|Prior Sable screen shot
For centuries after the fall of Syracuse there were really no textbooks,
so an aspiring student such as the young Archimedes had to make the
long journey to wherever a teacher might be. There were virtually no
books, and not many scrolls. World-wide, libraries such as Alexandria,
where Archimedes may have studied, could be counted on one hand.
Today, the price of textbooks has steadily outpaced inflation. In the particular case of high school
geometry, the content and presentation of the basic material has not changed remarkably since the time of Euclid of Alexandria. Very little is known of the Father of Geometry - he may have pre-dated
Archimedes. Despite Euclid’s Elements not existing in complete form for over two thousand years, for
those two millenia it served as the basic text in mathematics and as a model of how to teach proper
The SABLE software provides the ability for teachers, parents, tutors and the student himself or herself to annotate the lesson; assign keywords to expedite searches; and add hyperlinks to associated material. As the Internet is dynamic, SABLE captures any referenced web pages to insure link integrity.
Since Johannes Gutenberg (~1398 – 1468) students have hauled textbooks back and forth to school five or more times per week. This has rarely benefited either the students or the books. Even today, books
represent a significant cost for schools. With SABLE, no textbooks. None. With individualized all-digital lessons comes the advantage of on-the-fly translation. A student is more relaxed studying geometry in Spanish or the original Greek – no problem. A family member still in Tehran wants to help out, but only knows Farsi … The student is dyslexic, but can learn well if the material is spoken? Enter text to speech.
As we will see, SABLE allows not only the orderly digital preservation of class notes, lesson annotations (a new term for homework) and original material but offers one other additional improvement. In a number of wide-ranging disciplines such as chemistry, archaeology and computer programming, the order that tasks are accomplished is often as significant as what was done or how something was done. This is certainly the case in most of the proofs Euclid offers. In the particular case of geometry SABLE provides tools (see the list box in the center) that become available as the student proves that the tools work. For example, once a student proves that equality among two sets of three sides; two sides and an included angle; or one side and two adjacent angles are sufficient to prove two triangles are congruent the use of this particular tool would be enabled.