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Re: [school-discuss] Open Content and open source for developping countries
this is a big issue for us (down here in Louisiana),
where a shrinking demographic is causing numerous problems,
budgetary and otherwise.
at http://www.etc-edu.com, we have collected / formatted sufficient copyright
free books to fill 6th thru 12th grade for english lit, history and social
studies. with dave prentice's help, we now have a good physics textbook,
and we are constructing a geography textbook using free materials in the
library of congress on-line collection.
we also have two graduate students preparing screenplays, on which we can
place a GNU license. This morning i completed our first sheet music
collection (all copyright free) which includes over 100 works and 5 or 6
music method books.
teachers in jefferson parish have begun to help us hammer our collection into
a cirriculium(?) and student theatre groups are producing the teleplays in
a cable tv studio owned by the school district.
one day we will be able to fill all our needs from this copyright free
the teleplays are getting burned to dvd and being used as fund raiser
premiums. etc ... is going to begin looking for copyrights we can buy up.
the first purchase is probably going to be algebra, trig and geometry
textbooks, possibly also chemistry.
i am on the lookout for spanish language audio books read by voulenteers.
please send them (cassettes):
mike eschman, etc ...
52 Oaklawn Drive
Metairie, La. 70005
we will convert to .mp3 and air them.
when the going gets tough, the tough get going ...
mike eschman, etc ...
"Not just an afterthought ...
On Saturday 14 September 2002 11:53 am, William Abernathy wrote:
> Paolo Pumilia wrote:
> > .>I would start by getting in touch with some people authoritative with
> > .>respect to the most common matters relevant in schools.
> > .>Maybe a publishing house could back the project (they would have the
> > .>right to sell the fine printed version of the manuals, with add ons)
> > .I am not at all sure that the plus-value fine grained is enough for
> > .publishing houses to want to participate.
> > .But, I have never been good at understanding market principles.
> > .
> > In my (humble) opinion, an international publishing house would be able
> > to market such handbook in the usual way in the so-called rich countries,
> > since a complete, color covered book with clear coloured pictures is much
> > more attractive than the print out of a common pc printer, with no
> > binding. Moreover, the publishing house could have the right to add
> > something more to the on line version.
> > Yet the content should be basically the same.
> > Advertising that part of the money will support the on line version would
> > be a further incentive to buy the book.
> Paolo, I laud your intent, but as someone who has worked for a major
> schoolbook publisher, I have to say, you're more likely to get the
> pharmacetical companies to give AIDS medicine to the poor than you are to
> get schoolbook publishing houses to share content.
> I'm not sure where you're writing from, so forgive me if I'm telling you
> something you already know. In the U.S., school book publishers talk a good
> game about caring for the kids, but when you get right down to it, it's
> only about money. Making life more difficult is the fact that in the US, we
> have 50 states, each of which has its own regulations with respect to what
> goes into schoolbooks. (When Kansas tried to ban teaching evolution in
> schools, the first thought that crossed my mind was literally, "Ka-ching!
> New Science edition! Awright!") While not every state is large enough to to
> dictate terms to the publishing houses, there nonetheless remain formidable
> compliance issues with respect to the acceptability of texts in schools.
> Teachers frequently are not at liberty to use curricular materials that are
> not on the list of approved texts. Given these legal constraints, there is
> no way that an open curriculum can become an official curriculum in the US.
> That's the bad news. The good news is that the US is not, contrary to its
> perfervid belief, the only place in the world that matters. In many places,
> teachers and teaching are not so hamstrung by bureaucracy and capital.
> Rather than looking to publishers for solutions, these teachers, given the
> technology, have the freedom to look to each other. I hope that this is
> where the next revolution in teaching comes from, as it will be rooted in
> the successes of educators, not the whim of politicians.
> One of my sincere hopes for the Schoolforge project is to enable just such
> cooperation between teachers. In time, I believe that teachers' communities
> will emerge on line (probably along language lines), and may well be able
> to provide venues for sharing such valuable resources as lesson plans and
> zero-cost ancillary texts, and even core curriculum in nations whose
> educational systems are not treated as profit centers. In the fullness of
> time, if substantial enough teachers' community resources evolve, school
> book publishers will have to answer to large, orderly constituencies of
> online teachers as much as they will have to listen to school
> administrators and politicians.
> Anyway, I think your best efforts would be spent on community building.
> School book publishers are locked into one way of thinking and will not be
> moved from it until they are forced.
> --William Abernathy