Friday, February 4, 2011

Kindle Lending Club - Borrow Books for Your Kindle

The December announcement from Amazon that they now allow lending of ebooks between Kindle users made it possible for more people to read more books without spending more money. Almost immediately after Amazon's announcement, services matching Kindle owners with each other popped-up on the web. One of those was Lend Ink which I reviewed last month. Today, I'd like to point out another service to help you find Kindle books to borrow.

The Kindle Lending Club matches book borrowers with book lenders for free. Once you've registered, to borrow a book just search by title or author to find the book you desire. If it's available for borrowing (not all ebooks are), click the borrow button and you'll be notified via email as to when you can read the book. Kindle books can be borrowed for up to 14 days. If you have a book to lend you can visit the lending page to see if anyone has requested that title. From there you can click the lend button to lend your book out for 14 days. Books are automatically returned to you after 14 days if not sooner.

Applications for Education
Unfortunately, Kindle books can only be lent out once. That said, if you're looking to help parents find books for their children to read, the Kindle Lending Club could be a helpful resource.

Paris Underground - Video and Map

This month's National Geographic cover story is all about the catacombs and quarries beneath the streets of Paris. As a supplement to the print articles and pictures in the magazine, National Geographic has published an interactive map of the Paris underground.

In collaboration with NPR, National Geographic created a video tour of the Paris underground and the people who live to explore the catacombs and quarries beneath the city.

H/T to Open Culture.

Applications for Education
The catacombs and abandoned quarries below Paris offer the opportunity to develop lessons about culture, history, and engineering.

Better World Flux - Create Animated Data Displays

Better World Flux is a free data visualization development tool that was created for the World Bank's Apps for Development Challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to encourage app developers to create products that could be used to highlight the development data hosted by the World Bank.

Better World Flux allows users to create animated visualizations of development data. To use Better World Flux (no registration required) all you have to do is select a data set from the menu provided and select a country or countries from the menu provided. From there Better World Flux creates an animated data visualization for you. The visualization will change as the years on the timeline at the bottom of the visualization change. This way users can see growth and recession of a statistic over time.

Learn more about Better World Flux in the video below.

Applications for Education
Better World Flux and other applications like it can be helpful for students who when just looking at data sets might not always be able to recognize patterns or changes. Visualization apps can help those students see the patterns and changes that may exist in a data set.

Better World Flux is just one of many apps developed for the Apps for Development Challenge, I encourage you to explore the gallery of entries to find ones that you and your students can use.