The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Boundless Takes on Publishers, Gives Free Content at Try

It’s been a busy year for Boundless Learning. Since its launch in 2011, the ed-tech start-up from Boston dropped “Learning” from its moniker and redesigned its web site to more easily connect students with openly licensed, free educational content created by educators and institutions, according to its web site.

Students can now type in their assigned course textbook and the site will present alternative materials from open ed resources, U.S. government sites, and other independent sites, such as Wikipedia and Encyclopedia of Earth. Boundless is also working on social features for peer-to-peer learning.

“We don’t create content, we curate,” Boundless co-founder and CEO Ariel Diaz told Xconomy.

The other thing on the Boundless to-do list is defend itself from a federal lawsuit filed in March by Pearson Education, Cengage Learning, and Bedford Freeman & Worth Publishing, claiming it is guilty of copyright infringement. For its part, Boundless claims the suit is another instance of big business distracting and delaying innovation.

“They’re trying to protect the profit margin on this dying business,” Diaz said. “Textbook publishers are trying to build bigger levees instead of building a houseboat. They’re just setting themselves up for massive chaos.”

Boundless has raised less than $10 million in venture capital, yet wants to be the place students can find a wide range of content for free which begs the question of who will ultimately pay the bills.

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