At Boundless, we’re creating the next generation of educational content by directly incorporating contributions from our users — a passionate community of educators and subject-matter experts. To continue growing this vibrant community, I’m pleased to share that we’re bringing on one of community education’s biggest advocates as a new Boundless advisor: SJ Klein, a veteran Wikipedian.
SJ has been a contributor to Wikipedia since 2004, where he was elected as a Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation in 2009. He’s also served as a Director of the Outreach for One Laptop per Child Foundation and an affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Needless to say, SJ is an expert in the community-sourced education — and we’re thrilled to have him on board!
SJ will help us grow and hone our Cloud Powered Community — so Boundless can do to textbooks what Wikipedia did for encyclopedias. In this community, subject matter experts from around the world contribute to Boundless by adding their domain expertise, improving the pedagogy, and starting meaningful academic discussions with their peers.
“Tapping the minds of the teaching community brings great power to educational content. I look forward to working with Boundless as its community grows, not just to create more freely-licensed material, but to provide greater access to it, and make it personalizable.”
– SJ Klein
Together, we can continue collaborating with this community to expand and improve our academic content library that reaches more than three million students and educators.
You can read more about the Boundless community on the Creative Commons blog, and join our community now!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
At Boundless, we believe that access to high quality education is a universal right. To us, that means access to quality academic content, on any device, at any time, all over the world. We are excited to announce that we have partnered with the Global Text Project, an organization that shares our vision of universal access to academic content.
The Global Text Project has been a leader in open access since 2006. Its mission is to create and distribute free quality content to developing nations, where high costs have eliminated textbooks from many higher education classrooms. For example, a USD $108 biology textbook sells for USD $51 in Africa. Gross National Income per capita in the United States was $53,700 in 2013, but in Uganda it was $510. In many developing countries, professors only keep a few copies of the textbook or they write their own notes for students. The Global Text Project and Boundless are working together to provide quality content for these classrooms. Continue reading
Every year, college students migrate back to campus for a fresh semester, only to find themselves paying an average of $1,200 per year on textbooks and course materials.
Despite innovation in publishing models and e-reading, the cost of textbooks continues to climb at 3 times the rate of inflation. This means we’re hearing the same stories over and over again about the high sticker prices of textbooks and the rising costs of education.
But Boundless is changing that.
While textbook prices are growing faster than the consumer price index, we’ve seen our growth spike more than 3x since last fall as students turn to Boundless for free and affordable resources. Our vision has always been to bring textbooks into the 21st century, by creating the ultimate publishing platform. To support that vision we’re not just serving students with textbooks anymore — we’ve grown to serve the entire educational ecosystem. In short, since last back-to-school season, we’ve:
- Grown 3x to reach more than 3 million students and educators.
- Seen students spend more than 1.5 million hours studying with our content and learning tools.
- Expanded our content library to 25 subjects, including new content in World History and Music.
- Added functionality for educators to customize and assign our textbooks and assessments.
- Opened up our platform for individual authors to publish educational content, with more than a dozen sharing their books this month.
Needless to say, the past year has been busy. But now that we serve the entire ecosystem — from students to educators to authors — we know that ultimately, Boundless is not only driving down the cost of education, but changing the way educational content is created and distributed. More on that below! Continue reading
Today, Boundless is announcing a partnership with Top Hat, a teaching platform that improves learning outcomes in the classroom, to bring collaborative educational content to more than 300,000 students. The partnership integrates Boundless’ content library of 21 subjects into Top Hat’s widely-adopted teaching platform, creating a powerful single platform from which professors can teach in a more engaged and efficient way.
Boundless API for Third-Party Platforms
Unlike traditional publishers, Boundless content is available via API for seamless integration with third-party platforms, so partners — like Top Hat — can serve their users with affordable, digital teaching and learning materials. The entire Boundless library of 21 introductory college-level subjects, including textbooks and assessment questions, is available in a flexible, structured data stream to plug into other platforms. To learn more about our API, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read our press release on the Top Hat partnership below. Continue reading
Team Boundless is the type of team that can tackle something truly huge. That’s why we’re excited to share some team updates today as we continue to make education universally accessible.
Molly Lindsay, VP of Content
Molly Lindsay joined Boundless more than a year ago and has been instrumental in growing our content and connecting educators to our resources. Today, she has been promoted to VP of Content to grow and distribute our content offerings.
Molly joined Boundless from McKinsey and Co., where she led strategy projects for clients in the private, public, and social sectors. Previous professional experience includes evaluating high-growth startups in emerging markets as part of the portfolio expansion team at Endeavor, as well as developing K-12 curriculum at Expeditionary Learning. Molly holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA in History from Yale University, where she graduated with honors. She teaches media studies as an adjunct professor at Bunker Hill Community College, speaks Mandarin, and loves living in Boston.
Matt Hodgson, Chief Technology Officer
Matt Hodgson joined our team as VP of Engineering before Boundless even launched out of beta. After leading our engineering team through three major product cycles, including the launches of our educator and community platforms, Matt has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer.
Matt is an entrepreneur and engineer with an insatiable desire to design and build amazing products. Before Boundless, Matt built consumer products as the CTO of TurningArt, a service that makes art more accessible to everyday people. Matt has also worked with Ariel in the past, as co-founder and CTO of YouCastr, a streaming video platform for high schools. Along the way Matt also developed the core products and technology for many startups, including video processing and transcoding infrastructure for 3 Play Media, motion capture and analysis software for Equusys, a live trading market for StarStreet, and a video streaming and recording platform for Take The Interview. Matt holds a B.A. in Physics from Ithaca College, a B.E. and Masters of Engineering Management from Dartmouth College, and serves on the board of the Dartmouth Boston Entrepreneur Network.
We’re thrilled to have both Molly and Matt leading teams at Boundless! Learn more about our team here.
This week, Boundless launched Cloud Powered Education and invited the teaching community to write the future of education with us.
See where Boundless is making headlines!
BetaBoston declared, “Boundless wants to do to textbooks what Wikipedia did to encyclopedias.” Reporter Dennis Keohane gave an overview of all we announced this week, and said,
“As one of the viable insurgents to the education establishment, Boundless has a secret weapon that the collaboratively edited online encyclopedia lacks — academic experts to supply and edit its content, making sure that the standards of quality are acceptable for higher education. Boundless, however, is not looking to take on Wikipedia. The company actually has its sights set on a different target: the multi-billion dollar college textbook industry.” Continue reading
Universal access to high-quality education is a right, not a privilege.
This mantra is core to our mission at Boundless, where over the past three years we’ve grown to reach more than 3 million students and educators. As far as we’ve come, we know there is still more we can do to make universal access a reality.
Today, we’re inviting the teaching community to write the future of education with us. We’re opening up our platform for collaboration and contributions to grow our content and reach millions more. We’re doing this all through Cloud Powered Education. Continue reading
This week we’re excited to be included in stories about the changing textbook industry.
Disrupting the Lucrative Textbook Industry
Fast Company explored the history of the textbooks this week, and questioned the emergence of digital offerings in this industry. When more than two-thirds of students report not purchasing a textbook due to cost, it’s clear affordable, modern alternatives are needed.
To be truly disruptive in the industry, you have to be innovative in what you offer — both for students and educators. CEO Ariel Diaz told Fast Company:
“We started with a focus on students to make sure that we’re building great products for them. In addition, along the way, we saw an increasing number of educators coming to Boundless to use the content in their classroom.”
Read the article. Continue reading
EdTech Digest recently crowned Boundless as the winner of its 2014 Cool Tools Award for Digital Textbooks. We’re honored to be selected as the winner in this category as we continue to serve millions of students with our digital textbook offerings.
Boundless includes an array of study tools and learning technology that make our textbooks more effective than traditional textbooks. Austin J. from Princeton University told us recently that our learning technology is a crucial part of his studying. He said:
The continuous review that Boundless weaves into its chapters and quizzes are dynamite. This reinforcement ensures that hard learned facts are not forgotten as the course progresses, and allowed me to build on the material MUCH easier than I would have been able to do with a traditional textbook.
The judges at EdTech Digest recognized Boundless’ leadership in digital reading and studying in its annual awards.
“There is a lot of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these cool tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero, who oversees the program as Editor in Chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps, and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward this education revolution for the benefit of future generations.”
As we march on to a post-textbook world — one where we finally put down traditional textbooks and move toward more modular and effective alternatives, in digital form — we’re honored to be recognized as a leader in this space.
Read the announcement on EdTech Digest.
With the cost of education higher than ever before, educators are turning to affordable, accessible educational content options. The wealth of open resources available online means educators have countless options for their classes, but actually finding and implementing this material in the class can be a daunting task for many.
Boundless CEO Ariel Diaz recently co-hosted a webinar with Dr. Tracey Wyatt, Dean of Assessment and Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness at York College, on how to use open resources in the classroom. Catch highlights from their webinar below, and view their slides to learn more.
The Benefits of Open Resources
Open educational resources, also known as OER, provide vast, high-quality content that can be molded and utilized across many different platforms. These resources are used across the educational landscape for teaching, learning, and assessment. Continue reading