Compare before you buy Audio Books

I have been receiving emails for a few weeks now with this great offer for low-cost audiobooks. I am sure I have been receiving these ads because I have been looking into finding some audiobooks to listen to during the day when I am working in the office. I received an ad for this great new low-cost audiobook service called “Chirp”. Once you sign up you will get many ads in your email with book deals of the day. I can say that most of them look really good from .99 up to $2.99. But when I went to look for authors I read I was LET DOWN! I see now how they offer low prices on books you never heard of it is because the books you want they double the price then try to make you believe it is 10% cheaper than other sites. BEWARE!

Here is one example and I have found more. This is an author I have been reading for years JA Jance. I searched and was happy to find her audiobook on their site. But then I jumped to Amazon to compare the prices and well you can see the results below. Shop around before you buy.

Chirps

Now have a look at Amazon’s price for the same audiobook.

Amazon

I still might use them to listen to authors I have never heard of? But when you want to read something or hear it from a known author shop around.

10″ Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire

I recently turned in an iPad I was using from the job location I was working at. I told my wife that we should go out and buy an iPad of our own. We used the iPad every day while walking on the treadmill. As I was doing some research on tablets I ran into something that I knew was out I just didn’t know if it could replace the trusty iPad. While move over iPad I found a tablet that will do everything I need it to do at a fraction of the cost.

Meet the 10″ Kindle Fire. Instead of spending $350.00 for the iPad I found the 10″ Kindle Fire on sale at Best Buy for $119.00. It comes pre-loaded with most of the apps I use, Amazon Video, Amazon Music and a few others. My wife likes to watch programs on NBC and it was easy to install that FREE app as well. I even found a FREE HD YouTube app that I installed.

I am not writing this to do a full review but I can say I used it this morning on the treadmill and was able to watch the series I am watching on Amazon Video with no issues and the HD screen looks really good. I was even able to connect my Bluetooth headphones up just like any other device.

I will be doing some more testing with the device but for what we bought it for it works very well. So if you mainly consume on your tablet such as watching videos or checking email or even reading books and checking FaceBook than this might just be the device for you and you are going to save a lot of money. I give this device ten thumbs up and would recommend it to anyone.

Books On Paper

I know I have talked about e-readers in the past and I could tell you a million reasons to have one. But today I am going old school and I am going to tell you why it is also nice to have a paper book.

On Tuesday I had the great pleasure of meeting and hearing a author in person. I have been reading her books for years and always waiting for the next book in the series to be released.

After the talk there was a book signing. Now if I had my handy dandy e-reader where would she have signed it. What happens one day when I buy a new e-reader? What happens if my e-reader breaks? These are all the thoughts that ran through my head as I was buying two of her books. The author by the way is J.A. Jance.

My hard back books are like treasures to me. I keep them all of them on book shelfs even though I will most likely never re-read them. Now I have one with a autograph.

I still love my kindle and I read it everyday. It is nice to travel with such a collection of books. It even allows me to sometimes read two books at once. I will have a good fiction going the same time I have a important non-fiction going to learn something new.

At the end of the day, Kindle, E-Readers or Books as long as you have something in your hands and you are pouring knowledge or just enjoyment into your brain then you are doing well. I feel if we don’t excise it then it may just stop working to soon. Reading this blog each day also helps. At least I hope to get the mind churning.

Kindle Books

 

Technology And Education

Most people that know me and read this blog or follow my podcasts or vidcasts you also know that I work in education as a technology director. With this job I have the pleasure of working with today’s youth as well as some veteran teachers who started in education long before computers.

It is my job to bring the power of technology together with the power of education. Sometimes this is very hard. The kids are fine what ever we toss at them they will use. The teachers at most times seem to want to learn how to use the new technology that we put into their class rooms. Myself and my partner work closely with the teachers to bring the new technology into their lessons.

As much as all of the above is very true, I still feel there is a disconnect or maybe really I should say I feel there needs to be a disconnect from some technology and some education. I also feel that we should not replace a pencil with a pen, or replace a chalk board with a $2,000.00 smart board. This is how it seems technology is being brought into most schools across the states?

We also can not remove certain items just to replace them with technology. “BOOKS!” Working in the school I also have the joy of witnessing students and knowing what they are looking for. We have a lot of students who come to the library and sign out books, and a lot of them. I asked if they would rather have a new ereader and the response I always receive is, “No the books are fine, and we never worry about their batteries.” With that statement I now know that my push for a full tech school has slowed down in certain areas.

Will schools thrive with technology? This really depends on the people teaching the kids changing everything about their lessons. We need to begin to start thinking in the 21st century. But are the kids hurting? I talk to a lot of the students and I really don’t think they are. The truth is colleges are not progressing either. Really old professors = Really old teaching methods!

EdTech

Is Paper Print Dying Off?

This is a question we get everyday on the job. With all of the digital content floating around and with all of the access to cloud based storage drives, there is a decrease in paper being used. If you want to lower the paper use in your business you need to follow a few simple steps.

  1. Provide all of your office workers with a sharing solution. This will allow them to share, read and edit documents without printing them.
  2. Remove any desktop printers that you have. If you ask your office workers to walk to the printer, you will see a drop in the printing.
  3. Create a central monitored printing area. This could be one office worker that see all of the print jobs.

I really didn’t want this to turn into a lesson on creating a printing plan. I wanted to point out that print on paper is dying off. I have noticed over the years in education there is a lot less printing happening.

The last thought is that we consume the written word in a different way. I know I read my Kindle and IPad more then I ever have a paper, book or even magazines. It is sad I have been reading book for the better part of 47 years, I enjoy them but I don’t get hung up on the smell or the feel of the book. If we hold back we should go back? Remember the wringer washing machine, no one said a word when those went away?

Magazines

Don’t Be Over Sold

Let’s face it, technology costs money and a lot of it! When you are shopping for a new computer, new tablet or maybe even a new cell phone, be aware. Let’s take a quick look at how this can happen. It is very settle but most times very direct. The main thing to remember is that you are there to buy only the item that you walked in the door for. Let’s dig a little.

You walk into a big box store and ask to buy a Kindle Paper White. The sales men turns to you and asks, “Would you like a screen protector or a case or maybe a power adapter?” They hit you with the referred items trying to catch you off guard. The normal response I see many times over is, “YES!” Refrain from this at all costs.

One more test. You walk into the big box store and want to buy a open box laptop. This is one that has been returned to the store for one reason or another. Clerk asks you, “Would you like to get the squad warranty, you know this is a returned unit and there could be a lot wrong with it?” Your response should be, “If I buy this unit do it not still have the factory warranty?” He or she will look at you at head to the check out counter.

So how do you get those add ons if you do not buy it when you get your unit? You go home and check EBay and Amazon for a after market item. My daughter just bought a Kindle Paper White and was asked if she wanted a case? She replied, “How much?” Clerk, “$50.00.” She said no of course. When we got home we check amazon and she bought one for $15.00. She was happy to pocket $35.00! I am just saying BUYER BEWARE!

Sales Man

Merry Christmas Happy Holiday’s

A late post is better then no post at all right? It is Christmas day and I spent the morning with my family opening gifts with the kids; my son and his girl friend coming last night and we exchanged gifts with them then. Of course you are not here to read about my Holiday but I thought I would share that with you to know that I am just a normal guy writing a normal blog.

So did anyone else get any new cool devices or camera gear for Christmas? That’s my lead in to what I got. I received the new Kindle Paper White, this is just what I asked for and my wife never let’s me down. So I thought I would give my first impressions after sending a few of my books to the device.

I turned it on and it is just as they say a nice soft lit reading device. The pages turn really easily by just lightly touching the screen. I always like to send my books to the Kindle by using the email address that Amazon attaches to the device. I had the $69.00 device now since last Christmas and it still works well, I just wanted to upgrade to the new device. If you get one and notice some dark areas at the bottom of the screen this is due to the LED lights shinning up on the page and everyone says it is normal and will kind of fade after some use. And there is a experimental web browser on the device so that you can browse the web in black and white but it is still cool! I will report some other time as to how long the battery really lasts. I am ordering a case today from Amazon, if you order one look for the cast that is $15.00, you don’t need to buy the one for $49.00, this one will still turn off the device when you close the case.

Please comment and let me know what kind of devices you received for this Holiday season I would like to know what you might have received. Well time to go back to out Holiday family time.

   Kindle Paper White

EReaders Or Not

This has always been one of those cross roads for me. I have a ereader which is my second that I have owned and I am looking forward to my third. Unlike books them selfs the ereader always gets better and better all of the time. They are in fact just like any technology they get upgraded and then you feel that you want the newest one.

Is the ereader really what you want in your hands? Let’s dig into some reasons you may want one and some of the reasons you may not want one.

The ereader can hold many many books at one time. So when you leave the house you will never be with out something to read. Also you can find free books from Google books or just by doing a Google search. You will also find FREE books at the site where you bought your ereader from. The downside is that you have to remember to charge your ereader. When you travel you have to remember to pack another power plug.

The paper book is the old stand by. I have talked to many people concerning this topic and a lot still prefer the paper book over the ereader. One reason I hear is that you can buy a lot of books for the cost of the ereader alone. Although this is true you would need a large bag and strong arms to carry all the books you maybe taking on a trip. At this time I have maybe 15 books on my ereader. I have a friend that has over 500 books on her ereader.

At the end of the day it is really your choice. I don’t think that you will see the paper books go away anytime soon like what happened to the vinyl records. I still enjoy both and I have as I said my second ereader my first was a nook and it never held up after 7 months of use. But I still buys paper books for my collection. Books are many times like old friends and the make us feel safe and somehow secure when we wrap up in a blanket on a cool evening and sit by the fire to read. As long as you are reading you are making a positive movement to your future.

EReaders