Entries categorized "Books" Feed

Education Apps and My Old Books

Learning from Dr SeussBernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Screenshot from iOS app  

I KNOW DOCTOR SEUSS from years ago when he introduced me to green eggs and ham. My daughter first met Dr Seuss through the Cat in the Hat app.

I listen to our 4yo as she lets the app read the story to her. But more often than the audible book, I hear individual words being read out loud when Mia touches items on screen--like the house in the screenshot.

From my view over the shoulder, I think Dr Seuss is helping Mia learn nomenclature of her home and her place. Occasionally she creates a permanent view of her learning space by taking a screenshot of her in-app activity.

I'm intrigued by Mia's progress and plan to continue my careful observation of what she is learning from authors I knew more than a generation ago.


Bernie Goldbach is journaling thoughts about #howilearn.

Epubs for Empowered Citizens

Library eBooksBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Snap from Business Post  

WHEN ADRIAN WECKLER gives double truck coverage to a technology, trend or business, it normally means it will become part of the fabric of life. He's done that with e-books in the Business Post.

Personally, I hope he's right, because I've seen the result of high production values in an e-publishing module we teach at the Limerick Institute of Technology. I wish I could get portions of the Business Post in some form of iBook or mobi file. Regular content like the Reality Bytes column, the Tech Week paragraphs, "Gadgets of the Week" and even the advertisements that frame the tech section (this week they're from the National Ploughing Championships and MobileReady.ie) could play well on my iPad or Kindle. It doesn't take much to make a content management system export the .epub and .mobi file types. We have qualified students who could spend a fortnight inside any newspaper and show how they make easy work of e-publishing. Amazon has shown that a timely e-publication has a commercial value (say 93 cents per collection of 20 items cited above).

But I'm more interested in the public touchpoints of e-publications--things you might see in traditional libraries.

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Self-Publishing Is More Than Vanity Publishing

Thinking of Tommy and GerBernie Goldbach in South Tipp General | Photo from Observer  

I BOUGHT THREE SUNDAY PAPERS because I thought we'd be waiting a while. Waiting stretched through the night while I read e-books.

Several of the e-books I have on my Kindle are self-published works. Unless you know the distinction between self-published and vanity publishing, you could tar both with the same brush. To hunker down by yourself and meet the Apple or Amazon standard for a title means you're doing a lot of work. However, in most of Irish mainstream media, having an electronic title won't get you on chat shows. And the detractors are quick off the mark with snide comments about authors who did not follow the normal slog of using an agent, publishing house and publicist. But things are changing in e-publishing and I'd expect public perceptions to change as well.

Hunting for New EL James

Continue reading "Self-Publishing Is More Than Vanity Publishing" »


The Apocalypse Book

The Apocalypse Book

Bernie Goldbach in Celbridge | Photo by @Edgaras777 | 91 words

THE ANNUAL Pen & Pixel Exhibition in LIT-Clonmel features excellent creative multimedia work but this year is the first to include a hard cover book, HDR imagery and epubs.

The image in the blog post comes from Edgaras Zvirblys, a talented photographer who has imagined images you might find while shadowing soldiers in a nuclear apocalypse. It's a Blurb Book.

Buying mine to help a starving student http://bit.ly/GGHqRo who is Behanced.


Edgaras Zvirblys (aka edzed) on Blurb -- "Soliders in a Nuclear Apocalypse"

Sent Typepad app to blog using O2-Ireland MiFi service.

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Hoping for a Vook Solution

Scam School

Bernard Goldbach in Thurles | 430 words

I ORDERED MY FIRST VOOK today, a fun read from Brian Brushwood. I'm sure it deserves top billing as the best Vook of 2012, even though the year is young.

A Vook is a hybrid between a digital book, a movie and online interfaces. Vook's processing power lets me create rich media reading experiences in one pass. A lot of publishing houses (more than 30 the last time I checked) have forged relationships with Vook and hundreds of multimedia selections cover selections across fiction and non-fiction.

A Vook behaves like an ebook. That means you can enlarge text, scroll around content, flip pages, insert bookmarks and skip to different chapters. I can get a Vook for my iPad, for my Kindle, to read while online, or to download and read on my laptop. This is a big deal for multimedia creatives because it means being able to resuse many rich media objects by crafting them inside a Vook. My daughter likes seeing Vooks in full colour. They are more engaging than the black and white Kindle screen.

Continue reading "Hoping for a Vook Solution" »


Working Where They Want to Reduce Hardcovers

Big on BooksI WORK ACROSS THE HALL from a small library set on significantly reducing the footprint of books on its shelves. I hope that means a significant increase in the number of electronic titles.

And why not? Throughout my life, a large swath of what I need to know has been digitized. The key analogue elements are truly artefacts of my ancestral heritage and it's up to me to bring that content into the digital era. As I push my content from working notes on my laptop to lecture notes for download, I can see students connecting to the core material without even coming into the classroom. Plus, I can see prospective students an ocean away dipping into materials that can help disparate cultures connect through learning.

I'm watching the content shared by the Digital Public Library of America [DPLA] while hoping its growth can offer a case study in how Ireland might create the infrastructure. I think we could start with prodding Irish academics to digitizing their data and then share their efforts across the Republic in collaborative efforts that promote new knowledge and scholarship. Such an effort would foster a community spirit that would trickle over into the public library system.

And if the little library across the hall guts one-third of its shelf space this summer, I think we'll see such a digital library as part of our Limerick Institute of Technology course catalogues before the end of the decade.


Michael Posner -- "Creating the public library of the future" in the Globe and Mail, March 2, 2012.

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Tips for 3rd Generation Kindle Newbies

Big on BooksI HAVE USED A KINDLE KEYBOARD to pick up some tips that millions of new Kindle users might find helpful.

Alt+B sets a bookmark. This is a life saver for me because others in my family circle like reading books in my Kindle library. This means I can no longer use the Kindle's menu to go directly to my last-read page. Bookmarks help me keep my sanity. I can view all bookmarks by accessing the Kindle's menu.

Shift+SYM starts text-to-speech. If you press the spacebar, you can pause or resume text-to-speech. I use text-to-speech when driving.

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Organizations Don't Tweet

Organizations Don't TweetI BOUGHT EUAN SEMPLE'S ebook on the social web because I've been reading his blog and learning how to use the web longer than I've used Google Reader.

In his writing online and in his book, he questions major institutions and how they function. "People are starting to think more for themselves and seeking alternatives to the structure of the organization chart and apparent security of the salaried job for life." This rings true for me and for thousands of Irish civil servants who will discover the pay, perks and security of State employment will erode on the arrival of the winds of fiscal reality. In Ireland, as in many parts of the Western world, there are no jobs for life. This means "more of us are working out how to think entrepreneurially whether inside organizations or not."

This is not a result of the growth of online social networking. Around my desk, we have started thinking differently because we realise the post-industrial age demands it. Our connected world, powered by tools we can use to organize ourselves better, means we are often no more than one tweet away from more efficient ways of getting things done. Euan's take on that tweeting world, one that pulsates outside the reach of an electronic border manager, needs to be recognised inside the executive offices across corporations and governments. I think an excellent place to start is by reading Organizations Dont Tweet: A Managers Guide to the Social Web like me.


Euan Semple --"The ebook edition of my book is published", December 19, 2011.

Euan Semple -- Organizations Don't Tweet People Do ISBN 978-1119950554

Bonus Link from David Armano: Demystifying Social Business

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Four Months with Kindle

Four Months of KindleAS I TYPE A FEW WORDS into my blog, I'm listening to I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works on my Kindle. Doing both simultaneously is a worthwhile activity for me.

I do a lot with the Kindle and I use it frequently enough to recharge it every four days. I used to get a week between recharges but for the past two months, I've done a lot of listening with the Kindle and that's putting a greater electrical load on the device. I also use it to highlight and share content onto Twitter and that makes its wifi antenna do more work as well. I grabbed four months of content from my clippings.txt file on the Kindle and ran the result through Wordle in order to produce the accomanying word cloud. As you can tell, I've read about Steve Jobs on my Kindle. I've also subscribed to the Irish Times with the Kindle. And I have a very vibrant Kindlefeeder flow appearing as e-ink once a day. If I could annotate the Audible.com book content on the Kindle, the word cloud would include many selections that I've used as part of lectures in our creative multimedia curriculum. I listen a lot while feeding our five-month-old son and in every case, I've listened to all audible books that I purchased at least twice.

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Sketchbooks of Hate

Tears in the DarknessI HAVE READ Tears in the Darkness twice this year. Its moving story of survival on the road to Bataan in 1942 makes any of my sacrifices pale by comparison.

Interspersed inside the book are sketches by Ben Steele, a survivor. The images often come dripping with hate through the pages in his sketchbooks, spanning more than thirty volumes of trials and exercises. The leaves of Steele's sketchbooks hold his ghosts: page after page of prisoners of war and the Imperial hohei who guarded him for one thousand two hundred and forty-four days.

The book reads like a novel and its drawings provide an emotive layer. The sketches of faces followed Ben Steele home from the prisoner of war camps. To see his sketches is to visit the haunted memories of the man himself.


Sent mail2blog from my Nokia phone after packing Tears in the Darkness for a loan.

Michael Norman and Elizabeth Norman -- Tears in the Darkness ISBN 0312429703

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