Personal Documents that have kept these efforts going:
The following are links to some of the history behind K-12math.info:
1. An unsolicited but much appreciated letter from Lola May. (1973) on one of the first paper editions.
2. A letter from the UNESCO 1988
3. One of the first copyrights associated with K-12math.info content.(1972)
4. A page from early 1980's edition.
Thanks to those who made this site possible.
K-12math.info would like to thank a number of organizations and people who have made this project possible:
1. The American Peace Corps for allowing me to become aware of a problem which technology can help solve.
2. Ohio State University Education Library, Chicago Public School textbook repository, Contra Costa County Office of Education (Pleasant Hill, California, US) and to the many developers of OER materials that maintained an open door (open access) walk in policy to their materials.
3. To the developers of HTML and the World Wide Web (and a government) that allows a single person to launch projects like this with minimal costs and bureaucratic interference.
4. To American taxpayers who funded education programs that allowed even people in their mid sixties like me to learn new skills like writing HTML programs. Special thanks goes to Robin Wood, the teacher who went beyond course objectives and allowed me during class time to start developing some of the screens that would become this website .
5. And to users and supporters who have given a life to this website.
What should educators expect from online information sources?
While I have been involved in mathematics for many years; I also have an extensive background in manufacturing, banking and retail industries. It is interesting that if these industries had the information searching utilities that educators are living with now they would fail. In industry if we need to look at different lessons [examples, activities, exercises…etc.] for teaching division of decimals to our seventh graders we would have it before I type the period at the end of this sentence. I am not exaggerating – good managers [educators] know and expect their support organizations [administration, professional organizations, educational foundations ….] to provide them with utilities that keep them operating in top form. It takes too long to find information in the field of education.
It is amazing that a profession whose primary job is to dispense information suffers from grossly inefficient methods to access it.
I am proud that this website is organized to get its users to information quickly - within 3 mouse clicks or less. Its layout organized by content, grade level (age), in list and spreadsheet display formats to accelerate finding information.
Why does K-12math.info include student textbook series from 1972 to the present? Elementary and secondary school mathematics
in the United States has undergone a number of different initiatives in the last 40 some years. Textbook developers have adopted
and adapted their materials to meet those initiatives. K-12math.info has selected series that it believes are typical of those initiatives:
1. The 1972 series in this website were typical of the “New Math” period that was grounded in the volumes of materials produced by the School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG).
2. In the 1980’s there was a movement to “Return to the Basics”. K-12math.info looks at how 6 different publishers interpreted that initiative.
3. The 2002 series are representative of state developed “Standards”. Many followed the standards developed by the NCTM.
4. The 2013/2015 series are representative of the 2010/2012” Common Core” initiatives.
K-12math.info not only looks at content and its distribution, but also gives users the ability to look for content patterns, which are important in the designing of new materials. For example,” exponents" require an understanding of "repeated multiplication"; which then requires the learner to understand "multiplication"; which then requires an understanding of "repeated addition" (that is what multiplication is); The learner can not understand repeated addition unless they know what "addition" is; which requires the learner to know how to "count"; and so on. These types of patterns help define the grade level presence of content. Developers of materials must be aware of the proper evolution of content over the grade levels. (April 16, 2015)
Reading, even reading math textbooks, is a much needed but declining skill. K-12math.info wonders how we improve that skill looking at videos?
Have we seen this approach in education before - maybe the slide and film presentations
of the 1950's and 60's! Maybe the CD's in the 1980's?
2015 in review:
K-12math.info has enjoyed a year of impressive expansion globally! According to Goggle Analytics, more than three times as many users are signing on outside the United States as in. K-12math.info is very honored that the global learning community is using this easy-to-use site. Thank you very much.
2015 OER efforts had 2 bright events occur – both CK-12 and Khan Academy moved into the lower elementary school mathematics levels. Hopefully in 2016, they will get beyond their video approaches to developing learning materials for the student.
2015 OER development is slowing down:
Hopefully 2016 will be more productive.
- There are less materials being developed. There is less funding. Less publicity.
- Enhancements to existing state and university “OER” materials is adding a complexity similiar to what happened with the New Math of the 1960/70's.
- User interfaces to OER materials still lack in providing the user (be they student, teacher or interested parent) with materials quickly.
Please send comments to Jim Kelly in care of: k-12math(at)sbcglobal(dot)net
2014 in review:
2014 started with the hopes that the CK-12 and CNX materials would be joined by two new textbook series: Saylor Academy’s K12MATH series and Siyavula’s Everything Maths series. During the first half of the year both series had progressed far enough that
K-12math.info began reviewing and including information about them on this site. Maybe K-12math.info made a mistake in sending them an unabridged copy of the worksheets used to examine their series! Both Saylor and Siyavula seem to have gone back to the drawing board to do some revising.
Has the OER initiative died? It probable has as funding sources like the Hewlett Foundation and others are asking their grantees to think about how they and their projects could be self-sufficient. This is going to point OER developers toward an OA (Open Access) model.
Also during the year the major textbook series publishers put forth their best efforts to get the coveted California elementary and middle school math textbook series bragging rights. Sadly not one of the 6-8th grade OER textbook series publishers showed up at the gate to try to get their materials considered for state adoption. Well I guess we wait another 6 years!
Hopefully 2015 will be more productive.
Please send comments to: k-12math(at)sbcglobal(dot)net
©1972 (paper), 1985 (APPLE II/PC), 2005(www), 2016 Jim Kelly - All Rights Reserved.