Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks

Oh, I know what I’m doing today when I catch some free time! I’m camping out at Freebook Sifter.

Freebook Sifter is a compilation site of, you guessed it, free ebooks. It has the books sifted into categories and subcategories, including breaking the Children’s eBooks category into age groups and other relevant subjects.

Another advantage is users have rated the ebooks as well. Be aware though that not all books listed are for young eyes!

Check out Freebook Sifter and see what interesting reads you can find. And don’t forget I have a list of ‘reputable ebooks sites’ too.

Freebook Sifter – A Resource for Free eBooks.

Thinking about creating games and sims with Codea for the iPad

I’ve not tried this app yet (I think my kids are still a bit too young to give this one a whirl) but it looks like it could be fun for older kids.

Codea is a code editor that’s based on dragging, dropping and tapping. Nice. Check out the video below to watch it in action and if you like there’s a link to their website.

It’s priced at $9.99

Codea – iPad.

Apple – Education – iPad makes the perfect learning companion

iTunes U for iPad.

Wow, is it really here or is it almost here? Is this the educational shake-up that we, the people, have been hoping for?

It’s a darn good start!

Apple has introduced, for free, the iTunes U app, an app that allows complete courses and materials to be available on iPads….and a number of courses are free.

Below I have the description from Apple. Be sure to check it out in iTunes and take the time to read some of the user comments…I’ve never seen such jubilation! I do suspect that much of the excitement is for the anticipation of what’s to come. Will you be able to take courses from respected universities and colleges, from all over the world,  from your iPad,  for a nominal fee, AND graduate with a degree sometime soon? A shakeup indeed!

“The new iTunes U app lets you put all the assignments and materials students need for a complete college or K-12 course on their iPad. And they can tap into the world’s largest online catalog of free education content from anywhere. Learn more about iTunes U

Complete courses on iPad.

With the iTunes U app, students can carry everything they need for the course wherever they go. They can listen to lectures, read new iBooks textbooks, watch videos, and stay on top of assignments. And when you post an update or send a message to your class, they receive a push notification with the new information.

The world’s largest online catalog of free education content.

Anyone can start learning right away by browsing over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects. Hundreds of universities, colleges, and K-12 school districts distribute content through iTunes U, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley, along with other distinguished entities such as MoMA, the New York Public Library, and Public Radio International.

via Apple – Education – iPad makes the perfect learning companion.”

Do you have a teen wanting to develop smartphone apps? #homeschool #edtech

I saw this reference in Mashable today:

“In late 2010, Apple approved 14-year-old Robert Nay’s app, Bubble Ball, for publishing on the App Store, where it quickly racked up 2 million users and, for a short while, even wrested the ever-popular Angry Birds from its perch at the top of the download charts. It’s a staggering achievement for a young teen with no formal programming experience -– never mind education. No skills. Nada. Zip.
Nay used an application called Corona that essentially allows users to build smartphone apps using a graphical interface, eliminating the need of any coding skills. He’s a pioneering user of the next generation of platform dependencies — innovations upon which further innovations can be built.”

If you have a teen that’s interested in smartphone app development Corona is  worth checking out. The development  environment is free. When you’re ready to distribute your games and apps on the App Store or Android Market then you’ll need to purchase an subscription.

Let me know how it goes!

Drag and drop programming gets kids started early – Hack a Day

Forget about reading the actual post, it’s the comments on this one that’s the most interesting.

A number of people have weighed in on their opinions on better programming tools for kids. And whether kids really need to learn programming at a young age – do they need more screen-time? Shouldn’t they be outside playing with their friends?

Check it out and I’d love to hear what you think!

Drag and drop programming gets kids started early – Hack a Day.

LEGO.com DesignByMe

LEGO.com DesignByMe

Free software from Lego so you can design your next grand creation on your computer.

Hackety Hack! – Learn to program from the ground up

Hackety Hack! – Learn to program from the ground up

Have children interested in learning how to program? Hackety Hack promises to teach Ruby programming skills without any prior experience.

So far the kids are really enjoying it.

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