:sync: K-12 Open Textbooks: Time Has Come

Author: Werner Westermann
Institution: Library of Congress
Country: Chile

Topic: Connecting Open Education to Primary and Secondary (K-12) Education
Sector: K-12
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Presentation


Some 1.4 billion students and youth across the planet was the result of the sudden and unprecedented educational disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The main response globally to mitigate the impact in learning has been transitioning to remote or distance learning, not only to mitigate the immediate disruption but also develop more open and flexible education systems for the future.

In a context of school K-12 education and a renewed interest in digital educational resources, what will happen with the K-12 printed textbook?

Since the 19th century, the Textbook, a book(s) that serves the purposes of the learning-teaching process, has been the main public investment for educational resources till these days. Especially after 1970, almost every country has a wide-spread public K-12 printed textbook provision program, and has shown evidence-based impact in better learning outcomes.

But as education transits from face-to-face modality towards a more distance, online vitual setting, many questions will arise about the role of the printed textbook and the provision program will be under heavy scrutinity and assessment of its outreach and impact.

As Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Education, in general, emerge as a viable and sustainable alternative model, its principles can guide us to rethink the K-12 textbook, and its relation with other educational resources, through the lens of openness.

Openness can reshape and strengthen the publicly funded K-12 Textbook programs in a context of serious funding restriction and restraints taking advantage of: 1) existing and successful experiences of K-12 open textbooks initiatives; 2) research evidence about the adoption and positive impact of open textbooks; 3) maturity of technological infrastructure to develop, delivery and stewardship of open textbooks; 4) a growing mass of open content to be reused and adapted for open textbooks.

Openness can also strengthen and diversify competitiveness of the publishing industry by embedding innovative ways for production and delivery of open/public educational resources and engaging with end user’s expectations and assessment to better suite their needs.

Come and join this session to discuss about the future of education for our boys, girls and adolescents!!


K-12 Textbook, Digital Textbooks, Open Textbook, Pressbooks, H5P, Kolibri

1 Like

Hello Werner,

I’ll be your tech facilitator for this session.

  • The link to the Zoom room is now listed and is only available for logged in conference registrants (this is why we have been reminding presenters to create accounts).
  • Please ensure you post all of your session materials for attendees!
  • Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes early (there will be another session going on) and let us know in chat that you are here for the next session so we can provide screen sharing access.
  • Towards the end of your session, your session facilitator, @marcela will gently provide 5 minute and 1 minute warnings via audio. We are planning to record this session and post an archive later. If you prefer not to have the session recorded, let us know.

If there is anything you need from us, please let us know! Thanks for being part of the conference.

Thank you Kristina, see you in a while,


Great presentation. Could you please share your slide presentation? I teach at a rural community college in California. Your resources would be very helpful to us.

Hi Werner, LibreTexts has just opened a K-12 library and we have a uniquely large number of distribution channels, including a raspberry pi based LibreTexts in a box, automatic generation of printable textbooks which can be printed at very low cost by just in time printers in Chile, a coming cell phone app and more.

If you have time we are going to talk about the project at 4:20 US EST today :sync: LibreTexts, A Customizable and Globally Available OER Repository for All

and we have office hours later and tomorrow OEG 2020 Gold Sponsor: LibreTexts

Here you go!! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lpVUr0HLcRs5sZL4TnzKtjc2TANutZU5/view

Thanks for your comments and happy to support your work, best wishes.

Thank you Joshua, I try to connect in office hour tomorrow morning, till then, best wishes.

Here’s the recording of the session:

Muchas gracias Mario, saludos cordiales y felicitaciones por todo el trabajo!!


Hola Werner! Gracias e igualmente. Saludos!