Opening up the world with open reading

Richard Elliott has some peaches in his eLearning Watchfor May. A couple that I was particulary taken with are The Open Library and The Open Academic Textbook Catalogue.
The Open Library
This amazing resource offers a searchable (editable) database, with, once you find a book you want oppoprtunties to read, borrow, and/or buy. Some books only have the buy option, but many have a download option in a wide range of file types (or you send to your Kindle – which I didn’t try as I don’t have a Kindle :-)).
Richard described the library as follows: “The Open Library. Is an ever-growing repository of books of all types and subject. It is an open project: the software is open, the data are open, the documentation is open, and contributions are welcome. Already the site claims to have over 1,000,000 free e-book titles. Plenty you will recognize and maybe read or direct your students to.”
If you are studying, or just interested in learning this is the place to go. The easily searchable site offers textbooks to print (at a cost, but way less than it would cost to buy from a shop), as well as in the following formats .PDF, audiobook, EPUB, mobi, and ‘read online’ (usually free). As Richard says, “Always good to see efforts being made to ensure educational resources can be obtained freely and with minimum cost or no cost at all. This initiative is great and is open to any faculty world wide”.
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About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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