Linux, politics, and other interesting things
The CK12 project is developing free (CC by SA) textbooks for the K-12 market (with a current focus on the early years of high school) . Their primary aim seems to be flex-books – text books that can be localised and modified to better suit the needs of the students. But of course there are many other benefits, according to my best estimates storing text books on an ebook reader or one of the lighter NetBooks is necessary to avoid childhooh back injuries .
Another major benefit of flexible text books is the possibility of teaching a wider range of subjects. A subject does not need the level of interest that is required to get a publishing contract (which generally means acceptance by the education department of a state) to have a text book. Independent schools and home-schoolers can select subjects that are not in the mainstream curriculum.
One thing I would like to see is a text book about computer security. I really don’t think that this would be an overly difficult subject for an 11yo who is interested in computers. When I was 11 I read a text book on nuclear physics in the form of a comic book, I don’t think that computer security is inherently more difficult or harder to teach than nuclear physics. Naturally full coverage would require several texts aimed at different ages. But that’s possible too. It would probably be easiest to start with an age of ~16. Also as computer security is a subject that is both difficult at one end of the scale and essential at the other it would be necessary to have A and B streams (as is done with maths in the Australian education system).
Please leave a comment if you are interested in participating in the development of computer security related text books. Incidentally it would be good to get a contributor who has had experience in teaching teenagers even if they don’t have any knowledge of computer security – I don’t expect to find someone with good technical skills and teaching experience.