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Free Direct Instruction Wikibook

NEEDED: Copyright Attorney interested in probono work, Direct Instruction, or effective curriculum. Also needed: Illustrator & folks to write DI curriculum for the Open Source Learning community, teachers, and parents.

Wikibooks, Wikiversity curriculum, and Wikieducator are free books and curriculum developed by a group of people or even a single person. There aren't many out there but what is interesting is what COULD be out there. As a teacher, school, or district, one of the bigger costs is textbook adoption. This includes picking a curriculum, textbook company, and teaching methodology/pedagogy.

Well, what if there was a FREE direct instruction curriculum based on scientifically-validated teaching methods? What if competent and motivated individuals (teachers, parents, paras, aides, college students) could help develop this curriculum in order to continually develop it, make it better, and ensure that it stays FREE? I always wonder if Oregon would actually adopt direct instruction curriculum if it were FREE.

Please note, even a good curriculum requires teacher/school/district buy in, training, and coaching. Many schools often cut their costs in adoption by cutting training and completely opting out of coaching.

Well I've put it out there: Free Direct Instruction Reading 1 . In no way is it usuable or even started, but one might have to wonder if the idea is intriguing. It could take anywhere from 1 to 5 years to develop each module (reading kit, math kit, language, etc) but the benefits might just be worth it. By placing curriculum into an electronic media you gain the following benefits:

  • Adaptable - if a set of instructions is weak, a teacher using the curriculum or a field testing teacher might login and either add to the discussion for the module (see tabs) or make a change in the module for the section. Furthermore, a teacher can make their own copy and customize it for his or her own use.
  • Portable - curriculum and scripted teacher instruction can be placed on a laptop and/or printed out. No more lugging books around. Student booklets can be easily printed in black and white or color and easily replaced.
  • Reduced costs - FREE? Student books can currently cost $50-$80 each. Workbooks can currently cost $10 to $20 each. Printed teacher editions can cost $80 on up.
  • Durable - electronic media can often be put into various types of formats such as a database, web page, or even printed in sections. Currently, teacher editions are spiral bound which can compress and become difficult to turn pages.
  • Expandable - the use of hyper links to get more information on an idea or item can assist teachers in learning the curriculum more completely and quickly.
  • Images and space - using electronic media allows curriculum to be developed in a way that is quicker for the teacher to learn to efficacy, thereby, allowing the teacher more time to work on student errors or more time to "punch up" the curriculum to make more fun. The use of small icons as cues can assist teachers in learning the curriculum more quickly.