The new Pressbooks directory has officially launched. I had a chance to see demos of this earlier this summer and was very impressed with the work that Pressbooks has done in creating a federated search across the Pressbooks EDU eco-system.
One of the features I want to make sure gets noticed is that, not only can you search for open textbooks and books in the directory, but also H5P activities. This is a massive boost to the H5P ecosystem as it now provides another central point to begin to find H5P activities that can potentially be reused (the others I know of are the eCampus Ontario H5P Studio site and the soon to be released (93% done) H5P OER Hub).
However, unlike the other repos of H5P content, the nice thing about the Pressbooks Directory H5P search is that it allows you to see the context that the H5P activity was used in. As we know from Wiley’s Reusability Paradox, the effectiveness of a reusable object relies on the context it is used in (along with an open license) and this new search helps provide some of that context by locating H5P content within an existing resource, giveng educators the ability to reuse not only the H5P interactive but also reuse the context (aka the book content) that wraps around that H5P activity. You get to see how others intended to use the resource and what learning it was meant to support.
For example, this H5P interactive video activity from An Interactive Introduction to Organismal and Molecular Biology on its own doesn’t mean all that much.
However, when you see it within the context of the entire page it comes from, you get a better and clearer sense as to the purpose of the H5P activity and can reuse as much of that surrounding chapter for context to make that H5P activity a much more effective learning object in your own context. Super useful.
Coming back to Pressbooks (the company), I cannot stress how valuable a contribution to the open education ecosystem this directory is, and Pressbooks deserves huge kudos for the work that they have done. At a time when we see plenty of examples of bad faith actors in the edtech space and can point to examples of corporate openwashing, Pressbooks has time and time again demonstrated that you can build a sustainable company by being both a partner and a contributor to the open education ecosystem. There are not many companies that I have worked with over the years that have consistently demonstrated such a deep commitment to the core values of open education as Pressbooks and other companies would do well to learn by their example on how to become an invaluable member of the open education community.