M.

Montessorium – Math is all around us

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) took the idea that the human has a mathematical mind from the French philosopher Pascal. A mathematical mind, in her words, is “a sort of mind which is built up with exactity.” The mathematical mind tends to estimate, needs to quantify, to see identity, similarity, difference, and patterns, to make order and sequence and to control error. Young children observe and experience the world sensorial. Math is all around them from day one. How old are you? In one hour you will go to school. You were born on the 3rd.

The concrete Montessori materials for arithmetics are materialized abstractions. The child’s growing knowledge of the environment makes it possible for him to have a sense of positioning in space. Numerocity is also related to special orientation. The Montessori materials help the child construct precise and internal order.

Intro to Math by Montessorium elegantly adapts this idea for the use with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It provides several activities  to teach the numbers 0-9 and the concepts behind them: arranging a collection of rods from smallest to largest, learning how many bars are in another collection of rods, tracing numbers as they appear on screen, matching written numbers with rods, and matching dots from a box with numbers.

When Montessori meets Montessorium. (c) www.montessorium.com

Maybe Montessori classrooms will include some iPads with Montessorium’s apps in the near future. There is a great potential for an enhanced learning experience using different approaches to the same old idea: that math is all around us.

Intro to Math by Montessorium on the App Store.
Wooden Montessori Materials at www.kidadvance.com.

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B.

Books + Internet = ?

With more and more books digitalized, with Kindles, iPads and audio-books, will printed books become an endangered species? Not if you turn the idea the other way round: How can printed books benefit from the internet and its networking features?

One idea is Ubimark Books that links paper books, such as “Around the World in 80 Days” to the web. This happens rather seemlessly through 2D code. Have a look:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE5Ch4NnVu0

Another brilliant idea is BookRenter. The service enables students to save money by loaning textbooks for a fixed duration, usually a semester. The system is simple: a student searches for a book on the website using a title or ISBN, and places an order by selecting a rental period and delivery option. The books are delivered complete with return UPS labels for easy shipping.

Rent, read, return. (c) www.bookrenter.com

The bookstores at the University of Texas at Austin, the North Carolina State University, the University of Memphis, the City College of San Francisco, and the University of San Diego already offer a textbook rental store on the BookRenter platform. Alternative book rental services are provided by Chegg and Barnes and Noble.

(Thx @techcrunch and @swissmiss)

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I.

Imaginary Landscapes and Literary Maps

Did you ever wonder which of your favorite literary characters lived in the same street or were actually neighbors? Now you can find it out.

Visit the Literary Map of Manhattan to see where some 100 imaginary New Yorkers “lived, worked, played, drank, walked and looked at ducks.” In my opinion this is the best combination of maps and literature so far.

Looking at ducks (c) www.nytimes.com

Across the Atlantic you can find a similar project called Books in London marking the location of more than 400 books either set in, or about, London.

Mapping the books. (c) www.getlondonreading.co.uk

The creators of Books in London also provide a free iPhone app of their literary map.

Augmented reality by bike.

Still another way to explore maps and literature is Gutenkarte. The so called “geographic text browser” is intended to help readers explore the spatial component of classic works of literature. Gutenkarte downloads public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, and stores all the geographic locations it can find locations in a database, along with citations into the text itself.

Tagging the world of War and Peace. (c) www.gutenkarte.org

You can also browse historical literary maps at the Library of Congress. This collection of maps was part of an exhibition entitled “Language of the Land“, a breathtaking journey through the literary heritage of the US.

The historical point of view. (c) www.loc.gov

Augmented reality is reality. And I am eager to see what is coming next.

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S.

Socialnomics – Nice Video, crude Statistics

Erik Qualman says: “Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think”.

I would say: “Social Media Shows How Flexible Statistics Have Become!”

  1. Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old – That is right.
  2. 96% of Millennials have joined a social network – In this context, it is wrong! The truth is slightly different: Trendspotting found in a surveys on the US young generation that 96% of online teens/tweens report ever having used any type of social networking technology including IM/chat, text messaging and email.
  3. Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S. – That is right. https://www.hitwise.com/us/datacenter/main/dashboard-10133.html
  4. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web – That is right since 2009. https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/01/social-media-po.html
  5. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media – I could not find the cited McKinsey study. Everyone on the web cites McKinsey but no one links to the source.
  6. Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)… – I could not verify these numbers but the authors cite https://cyberschoolbus.un.org/
  7. Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year – That may be right, but only in the 6th year of facebook’s existence. If really compared to Radio, TV, Internet and iPod (point 6), it would be right to say: facebook (4 Years). Facebook reached 1 Million in 2004, 5.5 Million in 2005, 12 Million in 2006, 50 Million in 2007, 100 Million in 2008 and 350 Million in 2009. https://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?timeline
  8. iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months. – 1 Billion what? Apples? However, one billion Downloads from the Appstore, to be honest. What is social about downloading an app for iPhone and iPod touch? https://www.apple.com/itunes/billion-app-countdown/
  9. “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” – Another question is how well we DO statistics.
  10. If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest ahead of the United States and only behind China and India – That might be true, but obviously facebook isn’t a country. Would you compare your TV to a country? Or your Mobile Phone? Otherwise you could say: Mobile Phones are the world’s biggest country. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use Read more
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E.

Ellen and Eleanor try out iPad and iPhone

Maybe these two videos explain why the iPhone may not perfectly fit educational needs, but the iPad does! The touch screen and intuitive usability were already there from the very beginning. But for Kids, and not only for them, less is more! The iPod touch was a great step in this direction. I remember my son playing with an iPod touch from the age of 1. But now, the iPad’s bigger screen is the latest development that was still needed to be able to develop real educational Apps. What do you think?

Ellen’s iPhone parody

Eleanor, 2, tries out an iPad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhdoHtnD4Ts

(thx Ellen and Gizmodo)

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