Friends, Family, USU IT Faculty, Grad Students & Alumni,
It's only in its infancy (pre-conception, you might even say), but I wanted
to let you all know about a project that I've started to think about, under
the guidance/tutelage of Dr. Wiley here at USU.
It is currently called the "Utah OpenTextbooks Project" (codenamed "Project
Dyson" by Dr. Wiley)--and I am considering doing my dissertation around it.
The basic gist is as follows:
The state of Utah, and other states like it, spend over $20M annually on
K-12 textbooks. With that kind of money, and with shrinking educational
budgets, a few questions are worth asking:
* Are these textbooks worth the $$$? Also, does a brand new U.S. History or
Algebra 1 textbook need to be repurchased every few years (at full cost) for
whatever few changes may be made?
* Do we want a handful of states (New York, California, Florida, Texas)
driving the content of textbooks in all the other states (which is basically
what happens today, as I¹m told)?
* Could better, more innovate textbooks be developed in a
community/open/wiki style (see http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page and
www.opensourcetext.org for starters), where the COMMUNITY would retain
ownership of the contentor better yet, share w/ other states/countries?
* Once a textbook has been written by a community, could digital learning
objects be built around the text/course and provided as supplements to the
textbookhelping teachers teach better, and learners learn better (think
free multimedia clips for lectures, test banks and innovate lesson plans for
teachers, or cool multimedia games/self-direct modules for student homework,
* Finally, if we can create ³local² (statewide) online communities where
teachers, students, and subject matter experts congregate to create
textbooks, share lesson plans, and basically socialize in the context of an
academic course...can we harness the power of the internet in more positive
ways...to far more productive ends (think ³replace MTV or Xbox with Utah
Math Rocks Internet Plaza¹²?
I have attached a very, very rough "Vision Document" that outlines what we
have brainstormed, and some early, high-level steps on how we might go about
achieving our vision. If you are not comfortable opening attachments from
an email (can¹t imagine why you would be :) ), feel free to download the
We need lots of input/ideas/feedback, so if any of you are interested in
participating in/supporting this project in any way (even as a silent
observer), please feel free to reply w/ feedback, or even join our community
Also, if you know anyone interested in Utah Education, or Open Textbooks,
please feel free to forward this message to them.
I look forward to collaborating w/ those of you who are interested. It will
be a long journey to be sure, but hopefully a worthwhile one.
Director of Outreach
OSLO Research Group
Utah State University
Hello everyone, everything is nice here in Mexico, although
I don't have nearly as much time to play on the Internet.
If anyone can remind me how to create a link to an
automated Table of Contents page I will be grateful. I have
spent a couple of visits to the internet cafe trying to
figure it out. I would like to make a TOC for my study
guide on the Gospel of John (
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Gospel_of_John ) for
example. The one I did for the Wealthy Barber (
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Wealthy_Barber ) did not
work and I can't figure out (rembember) why. Thank you and
let me know if anyone wants a bottle of anything when I
come back ...
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
I'm working on a distributed operating systems textbook here:
There's lots of example code samples in the text. The code samples are
getting longer and longer, and I'd like to make them available for
download, but I can't tell how. I tried the Special:Upload page, but I
kept getting the message ".c is not a valid image type" or something
Any ideas? I posted this to the staff lounge last week but got no