Muddling through the blogosphere

Math and Science Resources for a Web 2.0 World


If you are a fan of “open source, collaborative, and web-based compilation” models, then you’re going to like what CK-12 is putting online. This non-profit organization is dedicated to the idea that every K-12 student in the United States and worldwide deserves “access to the highest quality and lowest cost textbooks and course materials.”

A main goal of the CK-12 organization is to offer excellent and freely accessible textbooks to supplement (replace?) expensive textbooks, which often are filled with “eye candy” to the point of being visually distracting to students. With the CK12’s FlexBooks, teachers can customize content and chapters to meet individual needs of their students.

In a nutshell CK-12 is a Wikipedia approach to textbooks, drawing on reviewers and experts in specific math and science fields, who understand the value of putting teachers in charge of enhancing, changing, and customizing a “flexible output.”

The site has been up for about a year and already offers an impressive amount of content. I just took a side trip into one of the geometry texts and explored an informative chapter on The Geometry of Art and am planning on spending this rainy afternoon wondering through more of the texts.

I am impressed and heartened by CK-12’s commitment that the “content generated by CK-12 and the CK-12 community will serve both as source material for a student’s learning and provide an adaptive environment that scaffolds the learner’s journey as he or she masters a standards-based body of knowledge, while allowing for passion-based learning.”


  1. Wow! Very cool. Along the same line I have found valuable resources at Hippocampus and Wiki Books

    I’m a firm believer products like this are the future of education. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Joe, I just clicked on a lesson on Real Numbers in at the hippocampus site. Thanks for the resource!

    As the reality of an even grimmer fiscal year in 2009-10 hits, I hope districts will take a second look at textbook adoptions, which are a huge expense. I think particularly in English/Language Arts and Math, we could save a bundle – while increasing learning and engagement – if we structured and customized these amazing open source resources.

    Next year we start a new cycle for E/LA adoptions. It’s not that the current adoptions are “silver bullets,” but hey, the elements of a short story, for instance, have not changed – and could easily be extended/enhanced with online sources.

    Knowing what I do about your background (heard you present at CUE), I already know you could easily take the currently adopted textbooks in your district, and build on them exponentially via Web 2.0 – maybe just Google Earth alone:-)


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