Dr KS Yuen, the Project Leader, believes that putting forward the concept of free open textbooks and Creative Commons License can solve the lingering problem of high textbook prices in Hong Kong. He said that ‘open textbook’ has become a new trend in education which is evidenced by the successful open textbook projects carried out in the US in the past decade. He encouraged Hong Kong teachers to develop, adapt and share OER for the betterment of education.
The free-of-charge open textbooks developed by the project team are tailor-made for the English Language curriculum of the Curriculum Development Institute (CDI). The Subject Specialists of the project team introduced the content design of the open textbook series. Dr Eva Tsang, the Project Manager demonstrated the interactive functions of the electronic version of the open textbooks, such as dictionary, annotation and management of learning records.
The rationale behind ‘open textbook’ is generally recognized by the audience. Some secondary school teachers commented that the reading texts in the open textbooks are closely relevant to hot issues. Some teachers requested for supplementary educational resources and assistance in eLearning.
The twelve open textbooks on the English Language subject at Primary 1 to Secondary 6 levels are now being written by subject specialists, qualified experienced teachers and instructional designers. Some of the units (including printed, PDF and ePub versions) are planned to be tried out for free in the 2014-15 school year. The whole series will be ready for use by schools in September 2015.