Browse the Solar System with Solar Walk

Browse the Solar System with Solar Walk

Apr 30, 2014

Solar Walk 4

Solar Walk is an educational app that lets users fly among the planets of our solar system and learn various interesting facts about it, visualized on their mobile screen. This incredibly useful and very beautiful app is available in paid and free versions on Google Play: Solar Walk Paid, and Solar Walk Free. Releases Education App for Android Releases Education App for Android

Feb 25, 2014 2 is an online education system that presents tutorials and lessons for just about anything you’d want to learn. The Android app not only grants you access to the great selection of courses on your touchscreen, it also offers a selected number of them for free! If you want to learn something on the go, this seems like a great choice. Get the app for free from here: On Google Play. Also, here’s Website.

I’m A Creepy Crawly is Released For Young Entomologists

I’m A Creepy Crawly is Released For Young Entomologists

Nov 22, 2013

I'm a Creepy Crawly 3

All the way from Ireland, I’m A Creepy Crawly is a bunch of mini-games under the flag of a popular childrens’ TV program about insects. They are quite simple and easy to grasp by the younglings, and are also bright and colorful for their interest. Check it out here: I’m A Creepy Crawly on Google Play.

Visualize Tiny Things with Science – Microcosm 3D

Visualize Tiny Things with Science – Microcosm 3D

Oct 17, 2012

Microscopic things are small. Really small. So small that it’s possible to forget that these are actual things that exist, with form and structure to be discovered. What Science – Microcosm 3D attempts to do is to put things into perspective. 3D models of various microscopic objects can be seen. A Flea and sugar crysals measures 3×10^–3 m long, compared to the size of a human chromosome, which is small, when a human chromosome measures 10^–5 m, or .00001 m long. That’s really, really, really small. But it’s gargantuan compared to the size of a virus. The ruler along the bottom that shows where different items are on the scale provides perspective on just how small some of these things are. A virus in proportion to a human is about the proportion of a virus to a Uranium nucleus. Fascinating stuff, especially for those that haven’t been to a biology or chemistry class in a while. A selection of 3D models are available for free, with the rest available as in-app purchases. The app is available from Google Play.

Digital Backpack Makes Private Distribution of Apps and Media Possible Within Organizations

Digital Backpack Makes Private Distribution of Apps and Media Possible Within Organizations

Aug 8, 2012

Digital Backpack has announced the availability of their service to make private distribution of apps and media to only certified people with an organiztion.

What this is designed to do is to allow corporate Android users to distribute content to employees in a secure fashion without going through outside networks. This includes not just media files that may be necessary for projects, but also applications. The goal is to allow corporate users to have the stability and convenience that comes from app store distribution, while allowing for private distribution – and the sidestepping of app store rules to go along with it.

Digital Backpack claims that this could come in handy for more than just corporate users, as education could make use of it as well. Special files for teachers could be distributed through Digital Backpack, and with the ability to specify certain users to send to, files could easily be distributed to only certain departments. Even devices that students could use could be used hypothetically with Digital Backpack.

Digital Backpack is currently only available by getting in touch directly with the company from their website.

The Hills Are Greener: Apple Locks In On Education

The Hills Are Greener: Apple Locks In On Education

Jan 23, 2012

It may not have been the sexiest announcement, but Android supporters – manufacturers and users alike – should not underestimate Apple’s education gambit. Their big push into education with iBooks 2 being optimized for textbooks (both the reading and selling thereof) and iTunes U offering deeper integration with college courses could be the necessary roots they have to lay down for long-term success at the expense of Android.

What they are doing is getting to impressionable minds, and trying to get into their lives. If students grow up using and being acclimated to Apple technology, this will surely make them more likely to buy Apple in the future, no? An entire generation of students acclimated to Macs, iPhones, and iPads. It’s any businessperson’s dream, and one that Microsoft has had the potential to pull off themselves, but failed to do.

Do I believe that there is a lot of benevolent intent here? Definitely. Education clearly needs disrupting, with the state of America’s schools getting worse. Why not do it with the powerful technology that kids want to use, in ways that could empower, engage, and enhance learning? But when Apple lays down in their iBooks Author EULA (app for Mac-only of course) that books meant to be sold can only be done through the iBooks Store, then I grow skeptical that there isn’t some ulterior motive to try and completely dominate the space.

It creates vendor lock-in, something I’ve railed about before – and if teachers are creating educational material that essentially require students to buy Apple products, this is not only devious, but potentially monopolistic. Although it may not be that the material created in the app itself is locked in to iBooks, it’s still a deterrent to selling elsewhere. Surely, the convenience of publishing directly from the app to iBooks is incentive enough?

Why did the textbook market get into bed with Apple, anyway? The textbook market was clearly in need of shakeup – as a former college student, I can tell you how bad the book buying experience was. Apple’s now going to be selling textbooks for $14.99 maximum in their stores? It could actually be cheaper for students to buy an iPad and all their class books digitally than to buy the physical versions. I’m talking about on a single semester basis, if not for an entire year.

Why wouldn’t the textbook publishers get into the digital market? Imagine the kind of money that they lose from the used book market – they are starting to include more single-use products in their books (such as codes to access digital supplemental materials) but they have been slow to adopt digital distribution of their books themselves. A move to widespread digital formats, will kill that secondary market that they so despise. Not to mention the potential that Apple mentioned of being able to create content that can evolve and change as information changes, to remain up to date. Books could link directly to their source information and to research, and provide interactive material right in the text. Information that needed to be on paper could easily be printed out, of course. There’s just little reason for this to not happen, especially as tablets increase in popularity.

The question is just this: why didn’t the major publishers spearhead the push to digital themselves? As soon as the iPad was announced, they should have been at least planning on digital textbooks. They could have seized the market for themselves, and pushed for ones that would work on multiple platforms, not just on Apple devices. They could have charged what they wanted, not the $14.99 maximum. Will some publishers hold out for a while? I bet they will. But, they’ll find sales numbers dwindling as students begin to demand digital and iPad versions of the textbooks, and then the professors begin to use them. They’ll give in to Apple eventually, as they’ll just be powerless to do so. Because Apple are the ones running where these books are sold, the publishers will lose their control.

Given the larger issues surrounding SOPA and the push to adopt it from the MPAA and RIAA as of late, it makes me curious as to why big media is so unwilling to innovate and evolve. Are they really so blind to technological innovation and how they could use and exploit as to potentially lose control, just because they held on to their business models for too long? Gaming is far more willing to accept digital distribution and not see it as a threat, but as an oppotunity. The consoles have been slower to adopt it because of their deep hooks into retail, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more day-and-date games begin to be released digitally starting next generation, especially with that industry’s own blowback against used sales. Ultimately, they will dictate the terms, and those publishers will be the ones who last. Hollywood’s long-term existence is threatened because those who are finding ways to innovate and exploit the digital space are doing so from outside the industry, and the money is going to those innovators, not to the media companies. If they provided the innovation, then they could be the ones who last.

So why are the textbook publishers so willing to commit these same mistakes?

This is all not even getting into the fact that Apple controlling the digital publishing market is obviously harmful to Android. Apple is all about promoting and supporting their own ecosystem, and using their products to help support and promote their brand and their other products. iPods help sell iPhones which help sell iPads which help sell Macs, all the way up and back down the line. If students have particular advantages to buy and use iOS devices, why would they go Android? Why buy the Android tablet when the iPad will carry all those books, and they can be purchased at a lesser price than physical books? This is why textbook sales being so localized to the iPad is such a bad thing for both the publishers and Android supporters – a young market that wants to spend money on new technology will have reasons to not buy Android. That should be feared, even by Apple fans. Competition is ultimately a good thing for the market as a whole, and moves like what Apple are doing have a definitive anti-competition bent.

IntelliVocab for SAT, GRE, and GMAT Makes Its Way to Android

IntelliVocab for SAT, GRE, and GMAT Makes Its Way to Android

Jul 20, 2011

IntelliVocab, developed by Faqden Labs and designed in part by MIT students, aren’t resting on their laurels even after being one of the top apps in the Education category on the iOS App Store with a variety of apps to improve users’ vocabulary in a variety of subjects. Now, they are finally bringing their first IntelliVocab app to the Android Market. The Android version of IntelliVocab is designed to students pass various important exams in both high school and in university – the SAT, GRE, and GMAT. In particular, the app is designed to focus on vocabulary contained in those exams. The app focuses on training users in the way that they sound, as well as how they are written, so that users can become innately familiar with the words posed in the questions and prompts of the exams.

The strength of the app comes from how it trains users to actually learn the words at hand, instead of just trying to achieve rote memorization of them. IntelliVocab introduces words in multiple usages, and will task the user to learn different forms of the word. The app also uses repetition to teach words, as it will repeat words in other questions in a session in order to help get the user to actually learn the words, and develop skill in using them. For people whose best method of learning are through methods of repetition, IntelliVocab should prove especially useful for them.

IntelliVocab also tracks users’ progress to see how they are performing with words over time, so users can see how they perform with the words they are learning. The app uses machine learning algorithms in order to help track users’ performance, and it can generate progress reports for users. IntelliVocab for SAT, GRE, and GMAT is now available as a free download from the Android Market.