Global Text Project – Free education for the disadvantaged
November 28th, 2007


Serving mass education, GTP started in January 2004 at University of Georgia. The main goal is to create quality textbooks in critical domains, like business, but not only, and to distribute them freely — via paper, CD, DVD and web distribution — in the developing countries at the lowest costs possible.

The project evolves upon a “WikiBooks” strategy (free, open content, permanently updated by common effort), as the result of a “from many to more many” philosophy and mindset. Universities, world development agencies (e.g., World Bank, United Nations), and other appropriate bodies are invited to promote adoption of the texts. There are two dimensions: content creation and distribution.

Content creation involves not only a transfer of information, but engagement of both instructors and students in improving the quality of the book. An editorial infrastructure will be assembled for each book, deciding a balance between the community involvement (i.e. faculty, students, practitioners) and the need for content currency and accuracy. Distribution is another key element: the web is a major medium, but collaboration with relevant authorities for dissemination will take place when and where bandwidth is unavailable or inadequate.

There are already free texts available, but two initial texts are especially envisioned: Business Fundamentals and an introductory Information Systems. Their coming into existence will require participation from the academic, business, and student communities. Both books will be initially written in English and then translated to Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish. The translation is meant to be not one, but two-way, making possible not only a knowledge transfer, but also a knowledge exchange through the global network with the goal of improving the quality of the content and of the educational process.

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