Thursday, July 3, 2008

So obvious and yet so not done

We need a text book wiki.
Imagine every school having access to current and relevant texts.
Imagine the cost saving of not having to buy books.
Imagine students not needing to carry material because they could download it themselves.

This TextBook Wiki would have control content. Meaning people with the proven credentials put material on it, that material is fact checked and goes through all the normal rigors of any text book. An added bonus if you could get an expert in the field to comment on it, you don't have to worry about printing thousands of books. You just make the change, and send an email to the schools.

It would be laid out so it would be easy to print, if needed.
A teacher could get there material from it, and it will be for all grades.
The cost could be spread across all districts. The US has over 12000 districts. If everyone put in 1000 bucks, it would be enough to get set up with hardware, and get a bunch of subjects going.
If the big Universities get involved to sponsor district that can't get the money, and count Subjects added by teachers as part of the professor expected publishing regime, we could get volumes of texts in a very short time.

I would focus on Kindergarten and move upward. What I mean for this would be my goal would be the lower grades, but submission would still be taken for all grades.

It could be done for under 2 million a year after the initial set up. We would take donations, tax deductible of course and hope to get sponsors.
The ongoing costs could be spread out over Universities, 100 colleges and were talking about 20K per college. remember, we will be paying fact checkers and people to run this site.
Why the universities? because the better educated the students going into the university the better off the university will be.
There are a lot of bright kids that will have a tough time going to college just because their schools don't have proper material.

Most professor that write there own books never make money. Why not put it on TextBook Wiki for all?
I'm sorry, but it's time for dead tree text book publishers to go the way of the dinosaur, and the sooner the better.

I only wish I could get the right group of people together so we could do this ourselves. If we start now, in 5 years no 5th grade class in the US would need to buy text book material or worksheets.
In fact, that would be my first big goal. 5 by 5.
Plus, 5 by 5 is cool to say.

So, if anyone out here can get the ear of some large universities, and work contacts? I can do the technical side.

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What I mean by 'Idea'

By 'Idea' I mean something practical. This might be an improvement or something new but it should be practical.
For example:
"We should all have jet packs."
While a great idea, it's not very practical.
If I had an idea on how to improve the thrust/weight ratio, then that would be a practical idea. That being the only real problem that would need to be solved for jet packs.