Here is a free/open upper secondary mathematics textbook written in

~~a single day~~**three days** by a group of Finnish math teachers, working together in a "booksprint." Related news:

California's passed a bill establishing 50 "open source" (CC-BY) textbooks for core lower-division college courses (though, as a poster on Slashdot notes, this still has to be funded in the California budget, which is a place where many good ideas go to die).
(

*via Hacker News*)

report this ad

Since the earliest days of ecommerce, analysts have predicted that retailers would use their estimations of their customers’ willingness to pay to invisibly, instantaneously reprice their goods, offering different prices to each customer.

The Intercept publishes a previously-unseen set of Snowden docs detailing more than $500,000,000 worth of secret payments by the Japanese government to the NSA, in exchange for access to the NSA’s specialized surveillance capabilities, in likely contravention of Japanese privacy law (the secrecy of the program means that the legality was never debated, so no […]

Midge is a semi-disavowed character in the Barbieverse, created in 1963 to counter claims that Barbie was oversexualized; weirdly, in 1982, Mattel made the decision to release a version of the doll, who appeared to be a young teen, as a pregnant lady, with a detachable bump containing an articulated foetus.

Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]

“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]

Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]

report this ad

Could someone familiar with github’s interface clue me in on how to get to any of the textbook’s pages?

They are just here: https://github.com/linjaaho/oppikirjamaraton-maa1/tree/master/sisalto

Mind though that the material is in Finnish (as it is written by teachers from Finland).

Those links just go to lines of code, is there any way to read it as it would look in a textbook?

you can convert from LaTeX format to more common ones like PDF

So, how does one go about converting LaTeX to PDF?

Look for a pdflatex sooftware suite.

https://github.com/linjaaho/oppikirjamaraton-maa1/downloads

The download is in pdf format.

So, they Finished it?

Yeah… cool idea but very far from completed. Most chapters are 100 lines (2 pages) max, many even almost empty. They _started_ writing it on a weekend which is cool in and of itself.

According to the linked post it’s not in a day but in three days, and hopefully ready tomorrow.

I laugh every time they describe a book as “open source”, as though they had source code.

Well, this one is written in LaTeX, so it kinda does have source code.

A Finnish math teacher can write 2 textbooks in 120 days. If 1 group of Finnish teachers working together can produce 1 textbook in 3 days, how many Finnish math teachers are in a group?

Without being able to read Finnish, it looks like what they wrote might be equivalent to source code for slides to use in lecture, or bare bones Wikipedia entries on high school math topics. Obviously not a complete text book, and I’m pretty sure it’s the easiest part. Example problems work through in detail, practice problems throughout the chapter, and a collection of practice problems with answers available and others with a teacher’s key… these are most of what most students will use in a math text. And they have to be chosen carefully to be representative and of appropriate difficulty, carefully laid out, and painstakingly proof read or they’ll be worse than useless.

That said, hopefully they’ll keep pushing and get to a useful point.

Having worked for a small educational publisher I agree — a textbook is more than a couple lines explaining a concept. It takes thousands of hours per grade to create complete worked examples (having full step by step solutions that explain the problem solving process), mathML equations, graphics including charts/graphs/diagrams and practice questions — lots and lots of practice questions will full solutions so students can practice what they are learning.

Then it takes a tremendous amount of time, particularly in mathematics, to edit the whole book. Every mathML equation and every question needs to be examined and the questions solved independently of the solution to ensure they are accurate.

Then, finally if you are publishing in XML you need to have a technical person go through the document to ensure that it is valid, well-formed and will render properly.

One math concept would take, on average 0.5 days of effort for a team of 5 people (2 writers, 1 graphic artist, 1 editor and 1 technical XML person). An average math course in the US is 1/5th of 180 days of instruction which equals about 216 instructional hours. A math textbook will have about 100 concepts to present in those 216 hours which means it will take 5 people 50 days (almost 3 months) to write a single text book.

A handful of teachers cannot possibly write a high quality, curriculum aligned and comprehensive resource in a weekend. It just is not possible.

May be the first math textbook to refer to Wolfram Alpha! (not counting Wolfram Alpha’s own interactive textbook)

Chapter 17, end of first paragraph via translate.google.com: “Functions can also easily draw

graphic calculators on the computer or the software (for example Wolfram Alpha).”

Based on PDF GlyphGryph mentions, http://cloud.github.com/downloads/linjaaho/oppikirjamaraton-maa1/current_draft.pdf

When I was in college, it was widely told that our calculus professor had written the textbook in two weeks, on a bet. And it might as well have been in finnish. So this one will be better if only on price.