jet-powered bicycle

Anyone else tired of cycling? Get your hands (wheels?) onto a jet propulsion unit and the days of tiresome peddling are over. It could be yours for a mere $920 on eBay.

Can you tell that I really really want one of these?:

via Boing Boing.

Written by david. in: tech | Tags:

breading a new generation

Are new book technology users just growing up?

A few weeks ago I put a computer illiterate five-year-old in front of a keyboard, mouse and monitor. She grasped how to use the operating system (Windows XP) the browser (Firefox) and the Internet (Google, Sesame Street, Nick Jr. and Dora The Explorer) in less than half an hour.

The experience got me thinking.

One of the largest reasons that e-books haven’t become a reality is due to our reluctance to let go of the book. Would gadget savvy young readers be more comfortable using an e-reader than the rest of us?

This isn’t as far fetched as it might sound. Disney, Fisher Price and Hasbro have all released mp3 players for children in the last year. The Fisher Price Kid-Tough FP3 Player is aimed at the youngest audience (3 – 6 year olds) and their online store sells audio books as well as music. While the Disney player is aimed at a 5 - 12 year olds but without the option to download music.

Is it such a leap to imagine a similar device with a large, colour screen* that reproduces picture books? [It could play the author reading the book at the same time through its mp3 player.]

If public libraries and schools supported ebooks then young readers would be encouraged to use them, and be more likely to using them as adults. Some, such as the New York Public Library has already begun to lend copies of ebooks – with certain copyright conditions.

Looking at the conclusions from the research in Bell State (dated 2004) Richard Bellaver concludes:

The children thoroughly enjoy playing and interacting with the eBooks. However, many of the children used the eBook for non-reading purposes because the content was not to their reading level. This was remedied by adding more content geared towards the younger reading level, but at the time of the interviews, that was not the case. The children did grasp the technology, and were able to learn the basic features of the eBook. Only one eBook of fifteen was damaged during the test.

Do you ever wish you see the future??

> Richard Bellaver - Bell State University

> New York Public Library

*One of the most ideal distribution outlets for ebooks is the iPod Touch and the iPhone through Apple’s iTunes.
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