SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The 20 Million Minds Foundation (20MM) in partnership with Akademos today announced the launch of a non-profit faculty-focused Textbook Search Tool to help determine affordable peer-reviewed textbook options that will be run on the non-profit's 20MM.org website.
Akademos, a leader in integrated online bookstores and marketplaces for educational institutions, will power the 20MM search engine. Akademos is tackling skyrocketing textbook costs and recently launched its own Akademos Textbook Adoption Tool which offers a comprehensive online portal for faculty to choose textbooks based on quality and value.
In addition, 20MM will ensure that the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development's newly announced initiative—the Open Academics textbook catalog which will make available to faculty worldwide a library of high quality publisher-grade open source textbooks that have already been adopted—will be included on the 20MM faculty search engine.
The 20MM adoption search engine becomes a single source for adoption information that streamlines and makes more efficient the communication of adoption choices.
"The 20MM faculty adoption search engine allows professors or course coordinators to view, contrast, and compare textbooks and other course materials within a given subject area," said Dean Florez, former California State Senator and president and CEO of Twenty Million Minds Foundation. "Our goal is to provide faculty with the information they need to make an informed decision, including reviews and testimonials by verified faculty, the cost of the book (in new, used, rental and digital format) through an affordability index, links between old editions and new editions, links between bundled and unbundled versions, alternative high quality open source content, national adoption information, and other critical factors."
"For the first time, faculty have access to the most comprehensive library of course materials sourced from both traditional publishers and open source providers," said Brian Jacobs, founder and president of Akademos. "Our aim is to provide the right platform for faculty to easily discover the best course materials for better learning outcomes."
"There is a growing need to make higher education more affordable for all students, which is why we created the Open Academics textbook catalog," said David Ernst, Director of Academic and Information Technology in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. "The Open Academics catalog will help faculty find and adopt more affordable textbooks for their students."
"The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) is very interested in providing faculty with options for textbooks, whether those be online or hardbound," said Jonathan Lightman, Executive Director of FACCC. "The whole discussion on textbook options is increasingly pronounced as college costs continue to escalate. Faculty members are an integral part of this discussion and will play the central role as the options for college textbooks grow in the next few years."
The 20MM Faculty Adoption Tool will reduce textbook costs by allowing faculty to access and compare more than 2 million books across 3,600 subjects from small and large publishers including traditional, digital and eBooks, as well as 84 Open Educational Resource (OER) textbooks and open educational resource content.
20 Million Minds is a non-profit organization dedicated to greatly reducing textbook costs. The foundation is currently leveraging leading-edge technologies to create more affordable, engaging and effective educational materials for college students throughout the nation.
Akademos offers a turnkey virtual bookstore and marketplace. Its advanced technology, comprehensive supply-chain solution, and commitment to responsive personal service make it a leader in providing affordable course materials.
The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges is a statewide professional membership association that advocates on behalf of community college faculty at California's 112 campuses. The association is a voice for issues such as academic freedom, faculty rights, professional development, career technical education and student services.
CONTACT: Beryl Chong, Communication Director
20 Million Minds Foundation 916.442.9300
SOURCE 20 Million Minds Foundation