In order to plan a suitable set of textbooks we need to discuss every subject in the K-12 curriculum. Please add subjects, links to Free textbooks, and relevant Free Software. As this discussion grows, we will need to separate out many of these subjects into separate pages.
We should create a Creative-Commons style license permitting translation and electronic publishing in languages of developing countries for literature, textbooks, and software. We would like to see completely Free licensing of educational materials, but it will be helpful in dealing with commercial publishers to have an intermediate license that expands their future market at essentially no cost to them, without cutting into current markets.
Every schoolchild in The Netherlands learns to play recorder and read music. Plastic recorders cost about $5 each. The program could be adapted to handmade local instruments, including flutes or drums of various kinds.
There is a wide variety of MIDI editors and players, and many media players. Lilypond is a notation program that produces scores for printing as PDFs or in other formats.
Ear training software (GNU Solfege?)
Many cultures will want to preserve their traditional music. We will have to create a program for helping them preserve their intellectual property rights in this material.
Children in many countries are gainfully employed making rugs and other items for international sale. Organizations like eBay, Overstock.com, and Novica/National Geographic can help them sell while staying in school, in stark contrast to traditional child labor. These e-commerce sites are active in dozens of countries, and are eager to expand to more. The creators receive something like 65% of the final selling price, as opposed to the pennies/hour that rug factories in Pakistan pay to their workers. The only conditions are (for Novica) that the goods can be delivered to their distribution centers in Africa and Asia, and (for all) that there be a reasonable way to communicate with the sellers (locally rentable mobile phone, knowing somebody who knows somebody who has a computer and Internet).
It seems likely that OLPC could become completely self-funding by organizing local businesses to assist sellers.
Free Software for graphics: The GIMP, Tux paint and many others
English is a particularly difficult language to [learn to read and write. Raymond Kurzweil researched the problem for the Reading Machine that he invented at MIT and made into his first product. His text-to-speech engine had more than 2,000 spelling rules programmed in, and in addition more than 2,000 exceptions (words like "once", and all the words ending in "ough").
See 40329/002744.html OUGH by Charles Battell Loomis
However, few of the target local languages for OLPC are anything like that difficult to read and write, in large part because many of them have no historical spelling baggage to overcome.
In the 1960s, Omar Khayyam Moore programmed an IBM 360 with a Selectric printing terminal to teach children to read at age 2.
There's currently a Writing tutor being added to GCompris. This could be done with the laptop larger touchpad replacing the grahpics tablet.
We must assist in the creation of online repositories of out-of-copyright and Creative-Commons licensed literature in all languages.
 Arithmetic and Mathematics
Arithmetic of various kinds of numbers, from natural numbers to the complex field and Conway numbers
Notations: decimal and other bases, fractions, decimals
Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry
Number theory (essential for cryptography)
- sky map software
- Astronomy Picture of the Day
- Periodic table software kalzium
- Data acquisition and analysis software
- Scientific visualization software
- Scientific journals
- Sustainable development
Cangjie Chinese typing tutorial pages
Science and technology
 Anthropology and sociology and psychology
The four sub-fields of Anthropolgy: Archaeology (Physical Anthropology), Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology,Linguistic Anthropology.
The notion of Culture, and history of Anthropology.
Google Earth! There is a Linux client from Google, and a project to produce a Free client.
Treatises of government
Free markets and human rights
Unions and labor law
Theory of the Firm
- Could you please ensure that there is made clear the distinction between a firm and a company in the courseware. The two words firm and company have specific meanings and are not synonyms. Unfortunately, some television presenters, perhaps with the journalistic idea of not repeating a word, use the words firm and company as synonyms, thereby losing from the English presented by them to the viewer the precision of the two words. If the distinction between a firm and a company is conserved from the start in the courseware then it will be straightforward to keep precision of meaning: sorting out a muddle if the two are used as if they can be freely interchanged would be a large task!
Many young humans are able to effectively teach themselves how to program.
Dozens of programming languages
Integrated development environments (IDEs)
Free Software code repositories, such as SourceForge
GNU, Linux, Gnome, KDE, QT,
Algorithms and data structures
Turing machines and equivalent computing systems
Knuth's MIX computer emulation
Complexity of algorithms: P and NP