Hack This Textbook

Open Education Week is coming up in the first week of March, and Flatworld Knowledge is sponsoring a project. The digital textbook distributor is gathering a team, and they have an ambitious goal: Meet in Boston on 8 March and write an Intro to Computer Science textbook in a single day in a single place.

This is ambitious but it’s not impossible. Flash Creation is a new thing, but it’s been used successfully before. It’s similar in concept to Hackathons, and I know that this method has been used to create at least one magazine. In fact, it’s so common now that using it to create a textbook now has a specific term: Book Sprint.

But the single day is pushing it.  Most flash projects are spread across at least a couple days, and the magazine drew contributions from all over the web. I’m looking forward to seeing whether they succeed.

When they’re done the textbook is going to be freely available to all. That is the point of Open Educational Resources, after all. I haven’t mentioned OER much on this blog, at least not by name. But I have discussed the concept. OER is just one example of how you might use a Creative Commons license to share content.

In the past I have written about textbook projects like the one from California or the several teachers who wrote their own high school stats textbook. Both of these are examples of OER.

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Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Xyzzy22 February, 2012

    FYI, organized group textbook-writing isn’t that new — the oldest one I’m aware of is FLOSSManuals, which started work in 2005 and focuses on a mix of programming and free/open-sourced software. Here’s the English version of their website: http://en.flossmanuals.net/


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