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On 4/17/07, Greg Dekoenigsberg <gdk@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Let me ask this question: Why textbooks? Textbooks are expensive, relative to bits. If the goal is to teach computer skills, why not make a computer-based curriculum the primary method of teaching?
I can do with or without textbooks. I just know some teachers feel like they couldn't exist without one. Even though I would rather work from a computer, there are people who could read books all day, but not a computer screen. I currently teach all my computer classes without a physical text book. This includes Computer basics, computer repair, Web design (html), advanced web design (PHP/MySQL), networking, and video production. Often, I point them to web resources, or free and open textbooks on the server. I would personally embrace a computer based curriculum. The only downside would be when the server or network is down. Last week my server died, but I had a new one within 3 days. Luckly I had a computer related video to show that took three days.
If you had your druthers, what software would exist to teach math?
Personally, I would love to see an open source version of Scientific Notebook from MacKichan software (http://www.mackichan.com/). Its pages can be exported as HTML with images. My favorite feature is that it includes the MAPLE engine, so you can put in an equation, click a button, and it solves the equation. It does simple arithmatic to advanced calculus, 3d graphing, differential equations, the works. A teacher can also build quizes or test questions where instead of having one exact answer, a teacher can describe a range of random numbers to be used, and a formula to find the answer. For example, say a student is supposed to be able to find the slope given two points. the teacher may define the values for the points to be random whole numbers between -10 and 10, and define the answer using the slope formula, but the kid sees plain numbers. I've hunted and hunted for an open source alternative, but the closest thing I can find requires learning a new programming language, which I don't have the time for. Eric _______________________________________________ Fedora-education-list mailing list Fedora-education-list@xxxxxxxxxx http://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-education-list
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