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11
Dec

Kindle Cloud Reader and Google TV

I have a lot of boxes of books in storage.  It is definitely past time to get rid of them as I have not opened the boxes or looked at the books in years.  At one time I had a couple of thousand books.  Readings is still a very important part of my life, but most of it is done digitally.  Over the past 2 years I have gradually moved away from buying any physical books unless required by a graduate course and have moved to reading only digital versions.  Though I have tried many different devices and platforms, I am currently most settled on Amazon’s Kindle app and iBooks.  Kindle has a definite edge with me because there is a greater selection in the Amazon store and it works across all my devices, including in a browser on my computers.

I have owned a Kindle reader and liked it, but find that in the past year the majority of my reading has been on my Apple iPad and iPad 2.  I also find myself reading a lot on my iPhone 4, though the screen is much smaller.  Reading on the iPhone is strangely comfortable to me as I swipe through pages quickly and can read anytime and anywhere.

Additionally, I find myself reading on my laptops quite often.  Whereas Kindle has offered the Kindle for Mac application for a while, it wasn’t until their newest Kindle Cloud Reader was released that I used my computers for reading.  Having access to all of my Kindle library in any browser is very convenient and I am growing more and more accustom to reading textbooks this way.

In the past several weeks I now have another, new favorite way to read.  Since Google TV (I use the frustrating Logitech Revue)  includes a Google Chrome browser, the books you purchase from Amazon.com can easily be accessed through the Kindle Cloud Reader.  This means that you can display books on a large television in your living room, adjusting the text so that you can see it from your recliner or sofa.  With a keyboard in hand, when you reach the end of the displayed text, simply tap the next (right arrow) key and you move to the next part of text for reading.

In the evenings, I used to find myself with my iPad 2 in hand reading for a while, instead now I find myself just laying on the sofa or sitting in the recliner reading on my television.  I have included some photos below so that you can see a couple of different text sizes and the distance from my recliner and sofas to the television.

1
Dec

“Life-long Learning” Has Changed

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Do you remember the first time you heard the words “Life-long learner”?  I remember hearing it as a child, but cannot recall the first time.  People in my life have encouraged me to be a life-longer learner as long as I can remember.  Typically people are referring to the “love of learning” or they are trying to encourage others to be avid readers and try new experiences.

The concept of life-long learning can be used to refer to informal learning experiences or more formal experiences such as adult education.  In either case, it has changed drastically over recent years as more educational institutions have moved content to open, online spaces.  Many universities are moving their courses to an open format and this makes life-long learning much more accessible!  We can now learn from any location and at any time.

Do you use any open courseware content for secondary school teaching?

 

Here are are some great places to go for free online, open courses:

  1. Apple iTunesU (Stanford, Harvard, many others) (University list)
  2. MIT Open Courseware
  3. Yale Open Courses
  4. Tufts Open Courseware
  5. Berkeley Webcast