Self-intro and question about Pressbooks

Hi all!

I’m Dan Allosso in Minnesota. I was at UMass Amherst a few years ago in grad school, and did a LOT of blogging and social media type stuff. Now I’m teaching History at Bemidji State and I do much less. But it may be time to get into a new online community, so here I am.

OER seems to have a lot of the disruptive potential I always gravitated toward during my career in high tech. I’ve recently published an environmental history textbook on Pressbooks and I’ve just returned from the "E"ffordability Summit at UW Stout this week, where I met a lot of cool people and picked up a BUNCH of ideas I’m going to try in the next couple of semesters. So I’ll probably be talking about them on my blog and here.

My question about Pressbooks is, is the Rebus instance of Pressbooks something I could use to publish my work? As I mentioned, I’ve recently published an OER ( ) using the first Pressbooks instance I was able to find. I’m reasonably happy with the results, but I don’t have access to H5P or Hypothesis, which might make my book better. I’ll be lobbying my library system to update their version, but if that fails…So I’m curious how the Pressbooks ecosystem works. Thanks!

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Hi Dan! Great to have you join us. Glad you picked us to get back involved with online communities again :smile:

Sounds like the Effordability Summit sparked a lot of excitement for a lot of people. We were sorry to miss it, but followed along online (that rockstar panel on open pedagogy alone…!). Would love to hear how you go about putting ideas into practice. Any highlights?

When it comes to Pressbooks, we have been able to offer access to a set of projects to date, but as we open up more we need to review how that will work in future. Will keep you posted!

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I also have a similar question for the team that I am working with who is wanting create a new textbook from using parts of a number of books and writing their own content as well. We are unclear as to whether Rebus hosts all projects, only some, and what format can be imported and whether there are the plug in to import OpenStax books and Hypothesis and whether it can support MathML. Another issue is the speed as the current platform (Legacy CNXML) is way to slow so they cannot complete their work on that platform. Thanks.

Always exciting to hear from someone who wants to work on creating an open textbook! Rebus provides platforms, processes, and tools to support those making open textbooks (and we use this term broadly to mean a set of learning materials be it a book, ancillaries, assignments, etc.). Anyone is welcome to use our platform to create a public homepage for their project and use that as a space to share updates, gather and communicate with teams, solicit contributors, and more. You can head to our homepage and click on ‘Create a Project’ to get started (note: our tech team is currently troubleshooting an issue, so if you run into an error, let us know). As for importing content from OpenStax, integrating with, MathML — the latter 2 features are available on the Rebus Press (and OpenStax books available in Pressbooks editable formats can be imported). As Zoe noted, we have been able to offer access to Pressbooks (our Rebus Press instance) to date, however, we are reviewing how this will work in future. I can keep you posted if you’re interested in hearing more about this, just let me know.