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September 28, 2005
Until You're Ready for OpenCourseWare
...there will be Wikibooks. OpenCourseWare is MIT's effort to place online, for free access, all the teaching materials from every one of its courses. I think it's one of the most insanely great ideas to hit the Web this decade. The MIT OCW site links to other OCW projects starting up worldwide.
However, this is all college-level stuff and there's a lot of learning to be done before that. To help out, wouldn't it be great if you had a kindergarten-to-college collection of texts that were free and open, using Wikipedia's model to help promote quality? Yes, actually, it would. So, according to Daniel Terdiman's story for CNET, the Wikipedia Foundation has created Wikibooks, a project to publish this kind of free and open-to-use curriculum material.
The two-year-old project (shows how behind the times I am) has over 11,000 texts available at this point, including a still-small offshoot called Wikijunior, which specifically aims at early learners with short (48 page) chidren's texts.
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