Education Team/Creating textbooks

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Revision as of 16:23, 16 December 2008 by AndriusKulikauskas (talk | contribs) (Minciu Sodas)
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We know we have to create a new generation of electronic textbooks, but until now, nobody has stepped up. People tell me that this is in part because they don't see how to get past print publishers, teachers' unions, and Ministries of Education to get the new materials into use. But there is a sneaky way to do it. We just give them away for free, and completely bypass the established bureaucratic textbook acquisition process with all of its expenses, delays, and compromises. This will also liberate 48 US states from the domination of the textbook market by California and Texas.


Earth Treasury has initiated a project to create interactive digital textbooks with the following potential partners

  • Sugar Labs
  • OLPC
  • Alan Kay's Viewpoints Research Institute
  • The Doug Engelbart Institute at SRI
  • Creative Commons ccLearn program
  • FLOSS Manuals
  • Open Learning Exchange
  • OneVillage Foundation
  • Minciu Sodas


We all agree in principle that we want to do it. Now we have to hold some meetings and online discussions to determine who wants to do what, and create a business plan, some White Papers, and a draft Statement of Work.

Our guiding principles (with key sources) include

  • Interactive software integrated into "textbooks" (Omar Khayyam Moore, Ken Iverson, Stephen Wolfram, others)
  • Textbooks integrated into curricula (Well, duh, but they never did in Computer Literacy)
  • Intellectual honesty (Jerome Bruner, Richard Feynman)
  • Age-appropriate learning (Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori)
  • Deep understanding (Marvin Minsky)
  • Powerful ideas (Seymour Papert)
  • Mastery learning (Alan Kay)
  • Augmenting Collective Intelligence, Bootstrapping, Dogfooding (Doug Engelbart)
  • Whatever is needed, not We Have Always Done It This Way (Robert Townsend, Frank Borman)
  • Freedom (Richard Stallman)
  • Continuous Improvement (W. Edwards Deming)

Business Model

Much of the work will be done by volunteer authors scratching an itch, as usual, but we will offer a deal to Ministries of Education and to aid organizations, to write any urgently-needed textbooks on contract. All books containing software to be GPLed. We will also work with educational research institution on testing and improving our work.


  • Survey of curricula worldwide
  • Survey of topics and subject-matter experts
  • Catalog of best practices
  • Bootstrap from the FLOSS Manuals Book Sprint methodology and current best practices to build continuously better and faster methods
  • Organize a research program
  • Choose demonstration projects
  • You tell me--Mokurai 01:11, 16 December 2008 (UTC)