“Open textbooks are textbooks licensed under open copyright licenses and made available online for students, teachers and members of the public. Through the new initiative, faculty members will be able to provide content in the highest-enrolled academic subject areas.”
See New Program Will Make Free Online Textbooks Available to Manitoba Post-Secondary StudentsWell, FLOSS as textbooks anyway. Instead of post-secondary students paying >$100 per copy of a textbook they may only use for a year, they will be able to use on-line texts for the cost of access to the Internet. Indeed, Manitoba will forgo interest on students’ loans.
Now, if only they figured out that taxpayers’ money could be saved by using FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) in IT… They have opened their eyes to see a bigger picture in education; perhaps IT will follow.
The federal government is another matter. I just spent two months on a wild goose chase where department A told me to ask department B for some data but department C is now in charge. C told me they were created in 2000 and B had not given them the pre-2000 data. A closer look at B’s website told me they didn’t even have a phone number to talk to citizens about general inquiries. Finding no way to request the information, I lied and told them I wanted information about ###### and, on the third level of the menu, got to wait 20 minutes for a real human being. He was decent, but informed me his department did not have the data A required. Now, back to A… Apparently the information I require is to prove I have actually lived in Canada a minimum of 40 years… I’m 65 and can do the maths… Can they? They want to know the precise date I returned to Canada from Saudi Arabia back in the 1980s… I’ve lived in Canada at least 62 years and have documents to prove that but they won’t even look at them… They’ve given me 30 days to make them prove to themselves that that is the case… I’ve also talked with the Feds about FLOSS and they can hardly pronounce the term, they are so locked in.