Neopublishing, FOSOTT and gateway sites

Isn’t it exciting that at last there might be movement in the direction of a really simple and significant piece of what AKMA neatly neologises as “neopublishing“! By now you know that it all started with a twit that was published on Brooke’s Facebook page (see his blog Anumma for the belated expression of this in public “Open Access Intro to OT“) that happily was seen by AKMA. And that Mark offered (in The Future for Textbooks Online) his own slant on AKMA’s take on Brooke’s ideas. Doesn’t this sound like the resume of an episode of one of those teenage soaps one’s daughters watch?

In the latest round of posts, AKMA (Funding Neopublishing) highlights some really interesting ideas for funding such a project, and since this is a high demand, low(ish) cost project the idea of (almost) crowdsourcing the funding ought to be possible :) While Mark, always the gentleman and peacemaker, seeks to convince (himself and?) us that AKMA’s multiauthor multiple possibility neotextbook is really much the same sort of teaching tool as his own proposal for a gateway site focused on the needs of beginning students and intro classes. They aren’t, but both would serve really useful purposes. FOSOTT as a textbook would allow consistency of design, format and presentation making the assimilation of the basics of the discipline easier for beginners. An Intro Gateway as a collection of links to quality (somewhat?) assured resources selected for usefulness to beginners would be great for the further reading that we hope all students will do, and that the smart ones actually do do.

Incidentally, to display my own peacemaker tendencies, I think both Mark and Bob (in his comments to Mark’s most recent post) have it right: Mark point that there are now (on at least most topics) far more quality resources and enough to make a workable “further reading” list for an intro class is correct. Bob is also right though that Google works better as a search engine, and so can offer more complete coverage than even the NT Gateway or iTanakh can manage (just note the cost though for an intro class, teachers must spend more time educating students to be critical).1

  1. Yes, we say that this is what we do, but really we sometimes resent the time spent explaining how they should have known that the latest Indiana Jones stunt is not worth the price of the salesman/archaeologist?’s hat, since that time would have been much better spent downloading more of our precious learning into their poor feeble brains. []