[FM Discuss] Shuttleworth Foundation: Free textbook help needed

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 07:41:21 PDT 2010

I left a message:

I have been gathering resources for projects such as yours. I am
delighted to see you making progress, even under these trying
circumstances. What we have is at your disposal.

This includes the occasional Ph. D. mathematician and other subject
matter experts, numerous experts in education generally and in
one-to-one computing in schools in particular (including Alan Kay and
students of Seymour Papert), and an online site for rapid development
and publishing. I have contacted several individuals and groups in our
network to ask them to help you with this editing sprint.

When you get the chance, let us get together, your people and mine,
over the Internet, and see what more we can do to help.

I am also delighted to see that you have a site for online
collaboration at a.nnotate.com. Let me offer you another, at
flossmanuals.net. You would be welcome to use their tools, which would
among other things allow you to set up projects where you could
approve people to be subject matter editors, copy editors, graphics
editors, whatever you need, and get this done. We have experience over
the last two years in creating books using the FLOSS Manuals book
sprint methodology, in one week start to finish. See


particularly the manuals for the Sugar education software, and


on the methodology.

See also


On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 10:15, Edward Cherlin <echerlin at gmail.com> wrote:
> These people _need_ us. They have no idea that they could invite
> collaboration over the Internet.
> http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/497
> 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
> the game.
> 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
> that cover:
>        * 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.
> http://www.markhorner.net/2010/08/24/calling-scientists-and-mathematicians/
> 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
> their country.
> 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.
> 3090808-original
> 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.
> http://www.earthtreasury.org/

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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