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Re: [school-discuss] Open Content and open source for developping countries

From William Abernathy, Sat Sep 14, at  9:53:
 .Paolo Pumilia wrote:
 .>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. 
 .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.

I see, but that is not the same in europe. I am in Milan, italy; here teachers 
are rather free to choose handbooks best fit to their courses. I guess 
teachers enjoy that freedom in other european countries as well.  

Sure, building an open handbook is not an easy task, but maybe europe is 
in a better position for that efforts meet the success. 

 .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.

I hope too
But i think some authoritative, open organization to channel off teachers
contributios, not to waste their efforts, should be desirable. 

 .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.

I share your vision and i really appreciate Mike Eschman good job with 

I've heard of several on line teachers communities in italy. I wonder which
of those embraced such aims; an effort to link them together could be our
first step to make the dream come true. 

Paolo Pumilia