[FM Discuss] Shuttleworth Foundation: Free textbook help needed
echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 07:15:55 PDT 2010
These people _need_ us. They have no idea that they could invite
collaboration over the Internet.
Mark Horner is a Fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation. The model of
the Foundation is unusual: we identify interesting change agents, like
Mark, who are articulating powerful ideas that seem like the offer a
hint of the future, and we fund them to work on those for a year. We
also offer them an investment multiplier: if they put their personal
money into a project, we multiply that by 10x or more, up to a maximum
amount. In short, find good people, back them when they put skin in
Mark’s specialty is open content for education: figuring out how to
produce textbooks collaboratively. He’s done amazing work in the past,
independently, leading an initiative to produce free high school
science textbooks, and has lead the acquisition of a full set of
textbooks in SA and their publication under an open content licence by
the Foundation. Today, he’s been presented with a really awesome
opportunity: provide open content to all of SA, with full backing from
the department of education.
That’s a huge step forward, putting open content much more at the
center of mainstream thinking. In part, this is precipitated by a
crisis, the strike action that is affecting many public services like
education in South Africa. But it’s nevertheless a valuable
opportunity to show how open content can change the dynamic of the
rigid world of education.
He needs help, though, to make sure the current drafts of the Maths
and Science textbooks are free of typos:
I really need some extremely urgent help, I’ve been approached by
national government to try to help make free educational resources
available to support education during the current crisis! We have an
opportunity to distribute free educational resources to all schools
* Grade R – 9 for ALL learning areas in English and Afrikaans
* Grade 10 – 12 Mathematics
* Grade 10 – 12 Physical Science
All that is required is another edit of the Free High School
Science Texts before they will release them to all the schools in
South Africa. We have ONE WEEK to complete this process and
desperately need volunteers who have post-graduate degrees in Maths,
Physics, Chemistry or related fields that can help out.
The subject matter is Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry at high
school level. We need volunteers who have post-graduate degrees in
Maths, Physics, Chemistry or related fields and are willing to serve
What do we have to do?
It is quite simple, we need to proof-read the books and correct any
errors. The curriculum is covered, there are enough worked examples
but there are a few errors which we need to find and fix. If time
permits we can also simplify language and add more worked examples but
this is secondary.
How we plan on doing it.
Volunteers can join us for one or many of the following slots at the
Open Innovation Studio (27 Buitenkant Street in Cape Town) where we
will be working through the books. Alternatively volunteers can
receive material and provide feedback by e-mail. Volunteers will read
a section, correct it and submit it for capturing. We want every
section read by two independent people to reduce the possibility of
errors slipping through.
We will provide copies of the material to be edited, food (lunch or
dinner), drinks and a superb atmosphere.
We have 1800 pages to read and we estimate that we need at least 6
people for each of Maths, Chemistry and Physics to complete the
process. A final editor will be used for each of the books as a third
and final check.
Edward Mokurai (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) Cherlin
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
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