CTRL-ALT-DELiver 24 looks at Karbon Pad, Ridley Pearson, and The KidLitAuthors Club.
Touch screens. MultiMedia. iPads. Kindles. It’s all about getting the tablet into the schools. iPads, in my opinion, are an awesome tablet..for home use. But I know students can be careless and replacement units would be few and far between on a public school budget. Taking it down a notch, we have Kindles. The base line Kindles, not the Fire, reduce the experience to a black and white content delivery device, with limited interactivity compared to an iPad or an Android tablet. These devices are all aimed at content delivery. Along comes KarbonStream, and approaches it from a different angle. What if the devices that are needed in schools aren’t the content delivery devices, but efficient assessment devices? What if students could write on plain paper and the device would record their writing? How does the idea of Multiple choice tests that were automatically scored and the results were emailed to the teacher sound? As a teacher,knowing that the grading would be done accurately and quickly, allowing me more time for content delivery and remediation following the assessment sounds like the right direction. We are talking about the KarbonPad (with a K) from KarbonStream (also with a K). You can pull from a centralized testing bank repository of state tests, custom tests and even Response to Intervention probes. There is an onboard microphone to record them if you are administering fluency tests. At the top of the unit, there are clicker buttons for immediate class feedback. The units appear to be simple in design, making, hopefully, a unit with less places to break. The units are wireless and transmit all of their information back to the local server. The server requires Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 with a minimum of 8 gigs of memory. The client will run on anything from WIndows XP to Windows 7, as long as you are running IE 8.00 or above. The unit itself has 2 gigs of RAM.
This week’s pick is The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI – which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging – Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming? Finn’s confusion only increases when he encounters Wayne, an elderly Imagineer who tells him that the park is in grave danger. Led by the scheming witch, Maleficent, a mysterious group of characters called the Overtakers is plotting to destroy Disney’s beloved realm, and maybe more. This gripping high-tech tale will thrill every kid who has ever dreamed of sneaking into Walt Disney World after hours and wondered what happens at night, when the park is closed. Our Audible Pick and KidLet Author of the week is Ridley Pearson. Along with Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson has expanded the Peter Pan series of books with his exciting adventures of Peter and the Starcatchers. This was followed up quickly by the Neverland Series of books. My own personal favorites, though, have been his series with a boy named Steel Trapp (he has a photographic memory- as in “a mind like a …” you get the picture. It’s a great non-stop adventure novel for young adults. And, The Kingdom Keeper series. Disney (his books are on the Hyperion label), holographic tourguides, technology, and adventure. The fifth book, Shell Game, is about to come out in April and I, for one, can’t wait. I have thoroughly enjoyed the other four. Follow him on Twitter @RidleyPearson and check out his website at RidleyPearson.com
And now for our feature on KidLit This week I wanted to direct you to the KidLitAuthors Club. It is, as it says, a gathering of KidLit authors from NJ, PA, MD and VA to help each other promote, market, sign, and sell their books. I know that I tend to focus in on the big names and the well-knowns. But what about the up and comings? The great new breed of writers that are being published with amazing books that have to struggle for the shelf space at book stores. Nancy Viau, Keri Mikulski, Wendy Mass, Alison Formento, Timothy Young and Artie Bennet are just a few of the amazing authors that are part of the club. Timothy Young, for example, is the author, illustrator and pop-up engineer of I’m Looking For A Monster! (I love pop up books). Alison Formento is the author of the award winning picture book, This Tree Counts. But it’s not all picture books, as Nancy Viau is writing for Middle Grades with her book, Samantha Hansen Has Rocks in Her Head. Check them out at the website to see the wide variety of books that they represent. I hope to set up some Skype interviews with them to include in upcoming podcasts. That wraps it up for this episode of the CTRLALTDELIVER Podcast. You can find me on Twitter at @CTRLALTDELIVER