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This is the first edition new Wikibooks periodical newsletter. It’s goal is to give general information about current Wikibooks developments. This first issue will mention several things from the relatively recent past on Wikibooks ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page )
The Free High School Science Text group from South Africa has started a couple of new books, FHSST Biology, FHSST Physics, and FHSST Computer Literacy, and they have more planned. The project has the goal of providing free science textbooks to all of South Africa. Of course, we know that eventually the books they create will be used in other places as well. The FHSST ( http://www.nongnu.org/fhsst/index.html ) has a large group of contributors organized and already working. They were doing primary development offline and then uploading the information, but leader Mark H ( http://www.nongnu.org/fhsst/4_team.html ) has decided to try out the Wikibooks development tools for their Biology book, developing it online from the very start.
The FHSST folks are also working with two other organizations to develop lesson plans related to the textbooks.
We hope that the FHSST books and related materials will set the stage for other adventuresome educators to begin organized efforts to develop educational materials on Wikibooks.
Wikibooks is now experimenting with a method of focusing effort called the Wikibooks:Collaboration of the Month ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Collaboration_of_the_Month ). The idea is to identify a certain book each month for the community to rally around and work on together.
Wikistats ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wikistats/wikibooks/EN/Wikibooks_EN.htm ) This page gives statistics about Wikibooks.
Book organization software enabled – Developers enabled wiki software that automatically creates links from daughter pages to parent pages. It also allows easy link-making from parent pages to daughter pages. Format links from parent pages to daughter pages like this: /Daughter page To take advantage of this feature, place subpages after slashes in the page titling scheme. For example, a chapter on trees in the Plants section of a general biology book: /General_Biology/Plants/Trees On the Trees page, the site automatically creates back links to the Plants page as well as the General_Biology page. Is that cool or what?
Wiki Junior – Wikibooks is developing a series of nonfiction children’s books called Wiki Junior ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior ). The currently under development are:
- Big Cats ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_Big_Cats ),
- South America ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_South_America ), and the
- Solar System ( http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_Solar_System ).
The Wikibooks Newsletter – this is an experiment in communication and rallying of the troops, inspired by Linspire founder Michael Robertson’s “Michael’s Minute” weekly newsletter.
New Books of Note
In Other Languages
Wikibooks in the News
- Jimmy Wales on Slashdot – When Jimmy was interviewed on Slashdot recently ( http://interviews.slashdot.org/interviews/04/07/28/1351230.shtml?tid=146&tid=95&tid=11 ), he expressed that one of the things that he is most excited about within the world of Wiki is changing the world of education in the developing world with the creation of free educational materials on Wikibooks.
- Panel on Open Source
Think Tank & Issues of Debate
How should the textbook hierarchy be organized? With slashes, colons, dashes … “Wikibooks founder” Karl Wick suggests slashes, as the site automatically recognizes slashes as indicators of page structure, and now has software enabled that creates automatic links on daughter pages to parent pages (see New Developments).
How can Wikibooks involve more educators? If you are an educator, please give us feedback as to what would help you to use Wikibooks in the classroom or as a development tool, or give examples of how you have used Wikibooks materials in your classroom.
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