Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bookboon - More Than 500 Free eTextbooks

Bookboon is a free service offering free full-length textbooks, travel guides, and business books in digital form. The textbook section of Bookboon offers more than 500 digital textbooks. On Bookboon there are etextbooks available for twenty-five subjects, but the bulk of the etextbooks are focused on Economics, Engineering, and IT. You can browse the title lists to find a book you want or you can search Bookboon by keyword. Bookboon hosts books written in five languages. All of the books are free to download. The only catch is that you have to provide an email address before you can download the books.

Applications for Education
Bookboon's books are targeted to university students, but that doesn't mean that some of the books couldn't be used with high school students. And since the books are free it wouldn't hurt to download one that you think might work for your class and use excerpts of it to supplement other materials that you are already using in your classroom.

Hubii - Find the Latest News by Browsing a Map

Hubii is a new website featuring a map of newspapers from around the world. Visitors can locate online newspapers by clicking on the placemarks on the map. Registered users can subscribe to the online editions of the newspapers they find. When you subscribe (it's free) to a newspaper in Hubii it is added to your Hubii Mapazine in which you can read the newspapers to which you are subscribed. Learn more in the video below.

Hubii also offers a heat map view of the news that shows where in the world the important stories are emerging at that moment.

Applications for Education
Hubii could be a great resource for teachers who use current events in their classrooms. If you're trying to get students to explore and read news and editorials from other parts of the world, sending students to explore Hubii could be a good way to do that.

Here are five other ways students can visually explore the news.

Video Game Dealers - Be Careful With In-app Purchases

Here's a clip from last Thursday's Daily Show about games that offer in-app or in-game purchases through iTunes or other online markets. Of course, the clip is for entertainment, but it does raise a good point about apps and games that start out free only to require purchases to make fully-functional later on. (Sorry to my friends outside of the US, you probably won't be able to see the clip from Hulu that I've embedded below).