Saving Money with Open Textbooks

Problem: You need to provide textbooks for students in your city schools. But because the textbook you currently use costs $, once you buy a textbook you hold on to it for years before replacing it. This translates into both (1) out-of-date textbooks and (2) textbooks that students are not allowed to actively study with - they can't write, highlight, or take notes in their books because another years worth of students after them have to use the books, too.

Possible Solution: You've heard of open textbooks, but don't really understand what's involved in using them? It's simple. The process begins with a rigorous, high-quality textbook authored and edited by experts - like the math and science textbooks from CK12. Your best teachers take this book as a starting point and work together for hours revising and adapting the book to meet your school or district's specific needs. (This isn't as expensive as it sounds, even though your teachers are paid $ per hour for their efforts.) Once they've eliminated all the extraneous material that doesn't need to be in the book, you'll have a custom student edition only pages long that contains exactly and only the content and assessments your students need. And because things change, your teachers will invest another hours each summer updating your custom book. When each year's new version is ready, you print copies through a print-on-demand vendor like CreateSpace and give each student a textbook they can write in, highlight in, and keep permanently.

But Does It Work? With your current textbook, it costs $ to provide a textbook for each student (at a cost of $ per student). If you adopt an open textbook, over those same years you'll invest $ in your teachers, another $ on printing. Taking these costs together, open textbooks will cost your school or district $ per student (% the cost of your current textbook).

The Bottom Line: With open textbooks you'll $ over the years.

  • Be sure to interact with all the page elements that have the dashed underlines - they're interactive, updating the remainder of the page in real time.
  • The prices in the Open Textbook Cost Savings Calculator assume you use CreateSpace as your POD vendor. Shipping prices are not included in the prices of traditional textbooks or open textbooks in the above comparison. For sake of completeness, shipping the open textbooks you spec'ed out above will cost $ over the years.

Textbook Cost Per Years
$ $