Nonprofit At Work On Free Digital Science Textbook

Billed as the first interactive, all-digital science textbook, Life on Earth will teach students about the birds, bees, flowers and trees — and do so for free.

Wired reports the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation is pouring up to $10 million into the creation of a 59-chapter biology textbook and will release it to the public for free, chapter by chapter. While texts are commonly transferred to digital versions, this is apparently the first e-text of its kind, incorporating interactive video and games into the fold.

The director of the production expects backlash from the free model, which won’t be so great for the already struggling publishing industry. He tells Wired:

If we give away our stuff and they’re trying to sell it, that’s a serious threat. That will be disconcerting to them, but eventually these publishers will be trying to produce what we’re producing.”

What do you think an e-textbook needs to offer in order to make hardbound books obsolete?

First All-Digital Science Textbook Will Be Free [Wired]