[IAEP] OERs and textbook replacement
mokurai at earthtreasury.org
mokurai at earthtreasury.org
Thu Jun 2 20:35:17 EDT 2011
On Thu, June 2, 2011 4:58 pm, Tim McNamara wrote:
> Are you able to expand your thoughts once you get to a computer?
I can, and no doubt Valerie can also.
> I recently started a discussion around making OERs easier to use. Sugar
> Labs have quite an opportunity to make a large impact here.
One goal of the Sugar Labs Replacing Textbooks project is to integrate
Sugar into the curriculum in all subjects at all levels, and to research
what concepts can be taught in earlier grades than is done today so that
children can learn more effectively and with much greater understanding.
This includes finding out which explanations in current textbooks do not
explain their topics adequately to children, and where the children need
assistance, or more practice than they get from a textbook. We propose to
begin with fairly conventional materials and work our way toward that goal
as we see how to do it.
The first example I like to cite of what we are trying to do comes from
OLE Nepal. Bryan Berry explained to an OLPC meeting at headquarters that
children in Nepal in the XO program were mostly several years behind the
official curriculum in arithmetic, and that teachers and OLE workers
determined that this was because they could not tell how many things were
in a small group without counting. So OLE Nepal created a counting
practice program (screenshot attached). Children reportedly practiced for
as long as several hours at a time, throughout the following weeks and
months. Most of them advanced several years in their arithmetic classes
during that time.
We cannot expect such astonishing results every time, but we know that we
can deepen and extend children's understanding of almost anything
complicated and confusing in school.
Peter Hewitt/mulawa1 has been programming a variety of games for Sugar
that teach some concept of mathematics or programming, or the art of
exploring and discovery, among other things.
We also intend to create teacher training materials that make use of the
best practices that we know of for integrating XOs and Sugar into existing
curricula for use with existing textbooks, in addition to the use of our
(we hope) vastly improved materials.
> On 3 June 2011 01:11, Valerie Taylor <vtaylor at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There are so many OERs and so little time that most educators who would
>> use them don't. Cross reference with curriculum is a huge opportunity but
>> slow to start. Are you working on something like this?
We intend to develop modular materials keyed to curriculum standards, and
we are thinking about how to index them so that teachers can find what is
most relevant to their needs. We will also produce materials _not_ keyed
to curricula where we find a better approach, or we find topics not
currently taught that we believe are essential for children to learn. Don
Cohen's Calculus By and For Young People, for example, or how to tackle
corruption in developing country governments.
It's a bit like reinventing the library catalog. You can see a great many
approaches being taken by organizations listed at
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/OER and by organizations that they link to.
Another piece of the puzzle is to create lesson plans around specific
software and OER documents, and key them to standard or alternative
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
>> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
Silent Thunder is my name, and Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, the Truth my destination.
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