Panel tackles truth on social media, promotes free textbooks

Nov 15, 2022Courtney Morris

How do you spot truth on social media? San Jacinto College and Houston Community College philosophy faculty tackled that question with a joint panel discussion Oct. 25 at the South Campus.

Philosophy panelists
San Jac and HCC faculty team for philosophy panel.

"What Is the Real Red Pill? True and False in the Age of Social Media" gave students tips to apply critical thinking online. The event, which spotlighted the new OpenStax Introduction to Philosophy first edition textbook, included an OpenStax-hosted reception for students and other guests.

For more than 12 years, San Jac has partnered with Rice University's OpenStax, a nonprofit initiative that offers free open educational resources to replace high-cost textbooks.

San Jac sociology professor Tonja Conerly and HCC philosophy department chair Dr. Nathan Smith helped organize the panel discussion. Conerly helped write OpenStax's Introduction to Sociology third edition textbook, and Smith, the new Introduction to Philosophy textbook.

Smith led the panel alongside philosophy professors Ferdinand Durano, Robert Gaddie, and Thi Lam from San Jac and Parish Conkling from HCC.

"With the promotion of the new philosophy textbook, we wanted to continue our joint efforts, creating a lecture on social media through the eyes of philosophers and involve students and faculty from both colleges," Conerly said.

According to Conerly, open educational resources help make education more equitable for all. At San Jac, students can register for Open Books classes that use free or low-cost materials like OpenStax textbooks. So far, San Jac's Open Books classes have saved students more than $26 million in textbook costs.

San Jac & HCC Philosophy Discussion Panel 10-25-22

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