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<nettime> FW: [isworld] Call for participation Global Text Project - IS
Gurstein, Michael on Fri, 19 May 2006 10:02:58 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FW: [isworld] Call for participation Global Text Project - IS book

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Watson [mailto:richardtwatson {AT} gmail.com]
Sent: May 16, 2006 2:34 PM
To: AISWORLD Information Systems World Network
Subject: [isworld] Call for participation Global Text Project - IS book

THE GLOBAL TEXT PROJECT - Engaging many for the benefit of many more

An interviewer with BBC News Magazine asked Sir Richard Branson how 
he felt, as a multi-millionaire, when he visited impoverished regions 
of Africa.  He responded:  "Anyone would feel an enormous sense of 
guilt going to one of these places-and if you're in a position to do 
something about it you've got to make an effort."[1]

Most IS scholars are relatively wealthy compared to those who live in 
the developing regions of the world. They are also rich in knowledge, 
and we believe IS scholars should lead the academic world in making 
their knowledge more accessible to students and faculty in poor 
countries by participating in the creation of free, open content 

Textbooks are considered expensive in Europe and the U.S., but they 
are far beyond the reach of many in developing economies.  For 
example, a $108 Biology textbook sells for $51 in Africa,[2] but the 
U.S. GNI per capita is $41,400, and the figure for Uganda is $250.
[3]  Obviously, the developed world's textbook business model does 
not meet the needs of those in the developing world.  We need a 
publishing model that can meet the needs of Uganda and the many other 
countries that are not among the World Bank's high-income countries 
(those with GNI per capita above $10,066).

Mass education has created tremendous opportunities and wealth for 
people in developed countries.  It has enabled many to escape 
poverty.  Mass education for the developing world is dependent among 
other things on finding low cost means of delivering free, quality, 
content to many.  We believe we have a model for developing the 
necessary content, and we need your support to start an endeavor that 
can engage many for the benefit of many more. It is called the 
Globaltext project.

The Globaltext project was initiated in early 2006 to develop a 
series of free, open content, electronic textbooks using modified 
wiki software.   A complete description of Globaltext is available on 
the project's website at http://globaltext.org.  Please take a moment 
and read about the project's history and positioning before reading 
this document.   Briefly, the project was initiated as a result of 
two events: (1) the announcement and enthusiastic reception of the 
One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project at MIT http://laptop.org, also 
known as the $100 laptop project, and (2) the experience in the 
developing a free wiki XML textbook by faculty and students at the 
University of Georgia since 2004.  The XML textbook may be viewed at 

  The impetus for developing the information systems text as one of 
the first in the series is based on:

*      The worldwide community of IS academics is a closely-knit 
community.  Individuals know each other and have a long history of 
cooperating with each other on a global scale.  Creation of an open 
content textbook will require the cooperation of the worldwide 
community of faculty and their students, as well as practitioners.

*      The IS community, of all academic communities, should be the 
one that is an early adopter of technology that holds the promise of 
being able to create a state-of-the-art textbook.

*      The textbook created by the community will be best-in-class, 
up-to-date, and, perhaps most importantly, made available at no cost 
to students anywhere in the world, but particularly in the developing 
world in line with the goals of the OLPC project.

  Members of the Globaltext core team are Wayne Huang (Ohio 
University), Don McCubbrey (University of Denver), Chris Wagner (City 
University of Hong Kong) and Rick Watson (University of Georgia).  
Additional information on the core team is available on the project's 


The editorial board created for each book will ensure the necessary 
degree of consistency and quality.  Rick Watson and Don McCubbrey 
will serve as Co-Editors-in Chief of the Information Systems text.  
The initial outline for the book (described below) was developed by 
the founding members of the editorial board: Gordon Davis, Don 
McCubbrey, and Rick Watson.  In developing the initial outline, 
reference was made to the most recent Model Curriculum and Guidelines 
for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems as approved 
by The Association for Computing Machinery, The Association for 
Information Systems, and The Association of Information Technology 
Professionals [5] as well as the participants' familiarity with more 
recent trends.  In the spirit of open content development, 
suggestions for changes to the initial outline are welcomed.

  Volunteers are needed to serve as chapter editors.  As explained in 
greater detail on the GlobalText website, chapter editors will 
develop detailed chapter outlines, encourage contributions from the 
community, and, in general, take responsibility for ensuring the 
overall quality of a chapter.

  Importantly, chapters do not have to cover the content domain in 
excessive detail.  Chapters only need to cover the essential content 
that every undergraduate needs to know.  Using wiki software permits 
chapter editors and contributors to insert links throughout the 
chapter to locations where a topic is covered in more detail.  The 
link may be to another page in the wikitext itself or to another 
website entirely.  Also, the use of wiki software enables faculty and 
students to contribute to the text, and chapter editors are 
encouraged to find ways in which to engage students in the creation 
of content.


  Introductory information systems textbooks often present the topic 
in somewhat of a vacuum.  That is, they focus on information systems 
without really succeeding in showing how IS is integrated in 
organizations, how knowledge workers are supported, and how important 
IS is for an organization's success.   Many undergraduate students do 
not understand why they are required to take an IS course since they 
are not IS majors.  Many also expect the introductory course to focus 
on personal productivity software.  This textbook will teach students 
how to exploit IS in a technology-rich environment.  It will 
emphasize why, no matter what their major, information and 
communications technologies (ICT) are, and increasingly will be, a 
critical element in their personal success and the success of their 
organizations. In other words, they need to be introduced to 
concepts, principles, methods, and procedures that will be valuable 
to them for years to come in thinking about existing organization 
systems, proposing new systems, and working with IS professionals in 
implementing new systems.

Students need to understand systems and the systems concept, and they 
need to understand the role of ICT in enabling systems.  Students 
will learn the characteristics of good systems (e.g. intuitive, 
likable, error-resistant, fast, flexible, and the like).  Knowing the 
characteristics of good systems will permit students to demand well-
designed systems and to suggest how existing systems should be 
changed.  Students need to understand the affordances, directions, 
and limits of hardware, software, and networks in both personal and 
organizational dimensions.  They also need to appreciate that, as 
technical capabilities change and new ones arise, more opportunities 
to apply ICT for efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation are 
afforded.  They need to understand the process for developing and 
implementing new or improved systems and the activities of IS 
professionals in this process.



Chapter 1:            Being a Systems Innovator

Chapter 2:            Achieving Efficiency and Effectiveness Through 

Chapter 3:            Achieving Efficiency and Effectiveness Through 
Systems Design

Chapter 4:            Implementing Systems


Chapter 5:            How Hardware and Software Contribute to 
Efficiency and Effectiveness

Chapter 6:            How Networks and Communications Technologies 
Contribute to Efficiency and Effectiveness

Chapter 7:            Organizing and Managing Data for Efficiency and 

Chapter 8:            Utilizing Data for Efficiency and Effectiveness


Chapter 9:            Opportunities in my Role as a Knowledge Worker

Chapter 10:            Opportunities in Business to Customer Systems

Chapter 11:            Opportunities in Business to Business Systems

Chapter 12:            Opportunities in Person to Person Systems

Chapter 13:            Opportunities for New Organizational Forms


Chapter 14            Corporate and Social Responsibilities of the 
Systems Innovator

Chapter 15:            Avoiding Systems Failures

Chapter 16:            Creating the Products and Services of the Future


Learning objectives and a chapter overview will be provided at the 
start of each chapter. At the end of each chapter the following 
elements will be included:

*      Summary

*      Key terms and concepts list (bolded in the text with a mouse 
over definition)[4]

*      Short-answer questions

*      Discussion questions

*      Short projects - that require your students to apply what 
they've learned in a particular chapter

As noted on the Globaltext website, many of the end of chapter 
materials will be contributed by faculty and students from all parts 
of the world, thus giving the text as distinctly global flavor and 
encouraging cross-cultural communications and collaborations.


Please take a moment to examine the outline and forward a short 
statement of your interest and qualifications to serve as a chapter 
editor and indicate the chapter or chapters that interest you.  We 
are currently seeking financing for the project, with the intention 
of compensating chapter editors $2000 per year in order to pay their 
costs for attending the ICIS Conference where an annual meeting of 
chapter editors will be held.  Expressions of interest or questions 
may be sent to Rick Watson at <rwatson {AT} terry.uga.edu> or Don 
McCubbrey <dmccubbr {AT} du.edu>.

Join us in starting a textbook revolution that can change the world.


Don McCubbrey and Rick Watson


[1] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4942704.stm
[2] http://www.maketextbooksaffordable.com/newsroom.asp?id2=3D15618
[3] http:// worldbank.org/
[4] The mouse over definition capability is not available in the 
current Wiki software but will come with the first release of the 
modified software.
[5] Gorgone, et al, 2003,  "IS 2002 Model Curriculum and Guidelines 
for Undergraduate Programs in Information Systems", Communications of 
the Association for Information Systems, Volume 11, Article 1, 
January 2003.

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