Sunday, January 9, 2011

Forgotten Books - Free eCopies of Classic Books

There are plenty of good places to find free ebooks online (seven good places here) and here's another worth taking a look at. Forgotten Books republishes thousands of classic works that are in the public domain. Forgotten Books offers all of their titles as free PDF downloads. If you desire a higher quality resolution for your PDFs, Forgotten Books offers those to their paying members. You can also order printed copies from Forgotten Books.

Applications for Education
Last week my special education students and I began reading the Red Badge of Courage together. I was one copy short of what I needed so I jumped on Google Books and found a copy that I could print chapter-by-chapter to use in my classroom. I used Google Books to find a copy of that public domain work, but I could have just as easily used Forgotten Books to get an ecopy of the Red Badge of Courage.

iMendi - A Simple Language Learning App

iMendi is a new site, parts of it are still in development, for learning the basic vocabulary of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Czech. To use iMendi just select the language you speak and select the language you want to learn. iMendi then gives you the choice of choosing a lesson (level 1, level 2, etc) or trying a randomly chosen lesson. The "lessons" are really just simple vocabulary matching exercises with a score and the correct answers revealed at the end.

Applications for Education
Because it doesn't provide any direct instruction, iMendi's best purpose is as place where students can practice vocabulary words and terms. iMendi's "about" page mentions some future features that could make the site a little more useful in classrooms.

Video - 7 Billion People

Last month I shared a resource from National Geographic called A Party for 7 Billion. That video is about the space required to hold a gathering of 7 billion people. This morning I found another video designed to complement National Geographic's January cover topic "Population 7 Billion." The video below gives a quick overview of how the population grew to nearly 7 billion and the challenges presented by a population of 7 billion.

Applications for Education
After watching this 3 minute video, ask your students to develop and propose their own responses to the challenges presented by a growing population.