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Just a few items of interest this week as I prepare to take the next couple of weeks off to do some traveling.

Self-publishing nonfiction

Author of some 20 books, Anthony Hayward has self-published his latest nonfiction work on the documentaries of journalist John Pilger: Breaking the Silence: The Films of John Pilger. This book updates his original 2001 book that was published by Bloomsbury. In an article for the Guardian, he discusses why and what the experience taught him:

After writing more than 20 books, with major publishers behind them, I have found it increasingly difficult to get new ideas accepted.

[snip]

In setting about doing the job myself, I soon discovered some major advantages. Once written, an ebook can be published at the click of a computer's mouse. When I started, Pilger was making his latest documentary, Utopia (in cinemas now and on television and DVD next month), and I have been able to give the book added impact by tying in with its release. How many of the big publishers can do that?

[snip]

Another big plus with ebooks is that photographs can be spread throughout, in their relevant chapters, rather than grouped together in one or two photo-plate sections. This also helps to break up pages of grey text. As for that text, it can be amended at any time and a revised update can be published at another click of the mouse.

He also mentions that there is more money to be made while acknowledging that it is "not necessarily the most honourable reason for switching to self-publishing."

eBooks in Schools


The School Library Journal takes a look at how two similar schools are introducing iPads into their teaching methods:
“It’s important for us to meet kids where they are, and right now, they’re online,” says Eric Twadell, superintendent at Stevenson, which gave iPads to about 15 percent of its 4,000 students in the 2012–2013 school year. That number will increase to 55 percent in 2013–2014 and 100 percent in 2014–2015. “In the long run, we see this as a little bit less expensive than all the textbooks that we’re purchasing,” he adds. Another motivation: “There is an electronic world out there that kids need to be taught to work with.”

Nearby, New Trier, with 4,200 students, is following a similar phasing-in approach. Though “we can’t say we’re committing to the iPad in perpetuity,” says Chris Johnson, director of technology at New Trier, “we’re committing to the change in how we teach and learn.”

Betsy Corcoran at EdSurge has a suggestions for what teachers can do with the iPad, once the school offers them:
Curriculet, formerly called Gobstopper, offers up its answer today. The San Francisco-based startup, which gives teachers a way to add their own commentary and quizzes into digital books, is teaming with Harper Collins to make more e-books available at low prices for schools. Curriculet works on any mobile platform with a browser.

[snip]

With Curriculet, teachers can add their own video commentary to books, add links and annotations relevant to the Common Core, pepper texts with quick quizzes to gauge comprehension, keep an eye on how students are making their way through assignments and so on. "It is dead simple for teachers to create a Curriculet and add questions and quizzes indexed to CCSS to any text they upload and teach on Curriculet," Singer says. "There are also over 200 Curriculet layers available on Curriculet covering novels, current events for every subject, ReadWorks passages, history curriculum and even a little bit of science with more to come."

But in Ireland, the experience that the Mountrath Community College has had with the Hewlett Packard tablet is one that all schools should keep in mind when determining their choice of equipment:
In a letter sent to parents, Mr Gleeson wrote, “The roll-out of e-learning which involved the use of HP Elite Pads and e-books should have been an exciting and new way of moving forward.

“The HP Elite Pad has proved to be an unmitigated disaster. We have met with HP representatives on a number of occasions to address the issues."

[snip]

Students experienced problems such as tablets failing to switch on, tablets spontaneously going into sleep mode, devices looping while performing automatic repairs, system board failures and issues with wi-fi.

The students paid 550 Euros for the devices at the beginning of the school year. The school is replacing them with text books at no additional charge.

Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule:






DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
alternate
Sundays
2:00 PM What's on Your E-Reader? Caedy
alternate
Sundays
2:00 PM Bibliophile's Wish List Caedy
alternate
Sundays
4:00 PM Political Books Susan from 29
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
MON 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery michelewln, Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM All Things Bookstore Dave in Northridge
Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 2:00 PM e-books Susan from 29
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
alternate Thursdays 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
Fri 8:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht
Fri 10:00 PM Slightly Foxed -- But Still Desirable shortfinals
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 12:00 PM You Can't Read That! Paul's Book Reviews pwoodford
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

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