Kaizendo: Customizable schoolbooks

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Imagine a textbook where a pupil and her teacher can choose topic depth, clarity of text or homework difficulty as needed and necessary. Where teachers can choose alternatives supporting different instruction methods and teaching styles, and schools can allow different chapter content based on time constraints or policy. Books where parents can get a topic summary to read before helping with homework. And then imagine finding all this in the same book.

This talk introduces the Kaizendo project, where the goal is to make books like this possible.

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Kaizendo: Customizable schoolbooks

  1. 1. Textbooks, the Free Software way FSCONS, 2010-11-06
  2. 2. Salve J. Nilsen "Primus Motor"
  3. 3. Sveinn Sandvik Svendsen "Secundus Motor"
  4. 4. Good helpers: Tomas Doran (Catalyst/Moose/Bicycles) Ben Cawkwell (JS/jQuery/Dreads) Stig Sandbeck Mathisen (Sysadmin/Pimp) Eskild Jacobsen (Sexy Voice) Marius Kjerkreit (Reverse Engineer) David Bowdley (Knows English) NUUG Foundation Mozilla Foundation Runbox AS Redpill Linpro AS
  5. 5. Three "actors"
  6. 6. 1.Students
  7. 7. 2. Authors
  8. 8. 3. Activists
  9. 9. 1. Students
  10. 10. Student = Pupil Members of the homogeneous group, Pupils
  11. 11. Textbooks are for pupils
  12. 12. But what if the pupil has a special need?
  13. 13. Teacher: "Sure, I can give you some attention"
  14. 14. Teacher's attention is limited 30 kids per class 24 hours per day
  15. 15. Kids still need attention
  16. 16. Let's improve it
  17. 17. Let's make Customizable textbooks
  18. 18. If you have a special need, let the textbook help
  19. 19. How?
  20. 20. One book With one narrative, one story
  21. 21. Multiple ways of telling the same story "Aspects"
  22. 22. Keywords: Aspects with a coherent narrative Good stories, just for you
  23. 23. 2. Authors
  24. 24. Writing is difficult Lots to think about
  25. 25. Facts, which ones to tell, and which ones to hint about Narrative, storyline, how to tell the facts Language, simple/verbose vs. precise/terse Illustrations and pictures, how they support text Scannability, skimmability, readability, typography Pedagogic methods the text supports Ortography, speling misstakes Design and layout Homework assignments, and how they're used Marketing and publicity Time constraints of the reader and teacher Physical constraints of the medium Curriculum requirements from government ...
  26. 26. That's why authors need help Editors, copywriters
  27. 27. Still...
  28. 28. Even with help, errors creep in
  29. 29. Let's improve it
  30. 30. "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" Linus' Law
  31. 31. Make it easy to give feedback Publicly, in context
  32. 32. Context-specific feedback
  33. 33. Annotation heatmaps More discussion ➡ More color
  34. 34. Select context, then comment
  35. 35. Keywords: Contextual discussions with heatmaps See what the current discussion is
  36. 36. 3. Activists
  37. 37. Actually, it's more like...
  38. 38. 3. Activists, Lawyers, Lobbyists, Politicians
  39. 39. Anyone who is writing texts for the public
  40. 40. Texts that must be good
  41. 41. ...because many people are interested in the result
  42. 42. Public hearings
  43. 43. Contracts
  44. 44. Press releases
  45. 45. How to write these?
  46. 46. Incrementally
  47. 47. Google docs?
  48. 48. Wikis?
  49. 49. Yes, they help, but...
  50. 50. Keywords: Incremental improvement Timelines, comparison, diffs
  51. 51. Three groups
  52. 52. Three issues
  53. 53. Each with similarities
  54. 54. The keywords:
  55. 55. Aspects w/coherent narrative that are improved incrementally by allowing contextual discussions w/heatmaps
  56. 56. Textbooks, the Free Software way
  57. 57. Treat textbooks as Free Software projects
  58. 58. Free software has... Tight feedback loops Bugtracker Mailing list / Forum – with searchable archives IRC / IM Unit tests, Continuous Integration tools Revision control A core, with commit rights Time lines, Changelogs, stable/dev releases Anyone can contribute ("Patches are welcome") Release early, release often / Many eyeballs / etc. OSI approved license Four freedoms Ability to fork projects when necessary
  59. 59. We want to make these tools available to authors And their communities
  60. 60. Wanna help? :)
  61. 61. What do we have now?
  62. 62. [Demo]
  63. 63. http://github.com/sjn/Kaizendo Fork it now!
  64. 64. irc://irc.freenode.net/kaizendo #kaizendo on Freenode
  65. 65. http://talk.kaizendo.org/ Tech mailing list: Kaizendoers
  66. 66. Inspiration
  67. 67. COMT and stet About The software behind the http://co-ment.net/ annotation service Django-based, with custom annotation frontend Inspired by stet - FSF's tool used for the GPLv3 commenting process Project website: http://co-ment.org/
  68. 68. stet http://code.softwarefreedom. org/projects/stet
  69. 69. COMT http://www.co-ment.org/
  70. 70. Discussion heatmaps++ We want them!
  71. 71. Inspiration II
  72. 72. Information Design Polyscopy Dino Karabeg, University of Oslo
  73. 73. Code We've started on the prototype!
  74. 74. It's a Catalyst app App::Kaizendo
  75. 75. Backend: KiokuDB Just to get things up and running
  76. 76. Moose goodness
  77. 77. REST API goodness (or madness)
  78. 78. JavaScript heavy front-end Blueprint, jQuery, (Aloha editor?)
  79. 79. Content: HTML5 KISS
  80. 80. Future?
  81. 81. Plenty of goodness to play with! -Ofun
  82. 82. Git backend!
  83. 83. Textbook project forking git clone http://kaizen.do/history1.git
  84. 84. Discussion syncronization Salmon+Atom
  85. 85. Bug tracker backend for discussions? stet used RT
  86. 86. Presentation options PDF, different eBook formats, Audio
  87. 87. Plenty of fun to have!
  88. 88. Content?
  89. 89. We need textbook project "seeds" too "Bootstrapping projects"
  90. 90. Textbook projects already exist WikiBooks, ndla.no, CC, OER Grapevine, etc. etc.
  91. 91. S.1714: Open College Textbook Act of 2009 Introduced to Congress 2009- 09-24, Currently in committee
  92. 92. There'll be enough textbooks We "just" need the tool, and to build the communities
  93. 93. License?
  94. 94. GNU Affero GPLv3 "the Business GPL"
  95. 95. Textbooks, the Free Software way
  96. 96. Questions?
  97. 97. Textbooks, the Free Software way Salve J. Nilsen <sjn@kaizendo.org> twitter.com/sjoshuan facebook.com/sjoshuan

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