Replacing Textbooks

We know we have to create a new generation of electronic textbooks, but until now, nobody has stepped up. People tell me that this is in part because they don't see how to get past print publishers, teachers' unions, and Ministries of Education to get the new materials into use. But there is a sneaky way to do it. We just give them away for free, and completely bypass the established bureaucratic textbook acquisition process with all of its expenses, delays, and compromises. That isn't the whole story, but it is a sufficient starting point. This will also liberate 47 US states from the domination of the textbook market by California, New York, and Texas.


We need every school subject for every appropriate grade, with a topic sequence, an analysis, learning materials, and a lesson plan for each.
Earth Treasury has initiated a project to create interactive digital textbooks with the following potential partners. We have top level agreement in principle from the organizations marked agreed, and we are working informally with the others.

Informal Connections

We all agree in principle that we want to do it. Now we have to hold some meetings and online discussions to determine who wants to do what, and create a business plan, some White Papers, and a draft Statement of Work.

Our guiding principles (with key sources) include

Business Model
Much of the work will be done by volunteer authors scratching an itch, as usual, but we will offer a deal to Ministries of Education and to aid organizations, to write any urgently-needed textbooks on contract. All books containing software to be GPLed. We will also work with educational research institution on testing and improving our work.

  • Survey of curricula worldwide
  • Survey of topics and subject-matter experts
  • Catalog of best practices
  • Bootstrap from the FLOSS Manuals Book Sprint methodology and current best practices to build continuously better and faster methods
  • Organize a research program
  • Choose demonstration projects
  • You tell me.
Thu, 29 Oct 09 13:05:57 +0000 Filceolaire: Has Wikipedia been invited to participate formally? Provided the textbooks are CC-BY-SA they should have a lot to contribute:

  • Free licensed content in every language
  • Active communities in every language who are experienced in collaborative working
  • The Wikiversity project which is already working on this problem.