Monday, June 19, 2017

Free Textbooks for Secondary and College English

Budgets are being slashed and whether you teach high school or college the cost of textbooks and materials keeps growing. The phrase "textbook affordability" is thrown around a lot where I'm from. And it can be frustrating because as educators we have very little control over how much a publisher charges.

Frankly, in the high schools the issue wasn't for the students but on us instead. I know that my first year teaching I had about 7 books for 120 students! This included a stack of pages that had fallen out of the text books. I'd often have to say "If you can't find the page in your book try the stack of extra pages!"  However, luckily for us, our options for free open source resources are also growing.

Check out these 5 amazing sources for free resources for you and your students to use.

1. Frameworks for Academic Writing  This pdf download has lots of different styles of writing from argument to personal to business and everything in between. The author has the permissions set to allow you to change what you need to. Just make sure to give her credit and to not sell it as your own!

2. The Process of Research Writing This takes you to a site where you can access each chapter individually. I love this resource because it has literally everything you might need to help your students complete a major research assignment. It's great for taking a little bit or a lot from! You can also create your own materials using this and still be in the clear due to the Creative Commons license he has on it!

3. Writing Spaces Vol 1 and Writing Spaces Vol 2 These two are collections of essays about writing in college. You can download the complete collections or each piece individually. My favorite piece to use in my classes is "Annoying Ways People Use Sources" from volume 2. It's a fun look at what not to do when integrating source material into a research paper.

4. American Literature Before 1860 While this material is already accessible via the common domain it's nice that this e-book has already put it together for your in one package with an easy to navigate table of contents.

5. The Compact Anthology of World Literature I am currently using this as the primary textbook in my World Literature Course. There are three volumes and more literature than you could hope to go through. Due to the nature of copyright there is not any modern work and no real Latin American works but it is still a valuable resource for many other great texts!

If you're just looking for pieces of literature online this might be a great place to start.

So, have you jumped into the Open Education Resources yet? Are there great ones that you've used? How do you feel about digital textbooks? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!