Boundless, the textbook-free option for students, started the next chapter of its service this week by coming out of private beta and opening its online doors to the world.
After a year of working with students at more than 1,000 schools, the Boston-based company's expansive content library is now open to any student who signed up for Boundless. The service connects students with openly licensed, and free educational content content on the Web, with the goal of helping students save money on textbook costs. Boundless covers topics like biology, psychology, and economics, as well as newly added options like sociology, American history, writing, and physiology.
Despite all of its good will toward the education world, Boundless hasn't launched without at least a few roadblocks.
In late March, the company was sued by three of the world's largest publishing companies for alleged copyright infringement. With $8 million in funding just raised, Boundless fought back against its competitors, which it blamed for the high costs of education.
"Don't worry – we won't let the fact that someone slipped a lawsuit in the punchbowl ruin our good time," the company said in an April blog post. "Boundless is committed to bringing educational content into the 21st century, and we remain focused on our mission."
That mission is moving forward, bringing Open educational Resources (OER) from WikiBooks, OCW Consortium, MIT Open Courseware, Creative Commons, and others to its Web and mobile platforms. The new Boundless includes improved navigation, highlights and notes, and full HTML5 and iPad capabilities.
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