Cambridge University Press: Cambridge University Press increases coronavirus support for academic customers. “Cambridge University Press is offering free, online access to higher education textbooks and coronavirus research during the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, existing customers are being offered free access to key reference works on request to help them overcome the disruption caused by the global response to the pandemic. All 700 textbooks published and currently available in HTML format on Cambridge Core – the online home of academic books and journals – are available regardless of whether textbooks were previously purchased.”
University System of Maryland: The Maryland Open Source Textbook Initiative Launches Tool to Advance the Adoption of Open Educational Resources. “The Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative–a priority project for the University System of Maryland’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation and state higher education partners-has launched M.O.S.T. Commons… a collaborative, online space designed to support faculty and staff in adopting, creating, and sharing open educational resources (OER).”
WJLA: Scammers target college students with fake online access codes for digital course material. “College textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars and students are often required to spend even more for additional digital material. ABC7 News found out that some students trying to save cash are at risk of getting scammed by turning to social media ‘deals’.”
EurekAlert: Math that feels good. “Mathematics and science Braille textbooks are expensive and require an enormous effort to produce — until now. A team of researchers has developed a method for easily creating textbooks in Braille, with an initial focus on math textbooks.”
University of Chicago Library: ‘Spoken Yucatec Maya’ online textbook republished. “In the mid-1960s a set of Mayan language textbooks was created at the University of Chicago that has proven to be an invaluable resource for faculty and students around the world who are interested in learning Mayan languages. Originally created in analog form and distributed via photocopy and audio tapes, one of the textbooks, Spoken Yucatec Maya, was eventually turned into a website that was publicly available until last year, when it was taken down due to security concerns connected with its outdated web platform. Today, as the result of collaboration between the University of Chicago Library, Professor John Lucy, and the Social Sciences Division, this critical teaching tool is now available to future generations on a sustainable platform…”
University of Arkansas: Textbooks by University of Arkansas Faculty Added to Open Textbook Library. “Three openly licensed textbooks written by University of Arkansas faculty are now available in the Open Textbook Library.” The new textbooks cover physics, astronomy, and technical writing.
CNET: Back-to-school malware is hiding in those digital textbooks. “Security experts are warning about back-to-school dangers for students who want to cut the cost of textbooks by accessing them online. Over the past academic year, cybercriminals targeting students attempted to attack Kaspersky users more than 356,000 times, Kaspersky Lab researchers said Monday. The majority of the malware was disguised as free essays, but textbooks accounted for roughly a third.” Oddly, the article talks about “students who want to cut the cost of textbooks by accessing them online” but refers to the textbook subjects most dangerous to K-12 students. Do K-12 students buy textbooks? I haven’t been in school for a very, very long time.
TechCrunch: Chegg resets 40 million user passwords after data breach . “Chegg, a technology giant specializing in textbook rental, has confirmed a data breach affecting some 40 million customers. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it will reset all user passwords after hackers gained access to the company’s customer database. That database includes users for Chegg’s website but also other products, such as citation service EasyBib, which it owns.”
CBC: Digital archive of old B.C. textbooks highlights ‘constant dehumanizing of Indigenous people’. “Pia Russell does her work and research deep in the archives of the library at the University of Victoria — but is making sure that the legacy of prejudice she’s uncovering in old school textbooks is not forgotten. Russell, a subject librarian at UVic’s McPherson Library who is responsible for Indigenous studies, has started creating a digital collection of historical textbooks used in B.C. schools since 1866.”