“Ten plus 10 has been 20 for a long time,” says Scott G. McNealy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. He feels that many basic textbooks are unnecessarily expanded to allow publishers to charge as much as possible, when in fact, the core content of these books changes little.
McNealy’s new project is fund-raising for Curriki, an open-source non-profit provider of educational materials. They hope to lower the cost of education by providing free texts for classes from kindergarten to 12th grade in subjects including reading, science, technology, language arts and foreign languages. Retired teachers or groups of teachers have provided much of the content. Because the materials are open source, users can arrange and customize them for a tailor fit to their students.
Schools and state boards have not jumped at the chance to use the new technology. A state board in California is reviewing the open-source texts to see if they are up to their standards. Texas passed a law permitting the use of digital texts, but is still in the process of reviewing materials to be used in actually classes.
Via The New York Times.
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