaptive environment that scaffolds the learner's journey as he or she masters a standards-based body of knowledge, while allowing for passion-based learning.
Here's the key idea: there's lots of free textbooks on the site in electronic format that you can modify, repurpose, reuse, and contribute to. While I'm still exploring, the texts, chapters, and topics appear high-quality, easy to use, and well-organized. Not surprisingly, most of the work is aligned with California standards, but it's clear that alignment with local standards, as well as the ability to address individual student needs, is very much on the way.
I'll be exploring this site quite a bit more over the next few weeks, but suffice to say that if you are looking for free educational content, this is a fine place to start. If you have educational content that you want to make available for free, this is an even better place to contribute.