Amazon announced this week that it would be launching a Lending Library later this year, a deal that would let Kindle owners check out books from over 11,000 libraries. This brings Kindle to parity with other e-readers that libraries let their patrons use for e-book check-outs, and considering Kindle’s market share, may be a boon to schools and libraries looking to expand their e-book adoption.
Open source robotics builders Willow Garage announced this week the release of TurtleBot, their first low-cost personal robot. Built with a Kinect sensor, a gyro, and a laptop, along with Willow Garage’s Robots Operating System, TurtleBot is aimed at hobbyists and developers.
Academic publisher Flat World Knowledge announced the release of its MIYO (Make It Your Own) platform this week. Flat World Knowledge specializes in openly-licensed textbooks, and the MIYO platform will enable professors to build textbooks — moving or deleting chapters or sections, adding notes, exercises, and PDFs, inserting videos, and incorporating other openly licensed materials. The books are then “built,” and made available for students — either free online or in a low-cost print format.
Learning management system giant Blackboard revealed this week that it has received “unsolicited, non-binding proposals” for acquisition. No word on who that buyer might be or whether Blackboard would actually sell, but it does seem to be taking the offers seriously, announcing that it has retained Barclays Capital as financial advisors to address the proposals. It’s also not clear what an acquisition would mean to the thousands of colleges and universities that are now Blackboard customers.
Qwiki, a startup that claims to turn “information into experience” by transforming Wikipedia entries into robot narrated, photo slide-shows, launched an iPad app this week.
Ed-tech entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley area: Mark your calendars for the San Francisco Startup Weekend Education, June 3-5. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event in which participants build a web or mobile app over the course of the weekend. The event in June will be focused specifically on building educational apps, with over $5000 in prizes for the winning teams.
The long hot days of summer are the perfect time for kids to hone their knowledge of the wizard world, King Arthur’s court or the magical land of Narnia. And while many summer reading lists are sent home with the hope that students will bone up on fiction during the dog days, reading nonfiction can be just as beneficial — and just as exciting — as a great novel.
Reading high-quality fiction may serve a larger purpose than preparing students for college and tests. Several recent studies show that reading great literature makes individuals more empathetic. Here’s a great list of fiction books for kids of all ages, recommended by those who know best — librarians.
By Almetria Vaba Summer can be a great opportunity to leverage a child’s interest in specific subjects, like science or history, with their fascination for digital games. PBS LearningMedia, launched a year ago, has a robust collection of free interactive games to experiment, manipulate, and investigate. Amusement Park Physics How do physics laws affect amusement […]