CK12 Offers a Series of Free Textbooks for Kindle

CK12 Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to created affordable textbooks.  And by affordable, I mean free.  You can find a series of them on the Kindle.  These are all really good quality textbooks in science and math for advanced level high school students.

I think that the idea of having more affordable books is a great one, and that these books are excellent review tools.  They do have some room for improvement, as the Kindle is not fully able to show the symbols needed in say, the Calculus book.  In addition to Calculus, you’ll find Biology, Chemistry and Statistics.  Always loved science, but I shudder to even think of math!  CK-12 Foundation has done a good job in creating textbooks that are easy to read and explain concepts really well.

Ck-12 Foundation creates FlexBooks.  These books are set up so that users can edit and tailor learning modules to meet the varying learning styles of each student.  By making them available on the Kindle, it makes them more portable.  Another thing that I like about these texts being available on the e-reader is the ability to adjust font sizes  More and more FlexBooks are becoming available under the creative commons license.  Once these come available, they’d be a valuable addition to the Kindle Library Lending program.

Kindle haven’t really taken off in education, but there is potential for growth if the developers, publishers and all other parties involved play their cards right.  If the Kindle can get established in education, than it could be a step towards more affordable textbooks as well as much lighter backpacks!



Seven Albert Einstein Books Exclusively for Kindle

In addition to Pi Day, March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.  How fitting that both math and physics are celebrated on this day for completely different reasons.  There are currently seven ebooks written by Einstein available exclusively for the Kindle.  Known as the father of modern physics, Einstein was a revolutionary figure in the field of science and introduced the theory of relativity.  The Kindle ebooks all includes photos and documents from the Albert Einstein Archives from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Letters on Wave Mechanics provides a unique glimpse into the thoughts of Einstein and other major influential characters in science through their letters.  Wave Mechanics includes letters written by H.A. Lorentz, Max Planck, and Erwin Schrodinger.  This book not only gives insight into their thoughts, but it also allows the reader to understand the state of physics in their day.

Essays in Humanism covers major events in history such as the Great Depression, World War II,  and the Cold War, and is written from a philosophical prospective.  I noticed a quote about how technology and war were shrinking the planet.  If technology was shrinking the planet back then, imagine what Einstein would say about the internet and its global connectivity.

Einstein reveals how he feels about his own influence on modern science, as well as other great scientists who came before him in Essays in Science.  These scientists include Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler and others.  Einstein also gives explanation of his theories and contributions.

Letters to Solovine is the key to Einstein’s most personal thoughts and contains his letters to his close friend, Maurice Solovine.  Letters to Solovine shows the human side of Einstein, in addition to his scientist side.

Out of My Later Years is a collection of essays that explain Einstein’s scientific and philosophical beliefs.  Einstein recognized the rapidly changing world around him and provides positive thoughts on the future.  Science made great leaps and bounds throughout the twentieth century and continues to do so today.

Most everyone knows Einstein for his Theory of Relativity, which is e=mc2.  The Theory of Relativity book goes through this theory and Einstein’s other discoveries step by step.  This is a great resource because many people just know the equation and never really get to learn the meaning behind it.

The World as I See It describes Einstein as a German in the midst of World War II.  It also describes his views on religion and how they compare.  Religion and science are often at great odds, and such a well known figure in the science world talk about religion should be an extremely interesting read.

Technology Review for Kindle

Technology Review is a bimonthly publication available on the Kindle and Kindle DX for $1.25 a month.

Technology Review is the oldest technology magazine in the world and was started by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Technology Review aims to promote the understanding of emerging technologies and to analyze their commercial, social, and political impacts.

Jason Pontin is the current Editor in Chief and Publisher of Technology Review and has held the post since 2005. A few article topics from the magazine include: using Flickr to create quicker travel itineraries, 3-D displays without glasses and One Tablet Per Child, a cheaper, modified version of the One Laptop Per Child Project.

Every year, Technology Review showcases the year’s “35 Innovators under 35”.  Topics within science and technology include: Biomedicine, Web, Communication, Computing, Energy and Business.  This is a great way to recognize the younger generation and their unique contributions to the science and technology arena.

The magazine also prints an annual “Top 10 Emerging Technologies” article.  These are really cool new technologies such as liquid batteries that could allow whole cities to run on solar power at night, cutting DNA system costs, software that serves as a personal aide, and much more.

Reviewers say this magazine is great for the non techie audience and doesn’t include too much of the geeky jargon that only technology junkies would know.  That theory is good and bad.  Some reviewers felt that the articles lacked depth, yet others found them refreshing.  However, after looking through the article titles, I did see a some scientific names that I was not familiar with.  So, it appears to be a mix of both techie and non techie language going on.  The Kindle version is good because this magazine doesn’t fully rely on graphics, but the readers would like to see more graphics, color and formatting included for easier reading.

Considering that this is the oldest technology magazine in the world, I was surprised to find that there was not much historical information available online.

Science News for Kindle

Science News is a  biweekly publication and it is available for Kindle for $2.25 a month.  Considering that cost includes two issues a month, that is a really good deal.  The reviews are excellent. The pictures are included and can even be enlarged to be viewed in full screen mode. The reviewers also pointed out that the Kindle edition was very easy to navigate.

Science News was first published since 1922 under the name The Science News Letter by the nonprofit group, Society for Science & the Public in Washington DC. In 1966, the SS&P decided to change The Science News Letter to The Science News.

This award-winning biweekly news magazine covers important and emerging research in all fields of science. It publishes concise, accurate, timely articles that appeal to both general readers and scientists, reaching nearly 130,000 subscribers and more than one million readers. distributes an audio edition of Science News.  Having an audio edition is a great idea for the blind and for anyone who prefers audio over reading text.  The Kindle has a text to speech feature as well.  It is in the experimental stages and is up to the publisher as to whether to enable it.  At least the idea is out there. The online component of the magazine was introduced in 1996. More news from the Science News reporting team also appears at the Updated daily, this site covers all areas of science. more

Science News includes topics that are up and coming in the science world.  Some of the topics include the status of planets and moons in our solar system and others around us, genes, science and society, science and kids, science and young professionals. One particular topic of interest is the controversy about cell phones causing cancer.  So, the magazine covers a great deal of interesting stuff.

The Society for Science & the Public is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the public engagement in scientific research and education.