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State's new e-textbooks get harsh words from critics

Oct 13, 2015

Credit Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The first set of online textbooks released under Michigan's Open Book Project is drawing criticism from some educators and experts.

The social studies e-textbooks were commissioned under a grant from the Michigan Department of Education.

Teachers from around the state authored the books, which are free to anyone who wants to use them.

But some critics say the books contain grammatical and factual errors, and cultural insensitivities.

Dave Johnson is the Open Book Project's manager.

"Just like any revision, as [concerns] are brought to our attention, we're going to take a look at them and make the necessary fixes," he said.

Johnson said professors and education consultants edited the books before their release.

"We'll never be able to match the amount of money that textbook publishers have to combat [errors], but we do have a very active social studies community that's been very supportive of the books, and the process we used to develop them," Johnson said.

The project is developing more textbooks for other subjects.