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Old 10-05-2009, 01:51 PM   #16
N0NJY
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Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post
I think when you say "everybody should be...on the same page" you mean that everyone should have the same opportunities for excellence, truth and knowledge. But it sounds to me a bit authoritarian. And it can be used that way.
Same opportunities = Exactly the same information

In my view, if I am teaching from a text book that contains (for instance, something I know a good deal about) electronics and it teaches the material along with the mathematics involved, as well as examples of how physics works - that is one thing.

Another instructor teaching a similar class, minus the Math, physics or some of the root chemistry involved in the production of transistors (making up all semiconductors as an example) is NOT on equal foot with me in that respect.

He or she is not giving his students a full picture of what "electronics" actually happens to be.

Too many times throughout my time as a teacher I saw this very same thing using the SAME text books with two (or more) different teachers on a subject. Not imparting 1) knowledge of the material or 2) imparting further knowledge by teaching a student how to think and research for themselves.

While I personally have NO problem with open source materials (Linux is a perfect example of this) and there are certainly improvements the context of my question above was in relation to who would be "responsible in the long run" for determining content".

If it is the government - then I am against this. If it will NOT be politically motivated to give education, then I'm for it.

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Of course, if it's really open source, anyone who improves it must share it. So the best editions will bubble to the top, and anyone can use the resulting texts. No hoarding and hiding it behind "copyright" and lawsuits.
"The best editions will bubble to the top" if not suppressed by those who are modifying the text.

You and I both know there have been numerous attempts at banning books. Even Mark Tawin's own novels have suffered from this censorship.

The scientific community (generally on the left) has attempted to ban, or reduce the impact of, for instance the Bible.

While the religious community (generally on the right) has attempted to minimize the impact of Darwin's theories.

There is no "meeting of the minds" in the middle on that subject and honestly, will likely never be. The fact is human beings are biased and will remain so - and truthfully, each of are biased and will resist outside change until we die.


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Right now, two states (Texas and California), dominate which textbooks are used in the US, because of their size and the number of books they purchase. Texas is a crazy place where they try to insert religion and conservative movement ideology into the texts.
I am pretty much non-religious. I'm a scientist first, and a Conservative second. But, I don't introduce religion into something simply because science is science, based on known facts. Religion is based on faith alone. You can't mix the two, or you get skewed answers.

(and honestly, who is say "God" DID NOT create the Universe? Anyone who claims He didn't is certainly making a statement without a basis in fact....)


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The rest of the country is therefore limited (not completely, but greatly) in what is available to it. Publishers are largely corporations, so you know that doing the right thing is irrelevant -- they just want the money. Having truly open source textbooks might mitigate this. (And it also might mitigate the horrible, monopolistic pricing practices in universities.)

m a r
Totally an ineffectual argument, when you start saying "They make money so they do not know what is right".

That's what's wrong with the world today I think. Too many people want to listen to Marx and various other anti-capitalists (or make things up) and come back with a put down based on that sort of nonsense.

You shouldn't fall for such beliefs because it's not good either for a discussion, nor is it based on facts.

Personally, I have to ask, if "big corporations" aren't doing the publishing - who is going to publish the books?

And do you really think that this will force E-readers in the class room in a timely manner?

Oh - and who makes those readers? Oh, I forgot, "Big Corporations"....
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sassanik View Post
I have to say I don't necassarily buy that some of the text books used in college are any better than wikipedia. How do you really know who wrote them and how accurate their information is? Sure in theory they should be knowledgable but in reality? Who knows.
Generally speaking, nearly every text book has a list of contributing authors. Each of them are usually peer-reviewed and most, if not all text book authors have a degree in the field in which they are writing.

I know a gentleman who wrote an entire text book on Fire Safety (and the codes related to fire safety). He is considered by fire chiefs the US-over as the defacto expert in the field.

The use of his books to be questioned by a student would be comical, simply because they "don't know who he is" I guess.

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I would hope that the information is good in text books, but at times I find that hard to believe when they publishing companies are pushing new editions out as fast as they can.
I would too - but I know for a fact that few text books are 100% accurate. In fact, in every text book I used as an instructor I discovered more than one error or omission. While this certainly doesn't affect a good teacher's teaching skills or ability to impart knowledge to their students it does show that the proof-readers and editors weren't as "smart as they thought they were"!

Most of the time, the authors DID include the material or had corrections made for the book before it went to publication, but those things weren't included.

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I believe it has to have 60% new material to be a new edition? Have things changed that much in the last few years that a revision of 60% of the information is really needed?


Amy
I don't know the requirements myself.

But as an open-source text book is created there still has to be a "governing body" to determine when to run a new release of the document (just like in Linux or other open source material).
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
Seems like a couple of you are putting too much stake in the role of a text book in education.

Being a professor, I can tell you most textbooks suck. The quality of the education in the course depends much more on the professor than on what book they use.
Not at all, Professor.

My point is that there must be a basis for instruction and text books are generally the basis.

A student does NOT have 100% of your time and effort (you must admit) and even when I had very small classes myself (of say less than ten people) we were limited sometimes on how much time we COULD spend on a particular point. Sometimes we were not.

Even so - that time you can not spend with them might best be used in reading other books (including a text book in question) in an attempt to further their knowledge...

No?
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:07 PM   #19
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I'll second that. I live in California *because* it's overwhelmingly liberal, at least in the SF Bay Area.

I like that I can work for an international corporation, and not only do I not get pestered about wearing makeup or hose, nobody even notices I don't wear them. And I like that having green hair gets complimented by clients, rather than making me ineligible to meet them.

And if people don't think those fall under "liberal," I like that people who think same-sex couples shouldn't be able to get married, are ashamed to say so aloud in public. I like that bigotry is despised here.

(I grant that it gets a little weird around the edges, and that's not to everyone's taste.)
And for the same reasons, I live in Colorado. Because people don't wear green hair dye (or purple) -- It's distracting in my area of work.

I don't have any problems with same-sex couples at all. Except, I don't think people should be making out in public (male-male, male-female or female-female or whatever else there is in between). That's for HOME.

(Although, I don't MIND watching two females making out /chuckles)

I know that when my wife and I were kids, we practiced "make out sessions" in public too. Looking back - boy that was wrong! haha
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post
Polite people keep their religious beliefs to themselves, not make an effort to indoctrinate other people's children. Belief without proof is irrational -- all actions that come from it are therefore also irrational.
Being human is irrational. Being rational in all things is, at best, willful pretense.

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Old 10-05-2009, 04:36 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post
Right now, two states (Texas and California), dominate which textbooks are used in the US, because of their size and the number of books they purchase.

Texas is a crazy place where they try to insert religion and conservative movement ideology into the texts.
And California is broke.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:58 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by N0NJY View Post
The scientific community (generally on the left) has attempted to ban, or reduce the impact of, for instance the Bible.

While the religious community (generally on the right) has attempted to minimize the impact of Darwin's theories.

There is no "meeting of the minds" in the middle on that subject and honestly, will likely never be. The fact is human beings are biased and will remain so - and truthfully, each of are biased and will resist outside change until we die.
Oh come on, we are talking text book and education, it has no more place for unsubstantiated beliefs of any form (religion included along with any other crackpot cosmology (Deniken, Blavatskaya, big JuJu), then Darwin theory in the Temple or Church. Did scientific community really tried to ban religion anywhere outside the area of hard science?
Let's have science in the classroom and religion in Church or Sunday classes if you so inclined.

Last edited by dmikov; 10-05-2009 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:42 PM   #23
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And California is broke.
Oh, that's easily fixed, if we just legalize our #1 agricultural export.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:49 PM   #24
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by N0NJY View Post
Nice idea.
Probably going to be VERY bad at implementation, and I quote from your source blog:
Who will "control the content" is my question?
It is said that those who are the victors in any conflict write the history.
Perhaps the content rewrites are meant for individual use only? So you can rewrite sections of the books to better illustrate a point for study.

If not, turning those texts into wikis is a step backwards!
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