Tag Archives: Amazon

Kindle MatchBook

Kindle Matchbook (or free/cheap ebook when you buy paper edition)

What is Kindle Matchbook? Announced by Amazon last year, Matchbook is (from LifeHacker) “that will allow owners of hard copies of books to purchase extremely cheap ebook versions for their Kindle collection.” If you bought a paper copy from Amazon you could be eligible to buy or download an eBook edition.

From the link above (make sure you’re logged into your Amazon account) you can click the  ‘Find your Kindle MatchBook titles’ button and the website will look through your purchase history and see if any match. Naturally, none of my purchases do – eligibility in MatchBook is determined by the publisher and whether they include their title in the scheme. There is also discrepancy as to whether this is available in the UK or not yet.

Continue reading

What is a Learning Technologist? eBook

I’ve been certified! #CMALT

David HopkinsAfter an awfully long time I have written, submitted, re-written, re-submitted, and finally been awarded the status of Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology (CMALT). When I say it took a long time, it’s not an understatement – here’s how and why.

  • This is the twelfth part in my series of ‘What is a Learning Technologist?’ I have collected the series to date in a downloadable eBook – an update will be submitted to the online stores very shortly.

CMALT – The beginning
I joined Bournemouth University (BU) in 2007, fresh into the role of a Learning Technologist (LT) from 10 years as a commercial web designer. In all honesty I didn’t really know much of what I’d be expected to do but I knew my experience with online communities and techniques in developing and fostering them was key to my appointment. It just goes to show the faith and vision my interviewers had to see me for my potential and offer me the job! I joined ALT shortly after starting, which is where I first heard about CMALT.  Continue reading

Amazon Kindle MatchBook

Amazon MatchBook: Paper and Kindle editions on their way

If, like me, you like to watch your films or listen to music on more than one device (in more than one location) then you’ll have had to copy/digitise/rip it, which is not always legal.

But it can be done. For your CDs you need to just put them in your computer and iTunes or other music library software will offer to rip it for you. Connect your digital audio device and copy the file across and you can listen to your CD in the car, gym, bus, or at work or walking the dog. It’s slightly more difficult for your DVDs but there is software that can rip it into an MP4/M4V or MOV or WMV file which will play on your laptop, tablet, etc. and you can watch on the train, bus, plane, or in the shed or bath (wherever you want).

But what about your extensive library of books you’ve been collecting. If, like me, you also want to be able to read these electronically then it’s a lot tougher to digitise. So why can’t you get the electronic copy at the same time as the physical one? You can do this with your DVDs and with some CDs now (some DVDs come with the Ultraviolet digital copy), so why not books? Continue reading

eBooks Could Be The Future Of Social Media

eBooks could be the future of Social Media

eBooks Could Be The Future Of Social Media

“In the future, e-books will act just like social networks. We’ll use them on our phones, share and comment right inside e-reader apps, and publishers will use our data to help them make better marketing decisions. If you think digital reading is exploding now, just wait.”

So says Michael Grothaus in his article for the FastCompany website: “E-Books Could Be The Future Of Social Media”.

“In the future, e-books are going to explode beyond just containing stories, becoming niche social networks where we discuss our favorite passages with other readers and even authors and publishers buy our data to make more informed decisions. So hold on tight, book lovers. Reading as we know it will soon change, forever.”  Continue reading

MOOC YourSelf - Set up your own MOOC for Business, Non-Profits, and Informal Communities

Book Review: MOOC Yourself (@Ignatia) #MOOCyourself

MOOC YourSelf - Set up your own MOOC for Business, Non-Profits, and Informal CommunitiesThis is the first book on MOOCs I’ve been inclined to read, purely because Igne Ignatia de Waard (@Ignatia) is someone I respect through our shared interest and conversations on Twitter – “MOOC YourSelf – Set up your own MOOC for Business, Non-Profits, and Informal Communities”.

Self-published through the Amazon Direct Publishing process Ignatia looks at the different options/formats for MOOCs and fits them in to best online learning practices and offers design and learning options. In the book she also looks at the pedagogy surrounding MOOCs and the options currently available for the often-criticised certification routes.

“The challenges and benefits of MOOCs are highlighted and guidelines on how to build an optimal MOOC experience are shared. Online learning best practices’ are listed with a focus on MOOC specific learning characteristics, certification options and pedagogies.”

The background and history to the current MOOC hype(first section of the book) is not for me, but it is worth reading as the basis for the cMOOC and xMOOC approach are explained well and are vital if you are to get the most out of the rest of the book. Continue reading

What is a group of eReaders called?

If a group of geese are called a ‘gaggle’, and a group of Hippopotamus’ are called a ‘crash’ (bet you didn’t know that), and a group of Zebras are called a ‘zeal’ (again, bet you didn’t know that) then what is/are a group of eReaders called? Could it be a ‘Whispercast’?

Whispercast is the new free online ‘tool’ (product?) from Amazon to help schools “manage Kindle devices and wirelessly distribute books and documents to students”. Whispercast enables teachers and educators to access to over 1.5 million Kindle ebooks, including bestsellers and free classics, they can then easily purchase and distribute them among student devices (Kindles, obviously) to develop personalized educational programs for all age groups.

“Whether you’re looking to distribute literature for class or use Kindle for your corporate training or incentive program, Whispercast helps you reduce the administrative cost and complexity of sending Kindle content and managing your Kindles.”

This could be great if all those schools hadn’t gone out and bought all those iPads first [smirk]. But think about it, all those iPads could quite easily be running the Kindle app?

Here’s a video introducing and explaining the tool:

YouTube: Kindle at School / Whispercast

Amazon Cloud Player App

Amazon Cloud Player App

Amazon Cloud Player AppAmazon Cloud Player (iPhone, iPad, iPod): If, like me, you download music from Amazon you already know that the DRM-free files load easily into iTunes and play nicely (and with good quality sound reproduction) on all iOS devices. Recently available in the UK is the Amazon Cloud Player which enables you, for free, to access all the music you downloaded from Amazon, ever.

  • Note: I prefer Amazon for downloading music as its (a) usually cheaper than iTunes, (b) better choice on compilation & special editions, and (c) DRM free MP3 files (not AAC, which don’t play on all devices).

So, to the app …

“Your music. Everywhere. Listen to your music collection from the cloud on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad anywhere you are. You can download or stream your library from the cloud – or play the music you already have on your device.”

Amazon Cloud Player (Free): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/amazon-cloud-player/id510855668

You have the ability to match your other downloaded music from other sources (iTunes included) and have these available through the Cloud Player, but you are limited to 250 tracks on the free services – if you want more then you can have the Premium account for £21.99 per year and up to 250,000 tracks! That’s a whole lot of music, and more than iTunes offers at the moment.

  • You can link up to 10 devices to your Cloud Player.
  • You can create your online library to match the music stored on your computer(s) by using Amazon’s “scan and match” technology, which searches a catalogue of 20 million tracks.
  • All matched songs are automatically stored by Cloud Player in high-quality 256 Kbps audio.
  • All Amazon MP3 purchases, including music that you bought before the Cloud was introduced, are automatically saved to Cloud Player for free! Nice

What is also great about the Cloud Player is that you can access it from any web browser so you can have your music playing on your desktop while you work (very useful if you’ve not got much battery life left in your device).

At the moment I’m using my iPhone for recording and editing video so, as I’ve only got the base 16GB model, I deleted all my music and quite a few apps to free up storage space … this app gives me the ability to at least access some tunes.

One aspect of the App that I’m really impressed with is that it continues to play the music even when you start using other apps, it leaves it playing the background. This may be a small thing but other apps that I’d hope to continue in the background don’t and, when you go back to it again you have to wait from them to re-start and re-load the details, often losing where you were in the process.

YouTube: Amazon Cloud Player

Here are some images from the iPhone version of the artist, album, song listing screens as well as the player itself and settings:

The Future of Education: EPIC 2020

Thanks to Jane Hart and Jay Cross for directing me to this video:

“2011, Badges as credentials, 160,000 students in a MOOC, peer-ratings = students teaching students, Udacity charges 20% finder’s fees for grads, MITx, TEDed, free, student loan overhang, tuition going up …. free content, pay only for assessment, transferable credits based on ability, Apple buys Amazon, iTunesU becomes the ed app platform, preference matching, Google buys Udacity and Khan Academy, tied to education model, most colleges wait it out as badges replace degrees, residential college campuses are for the children of the wealthy only, Google unleashes EPIC the all-knowing learning system, 2020″

Take it with a pinch of salt, but think about how feasible this scenario is?

“In 2018 badges replace degrees as the preferred skill validation for companies. Except for the elite Universities companies no longer recruit on campus, preferring instead the lifelong learning and training approaches of ‘Apple-zon’ and Google.”

and

“EPIC – the Evolving Personal Information Construct. EPIC not only understands everything that you know but also it knows everything that you need to know to be successful in your professional, social, and personal life. EPIC constructs and provides just-in-time knowledge and information that keeps you current and synchronised with everyone around you.”