Geopedia

Geopedia uses the Wikipedia API to display Wikipedia entries around any location. It supports all major languages. All content is live requested from Wikipedia through the Wikipedia API. Permit it to know your current location or indicate a location of your own choosing and it will show locations nearby (or within a radius you specify) for which there are Wikipedia entries.

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Minecraft: Education Edition to become available mid-2016

Here is the announcement from Minecraft’s maker, Mojang:

Arriving this summer, the new title aims to reach more educators around the world with a richer set of features and a thriving community.

At its core, Minecraft is an open world that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. It’s enjoyed by a worldwide community of over 100 million players who constantly inspire us with their creations.

Many of the skills required to enjoy Minecraft to its fullest are important to educators who might be searching for inventive ways to engage their students. By bringing Minecraft into the classroom, we are empowering educators and students to teach and learn through building and exploring within a fun, familiar environment.

We’ve already seen it transform classrooms and curriculum. Since 2011, MinecraftEDU from TeacherGaming LLC from Finland – a version of Minecraft built especially for the classroom – has reached thousands of classrooms in more than 40 countries around the world, all reporting wild success. We don’t want to stop there. We believe this is just the beginning.

Today, we’re excited to announce Microsoft is acquiring MinecraftEdu and investing in a new and expanded version of Minecraft for the classroom called Minecraft: Education Edition. This new title – available as a free trial this summer – will build on the learnings from MinecraftEdu while offering an expanded set of features. And in support of MinecraftEdu customers, they can continue to use MinecraftEdu and we will offer the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition for free.

In the spirit of the Minecraft community, we are dedicated to making sure Minecraft: Education Edition is shaped in the coming months by a growing community of educators online at education.minecraft.net. We’re also excited to also share that these community pages will host a variety of resources like lesson plans and a new Minecraft Mentors page that allows educators experienced in Minecraft to connect with those interested in trying it for the first time.

“One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground,” said Vu Bui, COO of Mojang. “We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.”

Since the introduction of Minecraft to the classroom, educators around the world have been using Minecraft to effectively teach students everything from STEM subjects to art and poetry. It’s this versatility that excites many educators about the potential.

“In education, we are constantly seeking pathways to explore learning beyond the confines of a textbook. Minecraft allows us that opportunity,” said Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional Development and Learning, Lufkin ISD. “When we see our kids enjoying the process of learning in this way, it’s a game changer.”

For more information about Minecraft: Education Edition check out our FAQ at education.minecraft.net and sign up to be a part of our educator community.

Is crowdsourcing the answer to Trivia Crack’s quest for continued success?

Trivia Crack  - App store best of 2014

Trivia Crack – App store best of 2014

The linked article was published on 27 November 2014 and while more than one year has elapsed to the time of my posting this link, the article still strikes me as a good summary of how Trivia Crack rose to such prominence since its release in October 2013:

How Latin American mobile game Trivia Crack conquered the US market

Here’s an excerpt:

This collaborative aspect isn’t new either: Trivia Crack relies on a “question factory” where users can share and rate submissions. “We receive 200,000 questions a day. Lots get discarded, but the best ones stay, and that’s how we manage to have content related to each country and to recent events[.]”

On Apple HealthKit, Apple ResearchKit, Theranos, the Kinsa smartphone thermometer, and natural family planning apps from Kindara and Ovuline

Apple announced its Health app and HealthKit, the associated application programming interface (API) for developers, in 2014. The Health app provides a dashboard on an iPhone, an Apple Watch, or a 5th generation or later iPod Touch (though not just yet on an iPad) of a user’s health and fitness data aggregated from HealthKit-enabled apps and wearable technology (for example, Fitbit with Wristband Manager, Jawbone UP, and Garmin VivoSmart).

Apple also announced its ResearchKit, an open-source software kit to facilitate development of medical apps, in 2015. ResearchKit is an endeavor to encourage sharing large amounts of data, hopefully without privacy breaches.

According to Apple:

Over 900 apps have already been developed using HealthKit, transforming how we track, manage, and interact with our health. With a user’s consent, ResearchKit can seamlessly tap into the pool of useful data generated by HealthKit — like daily step counts, calorie use, and heart rates — making it accessible to medical researchers.

Some years ago (I cannot ascertain exactly when), Theranos (founded in 2003) popularized blood-sampling via a few blood drops obtained from a fingerstick (or a heelprick for a baby) rather than via vials from traditional venipuncture. Such sampling not only uses much less blood but is less costly and Theranos even posts its prices online, “a seemingly obvious service to consumers, but one that is revolutionary in the notoriously opaque, arbitrary, and disingenuous world of contemporary health care pricing” according to Fortune. It may not be long before a bevy of apps exists to allow bloodless testing via a smartphone app (perhaps using an infrared beam aimed at a fingertip or earlobe).

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer is the first FDA-cleared, app-enabled thermometer and is gaining rave reviews. The accompanying Kinsa mobile app allows users to:

  • Create individual profiles for each member of a family;
  • Record and monitor fever, symptom, and illness history;
  • Make temperature-taking fun for kids through interactive screens;
  • Report the progression of illnesses to physicians;
  • Keep track of medication dosages and timing; and
  • Document any physical symptoms with photos.
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer

The Kinsa Smart Thermometer

Kindara offers the Wink app and Ovuline offers the Ovia Fertility app for tracking a woman’s fertility (Ovuline also makes the Ovia Pregnancy app). These are popular with adherents of Natural Family Planning (NFP) methods for avoiding or achieving pregnancy without drugs, devices or interventions that impair natural fertility. NFP methods embrace a fertility awareness approach to timing sexual intercourse to avoid or achieve pregnancy.

A peep from VoiceOver, a built-in accessibility feature for Apple devices

VoiceOver is a “natural-sounding” screen reader built into many Apple products that also provides Braille support.

Here is a tutorial for accessing and using VoiceOver on Apple computers.

And here is a guide for accessing VoiceOver on iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch.