This is why we need PCs, or even $100 laptops, and internet access in schools.

Forbes reports that Scott McNealy, Chairman of Sun Microsystems, has a grand plan, a grand vision: a website for kindergarten to high school students that would allow classrooms to “instantly access the same approved textbooks.”¬† This open-source site would allow content creators to donate their own material, just like Wikipedia, but with dependable standards.

According to McNealy, this would prevent the expensive textbook products hawked by “a great salesperson talking to the PTA.”

Gee, doesn’t it sound like the Ability Office salesperson convincing ICAP of its “great” but expensive product?

We already have the classics as public domain material c/o Gutenberg.  Knowledge need not be expensive, especially to the children who will be our leaders of tomorrow.

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  • first!

  • I have a dream of putting up an online school from grade school to high school using Moodle, the open-source lms. I’ve got tons of ideas how to make this work. And I’m sure that there will be a lot of people who will be interested in this.

    Imagine a barrio boy helping in the fields during the day and going to a community center with a computer and studying there.

    Granted, there are a lot of barriers to this dream, but the benefits greatly outweigh them.

    If Mcnealy will share his content and books, then half of my dream will have materialized.

    Anyone interested in sharing my dream?

  • jgotangco

    Perhaps the OLPC project can boost the standardization with the use of the wikibooks project as well.

  • gena

    jun, wanted to post this comment to your blog but it kept giving me the security code error. Anyhoo:

    Hi there, Pinay Ed Technologist here. I’m happy to see that interest for educational reform thru technology is alive and well in our country.

    Here’s a couple of ideas:
    – Online learning is primarily based on the student-centered pedagogy, a belief that students learn best from project-based and/or collaborative learning. The Phils however, is still predominantly implementing teacher-centered classrooms. Unless we steer away from that belief, we will have a difficult time implementing an effective online learning system.
    – We can’t expect to put a student in front of the computer, and boom, they’ll start learning. We have consider that a successful online learning student has certain characteristics: they do not procastinate, has the ability to multi-task, and has fairly good communication skills.

    I read about a lot of ed tech programs in the country that went bust after all the hype dies down. Fact is, much of the focus is on the technology, rather than other factors like pedagogy and student-readiness.

    It takes a lot of careful planning to be able to pull this off. I applaud you and your team, and wish you the best of luck!!

    – Gena