OLPC - Algebra 1 in Simple English "Wiki-textbook"

Click here to see the mock-up of the student user interface Click here to see an example of a narrated tutorial in Simple English Click here to see the PowerPoint presentation about this project Click here to download the PowerPoint Presentation Click here to see a tutorial of how to add content to the wiki-textbook

Welcome to our project! Here's our three-part plan:

1) Develop the textbook itself. That is happening at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OLPC_-_algebra_1_in_Simple_English. Just find a section you have some content for (vocabulary, lesson, example problems, practice games, practice problems), click "Edit this page", and put it in! If you make a mistake in something you write, don't worry. Someone else will click "Edit this page" and fix it. That's the beauty of communal writing.

Here are some suggestions for making sure your writing is in simple English. Click here for a website that will check and highlight words that need to be simplified. There is also a wiki article, How To Write Simple English Articles, or you can check the BE850 Wordlist at http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/BE_850. Note: Please focus on the first three chapters. We will post them first, even while we're still working on the rest of the book.

2) Develop the student user-interface (our Moodle). Wikibooks is the perfect place to develop a book like this, but Wikibooks site wouldn't work well for students, especially students with no experience little web experience and limited English. We will use a Moodle (a free, Open Source Course Management System).The Moodle will do the following things:

**Give students LOTS of step-by-step examples, since we must assume that they will not have a qualified math teacher.

**Give student immediate feedback as they work individual problems

**Give students games to play to practice related skills

**Show students their progress through the curriculum

**Give students unlimited opportunities to take and pass chapter tests and a final exam, so students will know when they have true mastery of the curriculum. The grading mechanism must give them specific feedback on what type of problem they still need to practice.

3) Know that we can't do this perfectly, or be all things to all people. We're designing a website to help young people teach themselves algebra. That's very hard, but not impossible. Motivated people have been teaching themselves ever since the invention of the written word. What we're attempting to do is to make that easier.

In the majority of countries where the OLPC laptops will go, students who are lucky enough to get to go to school, attend only a few hours a day, with teachers who have minimal education. Recorded tutorials allow them to get much more instruction than before, and the website will give them immediate feedback on each individual problem, and track their progress through the curriculum. That's not everything that a teacher does for a student, but it's much better than nothing.

Click here to view the current mock-up of the student user interface.


I value your feedback and want your involvement. Please contact me at olpc@HSTutorials.net.

I really enjoyed meeting you all at CMC South. I will be presenting again at CMC North - Asilomar on Saturday, December 1st. 10:30 - Noon, Pacific Grove High School, session 669.



Lisa Thorne