Textbook Hackathon

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GROUP HAS COMPLETED THEIR WORK AND IS NO LONGER ACTIVE.

FOR QUERIES, PLEASE WRITE TO ‘INFO@FORCE11.ORG

 

Thank you to everyone who help with this event. While there were some difficulties connecting, we made a lot of progress, and will share what could have been done better with the community. The results of the Hackathon will be published by Next Generation Publishing in 'Neuro-Cloud's An Introduction to Neuroscience', which will be release January, 2nd 2014.

Neuro-Cloud and Force11 36 Hour Textbook Hackathon

August 16-18 starting at 12:00 PST.  

Purpose:  Neuro-Cloud's volunteer contributors have spent the summer writing a free Introduction to Neuroscience Textbook covered under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.  Force11 has volunteered to host a 36 hour global hackathon to complete the last 2 chapters.  The goal of the hackathon is to get the core text and needed resources together so we can finish the project in a timely manner, so we can continue more projects.  It is time for academics to take research and knowledge back.

Change the world in 3-5 steps.

Step 1 - join the google group to make edits

Anyone can view the hackathon, but if you wish to particpate, you need to join this Force11 Google Group

Step 2 - Decide what you would like to do

We will provide slide show trainings for the following tasks. Some of these tasks will be available for anyone to take part in, while others will have certain requirements, so that we can maintain the integrity of the textbook

  • Image finder: Anyone can comb the internet looking for open-use images that we can use in each one of our different chapters. Some of these images will be used directly in the textbook, while others will be artistically changed to match the style of the other images
  • Critical Thinking Boxes:Each chapter will need 2-3 critical thinking boxes that take the topic of the chapter and ask a practical everyday question. We want the focus of the textbook to be on teaching good thinking skills, rather than just having to memorize facts.
  • Current Research Application(limited to researchers affiliated with an institution): The purpose of these focus boxes are for researchers who are currently involved in a laboratory setting to explain what it is they do. Any researcher is invited to share their work and gain a little bit of shameless self-promotion. The idea is to show would-be scientists that the concepts they are learning today have real life application. It does not matter how obscure your research is, but try to explain it like you would to someone at a dinner party when they as what it is you do (Warning: I know this can be a challenging endeavor, please make it so a general audience can understand)
  • Media box: The purpose of the media box is to find some free material in the media, whether that be a news story, science segment, or TED talk that is applicable to neuroscience. We will need as many great resources as possible so that learners can start to apply the stories they hear to what they are reading about in the textbook. 
  • Foundational manuscript review: The goal of this aspect of the project is to find some of the best original papers for each chapter, and write a simple review that shows how the scientists involved thought about their discoveries as they were coming out. If you cannot find open-access materials, please mention that only an abstract is freely available. We want to teach learners to expect that open material should be available, so that when they become the next generation of researchers, they know to makes sure that their research is freely available.
  • iOS Coders: We are going to be able to simply create an ibook for most of the iOS devices, however, we would like to have an app that would allow user web-registration to start interacting with others learning. We planned to release this version by the end of the year, but if you are a talented iOS app developer, we would love a jump start on the process. The App and registration will always be free, and ad free as well. We do not want to compromise the integrity of the text with distracting ads, or asking people pay more. Free means free here. This means that you will be donating your time and talents, but we want to also give you as much credit as possible for doing so. If you are interesting in this portion, we will will provide a github link so that you can start collaboration. If we do not hear about any volunteers, we will continue to code it on our time.

Step 3 - Friday, August 17th, log onto the hackathon site and follow the posted directions

This is the Google Site(where the hackathon is going down), which will have clear instructions for each role. We will be saving the versions of your work to a google drive FTP that all group members will be able to access.

Step 4 - Tell all of your friends (optional, no one likes spam, don't spam)

Neuro-Cloud's Facebook

Neuro-Cloud's Twitter ---- Project Hashtag is: #FreeAsInSpeech

Step 5 - Find out more about the project (optional, again we don't want to tell you what to do)

Check out:

Current Contributor's Wiki - Hosted by Neuro-Cloud

Next Generation Textbook Portal site (the producers of the textbook) <--Still under MASSIVE construstion that has been postponed for the project, better not click on this guy for awhile. 

REMEMBER: 

ALL POSTED AND CONTRIBUTED CONTENT WILL REMAIN FOREVER FREE, UNDER THE CREATIVE COMMONS 3.0 ATTRIBUTION LICENSE HOSTED BY NEXT GENERATION PUBLISHING INC. (Red means this is important, and no, our caps lock is not broken.)

 

Updates:

---------------------------------------------------------------

Update Aug. 8th

  • Several different jobs and tasks will be listed, and dynamically updated when the hackathon launches
  • We will be providing slideshows for training later this week, no matter what your discipline or background, you can help!
  • Currently, we will be working on the English Release, we do have other languages planned for later this year. If you would like to see your native language supported and would help translate, let us know

Update Aug 15th

We will provide slide show trainings for the following tasks. Some of these tasks will be available for anyone to take part in, while others will have certain requirements, so that we can maintain the integrity of the textbook

  • Image finder: Anyone can comb the internet looking for open-use images that we can use in each one of our different chapters. Some of these images will be used directly in the textbook, while others will be artistically changed to match the style of the other images
  • Critical Thinking Boxes:Each chapter will need 2-3 critical thinking boxes that take the topic of the chapter and ask a practical everyday question. We want the focus of the textbook to be on teaching good thinking skills, rather than just having to memorize facts.
  • Current Research Application(limited to researchers affiliated with an institution): The purpose of these focus boxes are for researchers who are currently involved in a laboratory setting to explain what it is they do. Any researcher is invited to share their work and gain a little bit of shameless self-promotion. The idea is to show would-be scientists that the concepts they are learning today have real life application. It does not matter how obscure your research is, but try to explain it like you would to someone at a dinner party when they as what it is you do (Warning: I know this can be a challenging endeavor, please make it so a general audience can understand)
  • Media box: The purpose of the media box is to find some free material in the media, whether that be a news story, science segment, or TED talk that is applicable to neuroscience. We will need as many great resources as possible so that learners can start to apply the stories they hear to what they are reading about in the textbook. 
  • Foundational manuscript review: The goal of this aspect of the project is to find some of the best original papers for each chapter, and write a simple review that shows how the scientists involved thought about their discoveries as they were coming out. If you cannot find open-access materials, please mention that only an abstract is freely available. We want to teach learners to expect that open material should be available, so that when they become the next generation of researchers, they know to makes sure that their research is freely available.
  • iOS Coders: We are going to be able to simply create an ibook for most of the iOS devices, however, we would like to have an app that would allow user web-registration to start interacting with others learning. We planned to release this version by the end of the year, but if you are a talented iOS app developer, we would love a jump start on the process. The App and registration will always be free, and ad free as well. We do not want to compromise the integrity of the text with distracting ads, or asking people pay more. Free means free here. This means that you will be donating your time and talents, but we want to also give you as much credit as possible for doing so. If you are interesting in this portion, we will will provide a github link so that you can start collaboration. If we do not hear about any volunteers, we will continue to code it on our time.

Each Training slideshow will be on the hackathon site later tonight, so that participants can start to get an idea of what this hackathon is about. Please email Andrew.Varnell@NGTPortal.com with any questions or ideas you might have.

The folks at commonvox.org have volunteer to transcribe our book for the vision impaired. Feel free to thank them for all of their hard work, and know that your efforts will be helping as broad of an audience as possible. Check it out - http://commonvox.org/neuroscience-text/

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Comments

The textbook project was started in January, and contribtors from all over the world have been donating their time and resources ever since. If you would like to see the current project page, check out http://neuro-cloud.net/TextbookWiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Great idea.  FYI, my students in two years (2011 and 2013) of classes at Harvard and I have created an online texttook for "The Interstellar Medium" at http://ay201b.wordpress.com/.  This year, we added "online modules" as a term project for each student.  Those are available through the book online, and they are now written about in a journal article at http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.1908, and listed at http://ay201b.wordpress.com/topical-modules/2013-topical-modules/. Good luck! AG

Wonderful! That is great news, I am going to comb the web to try and find out about simular projects, if the textbooks are still up-to-date, we could use this as a means for distributing already generated textbook content. The whole point of the project is to harness the power of academic learning materials avialible, so we are not re inventing the wheel. 

 

Thank you so much!

Is this a text book for beginning undegraduates or more advanced students?