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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.

Arts and Crafts

Children in many countries are gainfully employed making rugs and other items for international sale. Organizations like eBay,, 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

Reading and Writing

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

"He wound the bandage around the wound." etc.

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.[1]


We must assist in the creation of online repositories of out-of-copyright and Creative-Commons licensed literature in all languages.

Arithmetic and Mathematics

Cuisenaire rods

Montessori materials

Free Software: Spreadsheets, calculators, symbolic math, mathematical programming languages from FORTRAN to APL, libraries.

Arithmetic of various kinds of numbers, from natural numbers to the complex field and Conway numbers

Notations: decimal and other bases, fractions, decimals

Analytic geometry

Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry

Number theory (essential for cryptography)


Probability and statistics



Set theory

Algebraic structures and categories

Free textbooks

Mathematical journals



The Internet provides unequalled resources for the language learner: literature, dictionaries, grammars, translation aids, e-mail, chat, radio downloads and streams...

Yiddish Shraybmashinke

Japanese annotation of any page]

Cangjie Chinese typing tutorial pages






Science and technology


Human Rights

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.


Human rights


Treatises of government

Election observers


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

Localization HOWTO

GNU, Linux, Gnome, KDE, QT,

Agile development

Computer science


Algorithms and data structures

Language recognizers

Turing machines and equivalent computing systems

Computable functions

Church's Thesis

Knuth's MIX computer emulation

Complexity of algorithms: P and NP