[IAEP] New FLOSS Manual "Reading And Leading With Sugar" chapters need review

James Simmons nicestep at gmail.com
Mon May 10 10:46:51 EDT 2010


Thanks for your feedback.

Only one Activity supports Text To Speech at the moment: my own Read
Etexts.  You need a Plain Text file to use that, and I will have a
chapter on creating those.  In fact, I will have chapters on creating
books in every format we support, plus I will have a detailed chapter
on how to scan books and how to make your own home book scanner from
common household items.  I don't have any text in the scanning chapter
yet but I do have a couple of illustrations (with many more to come):


I agree with everything you've said, mostly.  As far as the
presentation of contents goes, I'd like to get all the content I have
to present in the book in a sequence that seems logical to me, then
get feedback on the ordering of topics.  It may be that I move the
chapter on book formats after the one on e-book Activities.  It may
also be that I remove references to Sugar from many chapters so those
chapters can be shared with another book just about e-books (proposed
title "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About E-Books But Were
Afraid To Ask").

Audiobooks *might* be in scope.  Project Gutenberg has them, but most
are just read by a text to speech program, so the student would be
better off downloading the e-text and using Read Etexts to get speech
and highlighting.  I think they have some read by humans too, but
there's no way short of downloading them and listening to know which
ones they are.

I worked on scanning a whole book this weekend, plus I wrote most of a
chapter on how you can easily make PDF's:


In the end, I think everything you want will be in the book, plus some
stuff on copyrights and Creative Commons licensing, plus some other
stuff I haven't thought of yet.

Thanks again,

James Simmons

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 9:12 AM, Caroline Meeks <caroline at meekshome.com> wrote:
> Hi James,
> I have just skimmed so far. Looks great!
> One of the issues schools have is students who can not read text well,
> either from a vision problem or a reading problem.  A great deal of what is
> taught is taught through text, especially science and social studies.  It is
> important that children who cannot understand the text can still learn the
> content. In addition, reading books for pleasure is a vital way for children
> to learn about the world and expand their horizons and thinking.  One of the
> wonderful things about technology is that students who can't read text can
> still listen to text and learn.  Sugar is for all children, and not all
> children can see or decode text, so listening to text should have equal
> standing as a way to read.
>  I think it would be useful in the section that goes over the different
> formats and programs to explicitly say which can support text to speech and
> which can't.
> It would also be great if you could write a section on how teachers can
> create documents that can be read to the students.  I'm almost certain that
> for a teacher to retype or scan in a text book and then let a student
> read/listen to it, is fair use.  Certainly that is something that the
> special ed teacher at the GPA was interested in doing.  I'm sure other
> teachers with students who can't read text at grade level will also be
> interested in doing that.
> Consider adding sections about where to get free audiobooks to your
> wonderful coverage of where to get free books.
> On a separate note, would it work to put the section on book formats towards
> the end of the chapter. I think the sections on how you read the books on
> Sugar to be more interesting. I'm worried that people won't make it through
> the drier, more confusing, reference materials on book formats, until they
> are motivated and excited by seeing all the things they can do with the
> books.
> Thanks!
> Caroline
> On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 3:53 PM, James Simmons <nicestep at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I've started work on another FLOSS Manual, this one about how to get
>> the most out of Sugar as an e-book platform.  It will cover what
>> Activities are used for e-books, where to get books, pros and cons of
>> the various e-book formats, and will conclude with instructions on
>> creating your own e-books in the supported formats and options for
>> getting the books distributed.  The last part has not been written
>> yet, but I've got some people interested in helping me put it
>> together.  I plan to scan in some old books from my own collection and
>> get them in shape to donate to the Internet Archive and Project
>> Gutenberg.  The book will document the whole process.
>> In the meantime the Sugar-y chapters are pretty much complete and
>> could use a review.  Any suggestions or feedback would be welcome.
>> The book is at:
>> http://en.flossmanuals.net/ReadingandSugar/Introduction
>> Thanks,
>> James Simmons
>> _______________________________________________
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep
> --
> Caroline Meeks
> Solution Grove
> Caroline at SolutionGrove.com
> 617-500-3488 - Office
> 505-213-3268 - Fax

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