Build your own Story Books for kids in your Language with Story Weaver


Last week, I got an opportunity to attend a workshop on building story books for Children using http://storyweaver.org.in/

Storyweaver beta

This portal is developed by Pratham Books, a Not-for-profit organization, which is helping Indian kids to get more story books in their own languages. They started with creating story books, print, sell them, but with Creative Commons CC-By license. Anyone can copy their books, print, share and sell.

Pratham books

Now, with story weaver platform, they enable any one to create stories for kids. We can build stories or translate existing stories to our language.

I knew this platform few months ago. But did not explored much. Suddenly, received an email from Pratham Books from their blog, as they organize a workshop on storyweaver platform in Chennai. Registered immediately.

On the event day, reached the venue at T.Nagar. It was a good meeting hall with projector. We got around 50 participants. Except me, most of them are directly with children as teacher/trainer/StoryTeller.

We got participants from many organizations like Vazhai, Isha Vidhya, Katha & Ratha, Teach for India, Vidyarambam and more. Got a bunch of people from Villupuram Coimbatore too. Most of them are using books by Pratham books on their class rooms and activities.

The workshop was to explore the storyweaver platfrom. They explored the platform. We can read 4700 stories available. They support 84 languages. The portal has 7461 images to make wonderlands.

After the demo, tasks were given to create a story book or translate. I got to translate. We formed a team and translated a book. At the end of the event, the demo session was interesting. With a small introduction, people made stunning stories.

The images uploaded should be self made. We should not upload other’s work. As all the works, text and images are released in creative Commons CC-By license, any one use it for any purpose, including selling them. Hence, they are very keen on ensuring about the license of the works, text and illusions/images.

But, with available 7000 images, we can make wonderlands for our kids easily.

I invite you to explore the site, read few books and share it with the children you know. I made few books, flashcards and wordless stories to check how my kid Viyan likes them. He enjoyed them. He started to create his own stories on seeing the images. He even understood (or made his own stories) for the books on other languages too.

I was searching for books for kids in Tamil for many years. We dont get much much even in TamilNadu. All the bookshops have only many English books. One or two books only available in Tamil. Check in your nearby shop and look for the books that introduce alphabets, numbers, vegetables, vehicles, climate, animals, flowers etc. You can get all in english. Only alphabets and numbers are available in Tamil. I think the same will be for other languages too. The globalization kills all the native languages. To give new life to our languages, it is our duty to introduce the world of books to our kids in our language. Story books, flashcards are best vehicles to bring languages to kids.

StoryWeaver makes this possible to all the languages.

Let us weave more stories for our kids.

Thanks to pratham books for the wonderful platform and great workshop. Will contribute for Tamil Books. Planning to make a screencast on how to use storyweaver in Tamil. Will make it soon and conduct events to introduce it to local communities of parents, teachers and kids lovers.

 

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Few Ebooks on Free Software, GNU/Linux, MySQL, HTML5 in Tamil


“Nithya, Please stop seeing TV Serials. I can not tolerate them.”

I requested my wife.

“Hmm. OK. I will stop it. But, I have to do something useful on the saved time”. Nithya said.

“Good. Can you share your knowledge in Tamil? Can you write few articles for the e-magazine Kaniyam“?

“Will give a try”.

This is how she started to write on Tamil about the technologies, she is strong and the new stuff she is learning. Her articles are published in Kaniyam site in 3 years. Compiled them and released as Free Ebooks.

Here is the list of Ebooks written by Nithya.

Nithya

MySQL – Part 1

MySQL – part 2

GNU/Linux Part 1

GNU/Linux Part 2

HTML

 My friend Amachu a.k.a Ramadhas wrote a book on Free Software. It came as print edition 7 years ago.
Released it as a free Ebook.

Ramadhas

 

Free Software

All these books are released in Creative Commons License.
You can download, read and share with all.

Nithya completed a book on GNU/Linux administration. Now writing on CSS.
My friend Priya wrote on Ruby.
Mr. Kuppan wrote on OpenOffice/LibreOffice.

These books are under spell checking and proof reading.

Kathirvel is writing on PHP
Tamil on WordPress.
I am writing on Python

We will release them soon.

Thanks for Kaniyam.com team and FreeTamilEbooks.com team for bringing these ebooks and the awesome service for the Tamil readers.

Will you buy a Digital Product that allows you to share and remix?


Today, My beloved Tamil author Mr.N Chokkan, asked a question in twitter.

புது நூல் / இசை PDF / MP3 கிடைக்குமா என்றுதான் 99.99% ட்வீட்கள். சும்மா ஒரு பாவனைக்குக்கூட, ‘எங்கே வாங்கலாம்?’ என்று கேட்பதில்லை

https://twitter.com/nchokkan/statuses/399372520245043200

புதுப்பட / பாடல் / புத்தக download லிங்க் பகிரங்கமாகக் கேட்போர் ‘அரிசி அரை கிலோ வேண்டும், எங்கே திருடலாம்?’ என்று ட்வீட் எழுதுவார்களா?

https://twitter.com/nchokkan/statuses/399372850156429312

He asks that

People ask for download link when a new Book/Movie/Audio is released.
99.99% tweets are regarding download links. Nobody asks for a link to buy them.
Will people ask for a how to steal rice, when they need to buy it?

This questions raised a lot of thoughts and sharing them here.

Sharing is a nature of human. When we are kids, our moms asked us to share the foods with our friends. They put extra food in our tiffin boxes for sharing.

She share the food with neighbors even today.

They all know that sharing is caring.

It is not about the cost. I have a thing with me. I will share it with anyone.
Its my right.

It historic days, Ramanajur, the Hindu saint, was asked to keep a secret of god.
He reached to a temple tower and announced the secret to all public, proving that all good things should reach all.

http://srivaishnavam.com/ramanuja_lifehistory.htm
Check Chapter 11

All the world literature is being transformed for ages and ages to next generation just make sure that all the good should reach all. Nobody cared about the copyright laws.

Let us come to the modern era.

There are Analog Products and Digital Products.

Let us compare an Analog Book or Motor Bike.

To make a Motor Bike, the manufacturing company should invest atleast 30-40% of the selling price. For each MotorBike, the company should invest the same 30-40% cost of the bike.

Once I bought the Bike, Its my own property.

  • I can ride it anywhere.
  • I can share it with my friends.
  • I can make it into parts on to know how it works.
  • If I am a mechanic, I can repair or rework on it to customize it.
  • I can resell it.
  • I can donate it.

I can do whatever I want.

Let us come to a Digital Product.

It is a Software/Music/Ebook.

Let us say the Company invests 30-40% of the selling cost to create the first copy of the product.

What is the cost the company invests for the second copy? 0 Rs or 10 Rs for the CD or DVD. But they sell all the copies to the same rate. How this is correct?

Fine. Its their wish to sell for any cost. As a buyer what rights I get?

  • I should not make copies of it.
  • I should not share it.
  • I should not modify it.
  • I should not study it.

When a mechanic can study a Bike, As a software engineer why should not I study the software I buy? Why I dont get the source code?

When I buy a music cd, why I should not share it with my friends, when I share my Bike? Why I should not resell the CD, when I sell my bike?

Business people may come with some weired answers for these questions.

They need to make tons and tons of money with one time effort and to sell million times.

They say with lot of buzzwords like intellectual property, copyright laws etc, just to make sure that the digital products are not copied and shared.

Fine. It will be nice, if anyone replied here on what are the fears of a Digital Product creator to sell his products for a cheaper price with all rights to the buyer?

Do you think that we can not make money when there is no secret?

Take the Food Industry.

Most of us know, how to make Idly, Sambar, Rice and all other delicious Food.
But still there is Saravana bhavan making money. HotChips makes money.
Name a branded hotel. It makes Millions of money, where all the recipe are open to public. They sell the Food with all the rights to the buyer to share, resell, remix, etc.

If they can make money, with open recipe and rights to share, we also can make it. Yes. Need to make a lot of changes in business model and have to reduce the greediness of making million dollar by investing only one time.

Let us think on the other way.

We are living in a era of sharing.
Though there are tight laws, we can not prevent online sharing of digital products.
Though it is illegal, people love to share their contents. Because, Sharing is in our blood.

People will pay and buy any product that is affordable and encourages them to learn it, hack it, share it and remix it.

Still in doubt?

Write a book and release the PDF for 20-30 Rs with all rights to share and remix in Creative Commons license.

Choose a suitable license from here. http://creativecommons.org/choose/

I am sure you will get more money then you get as royalty when you release as a printer book by any publisher.

(Ask your known writers on how much they make money as royalty. They get very less and they even dont know how many books are sold. Publishers wont share any business data with the writers.)

Reply here, If you agree to buy such a Digital Product that is cheap and in Creative commons license.