I am thrilled to announce that the Shuttleworth Foundation will be supporting my fellowship and the OERPUB project for another year and we have an incredibly exciting year planned.
We will be releasing an editor tailored to authoring open textbooks and most importantly, helping projects all over the world incorporate the editor into their own workflow and development process.
This video shows what we have done so far and our plans for March 2013 through February 2014. You will see me talking for a bit and then it switches to hand drawn illustrations, video clips of the editor, and commentary from partners and supporters.
I have been working for the past two years to make it easier to create, remix, and publish open textbooks. There is a growing movement to create open textbooks that are free to learn from, free to adapt, and free to improve. But creators of these new open textbooks face technical challenges that limit the ability to reuse, adapt, and improve them.
What we have now
Everything In: Import from common sources: Since content created in one word processor doesn’t mix well with content created in another authoring tool, we first built an importer/converter that takes documents in common formats and transforms them into a remixable format. The importer takes Word, Open Office, Google Docs, LaTeX, blogs and presentations. Edit/Adapt with an easy-to-use web-based editor: We are creating a structured content editor so that once content is transformed into a remixable format, authors can continue to edit and add educational features. Everything Out: Distribute to students in print, on the web, and on mobile devices. Once learning modules are ready to share, we use the OERPUB API developed earlier to publish the content and produce printed books, e-Reader versions, web versions, mobile versions, and handouts.
What we are planning
Whole book authoring. We will be concentrating on figuring out the easiest ways for authors to create entire textbooks while using the new editor to create the components. We’ll be collaborating to embed the editor in partner sites: working with Connexions on their new editing repository, with Booktype and others on their platforms, and exploring solutions like using Github, Google Drive or Dropbox as backends. We will be leveraging the EPUB3 standard and community in creating digital works.
Distribution: To increase the benefits to individual authors, we will explore ways to make it as easy as possible for them to deliver their content through e-publishing channels.
Strengthening Community with Sprints and Workshops
The most important task ahead is strengthening and sustaining the content creation and development community. We will do this by convening a series of week long workshops and sprints that train new content creators and software developers, and help launch independent efforts around accessibility, internationalization, multimedia, and interactive content.