Free Bookshare App For Android

Bookshare recently released Go Read for Android devices. Go Read is the Android version of Bookshare's app for iOS call Read2Go.  The app is free and compatible with a number of Android 2.2 or higher phones and tablets. Features include direct access to Bookshare's library of accessible books, text-to-speech with synced sentence by sentence highlighting and the ability to read ePub books. To learn more about how to become a Bookshare member click here. To download Go Read click here. Click read more below to view screen shoots of Go Read in action.

Snap&Read by Don Johnston

Don Johnston recently introduced a new product named Snap&Read. Don Johnston describes Snap&Read as follows,
"The simple one on-button toolbar that reads any text on-screen as it floats over any application."
 To use Snap&Read just press the selection button and drag to select the text you want to be read aloud with high quality text-to-speech. Snap&Read can read text in Flash, PDF and images files along with plain text. You can purchases Snap&Read on a USB flash drive and use the program on any computer. Snap&Read works the same on Macs and PCs. To watch a video about Snap&Read click here. To learn more about Snap&Read and its features click here. 

Print From an iOS Device to Any Printer with the xPrintServer

iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch are great for many tasks. One downside is that it is difficult to print documents, pictures, spreadsheets, emails and notes. One solution is the xPrintServer from Lantonix. The xPrintServer allows you to print to up to ten network printers. Just plug in the xPrintServer and you are ready to go. It allows you to print directly from apps to non-AirPrint compatible printers. The xPrintServer is perfect for schools and bussnisses that need to print from iPads or iPhones. The xPrintServer cost $149.99. Click here to learn more.

Smart eBook Interface Makes Navigation a Breeze

A new concept eBook reader app improves navigation of eBooks on tablets. The app makes eBook navigation more like the navigation of a printed book. This concept is best for sighted users and may not work as well for  the blind and people with physical disabilities. The concept app allows the user to flip  through multiple pages quickly, find pages more quickly and more. Currently this is only a concept but may soon be coming to the App Store. While iBooks has an easy to use interface, this new concept seems to take it a step further. Click here to learn more about Smart E-Book Interface. Click "read more below" to see more images of the app in action.

Google Self-Driving Car For the Blind

Google has been developing a self-driving car for a two years. Over the two years of testing the cars they have logged over 200,000 miles. The car has numerous sensors and an on board computer that can drive the car to a destination with out human intervention. In the above video the Google Self-Driving Car drives a legally blind man around town. Click here to watch the audio described version. The car can recognize stop signs, red lights, hazards and pretty much anything else. If the car makes a mistake the driver can hit the break or turn the wheel to control the car. In many states self-driving cars are not street legal. The Google Self-Driving Car is not available for purchase but offers a look into the future. Click read more below to learn more about the self-driving car.

Diploid Cell

Many times biology students have difficulty understanding the concept of a diploid cell. If you too have the same problems then you have come to the right place. When you find it tough to ask your class teacher about your doubts, you can consider hiring a private biology tutor who can clarify your doubts and explain the concepts with real life illustrations. In this article, we will discuss about diploid cell and its various functions.

The diploid cell is composed of two entire set of chromosomes, among which one is of paternal origin, while the other is of maternal origin. The term 'Ploidy' is used to point to the number of essential chromosomes that are present in a cell. The fundamental set of the chromosomes present in an organism is known as the monoploid number. This number is actually indicated by a 'x'. In any organism, the number of ploidy cells may vary.

The human beings as well as the mammals comprise of diploid cells. The sex cell or gametes are known as the haploid cells. As per the definition of the diploid cell, it is an organism that comprises of the double set of chromosomes, one that is genetically inherited from the father and the other inherited by the mother. The somatic tissues of the higher plants and animals enclose the diploid chromosome content.

Most of the animals contain the diploid number of cells; and those organisms that produce in a sexual manner, have two copies of the chromosomes having different origins - paternal and maternal. This aids in the mixing of genes which gives rise to a better offspring. There are some species that contain the haplodiploid cells. In this case, one sex comprises of the haploid cells, while the other sex contains the diploid cells.

The male usually develop from unfertilized eggs, whereas the females grow from the fertilized eggs. Therefore, they have a total set of chromosome. In such cases, the example of the diploid cell insects includes the ants, bees and wasps. Another illustration can be considered in the case of the human race. Human beings contain two sets of chromosomes in their cells.

The somatic cells or the non-sex cells each comprise of 46 chromosomes. This includes 22 sets of the autosomal chromosomes and one set of the sex chromosome. If you wish to learn more about the science of genetics, then consider hiring a private home tutor.

Are you having problems in Biology? You can now seek help from a private biology tutor with the help of the Internet. Search for a private biology tutor in Chicago, now.

Combine Photography And Science To Become A Biological Photographer

There are several scopes of photography. When we think about the variety of photographers, our minds typically gravitate to high fashion photographers, creative landscape photographers, or modern still-life photographers, but there are still other types of photographers like that of the biological photographer whose photos are very important to the scientific world. Unlike the glamorous photographers of the high fashion world, careers opportunities for biological photographers are available and growing.

Using photographic and digital technology, biological photographers produce photographs, prints, slides, video, etc of medical and biological events and subjects to illustrate books and magazines as well as for use in teaching and diagnosis in the biological, medical, and health science fields.

Biological photographers of old used to take photos of what they saw using a microscope. Today, these professionals use much more advanced techniques and are skilled to use state-of-the art photography equipment including electron microscopes, high-speed cinematography, and slow-motion/stop-motion photography to capture life images.

Duties are not just regulated to producing photomicrographs. Biological photographers also photograph operating room procedures and are involved in television production. They assist doctors in determining cause of death by filming surgical or autopsy procedures. These recorded images are oftentimes instrumental in helping to solve a crime. Other captured images can be used to help diagnose ailments of individual patients.

Shooting medical and biological images require the biological photographer to be skilled in two areas: science and photography. One must have a basic understanding and interest in the biological and medical sciences as well as a thorough knowledge of photography. This profession gives an individual a unique opportunity to professionally contribute to creative world of photography while benefiting the medical and science fields.

Because of the complexities of today's technology, biological photographers must have skills to work with photographic equipment as well as medical and scientific instruments such as microscopes and computers They must also have a general background in the sciences and a healthy understanding of medical practices and surgical procedures. In addition, they must have knowledge of human, animal, and plant anatomy and physiology.

The field of bio photography has grown from a supporting field to an integral part of the medical and science profession. Career opportunities are available in hospitals as well as throughout the academic field, including medical, dental, eye, and veterinary schools. Biological photographers are also needed in the government sector and business industry, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and pharmaceutical companies and publishing houses. The demand for them is high because there are so few in the field. The average annual salary such a job is between $30,000 and $40,000.

Most universities, community colleges, and vocational technical schools offer individual courses in general photography; however, there are a few institutions that offer two-year degree programs in bio photography and undergraduate degrees in this field. You could always earn a science degree and take online classes in photography. If you would like to merge your love of science and art, do some research and see if you can find an education program that suits your specific needs.

Parasitology Works To Find Treatments To Combat Parasitic Disease

Parasites affect the world in so many different ways, which is why there are diverse career options in the field of parasitology. Rewarding careers await future scientists who have a keen interest in parasites and their relation to human health, domestic animals, food, wildlife, and ecology to name a few. The options are as diverse as any science discipline can get. As you contemplate which area of study to pursue, be sure to get a good understanding of the different categories of specialization.

Scientists who have an interest in parasites and human disease might consider the medical parasitology field. Medical parasitologists study parasites like mosquitoes and ticks and the harmful, and oftentimes detrimental, diseases they transmit into the human body. The medical experts utilize many approaches to combat parasites, including research efforts in the field of molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and physiology. From this, they discover important vaccines that reduce parasitic disease.

Parasites that cause diseases in domesticated animals that are used for food, work, or as companions are studied by veterinary parasitologists. Because these animals are directly linked to the health and well being of humans, veterinary parasitologists play an indirect role in human health, as they control parasites in animals that could be transmitted to man. They generally work with pharmaceutical companies, developing drugs to eradicate parasites from animals.

Wildlife parasitologists contribute towards the development of programs designed to protect animals in their natural habitat. This parasitologist typically works for government agencies, industries, and universities, surveying wild animals for parasite and disease infestation and developing strategies to reduce the negative impact parasites have on wildlife. They are especially interested in parasitic diseases of endangered species and plans that keep them protected.

The study of the evolution of parasites and their interactions with the environment falls under the field of ecological parasitology. These parasitologists explore the affect parasites have on living things and the environment. Because parasite species outnumber the species of free-living plants and animals, experts in this arena conduct experiments to quantify and analyze the dynamics of parasite populations. Examining the relationships between host and parasite has often led to breakthroughs that directly or indirectly benefit man.

Educators of the field are successful in an academic setting since they are among the most broadly-trained of all biologists. Parasites are found in every area of the plant and animal kingdoms, thereby equipping parasitologists with a good-working knowledge of biological diversity. As a parasitology educator, instructors have a number of research opportunities available to them, and teaching provides the chance to expose students to new and foundational information that can be applied to their own scientific curiosity.

Students contemplating a career as a parasitologist should strive to attain a broad-based education in biology and chemistry. Attention in one narrow field of the biological sciences will not lead to the range of knowledge necessary to become successful in this profession. Education courses should also include a wealthy foundation of statistics, math, computer science, writing and speaking skills. A Bachelor of Science will get you in the door, but a Master's degree and/or PhD greatly enhances opportunities to conduct research and select from job opportunities that utilize this unique study.

Because parasitology is such a broad and diverse field, a variety of career options are available, and this science continues to be in high demand. Aside from studying science, medical field degrees also may be beneficial in this field. Also, if you plan on entering the workforce right out of college, you might want to consider earning an online Masters later down the road. Jobs for these experts are expected to increase 21% from the decade beginning in 2008. This article only touched upon a few areas of concentration. With a little research, you can discover all the areas of specialization in this fascinating field.

Science Of Trees And Similar Plants

As you step outside your door, you hear a chainsaw. You look up to the sky and see a man lifted high on a crane wearing a hard hat and goggles and delicately slicing away limbs from the tree. Who is that man, and why is he near deadly electrical wires cutting limbs from a tree? He's an arborist - one who treats trees and shrubs to improve their appearance and health.

An arborist is part of the arboriculture profession. This science discipline deals with the cultivation, management, and the study of trees mainly, but shrubs, vines, and other permanent woody plants are included. This professional study trees and other related plants, learning about how they grow and respond to cultural practices and their environment. Arborists use several cultural techniques, such as planting, fertilizing, pest control, pruning, and removal.

For example, in an attempt to maintain the healthy stature of a tree, an arborist may try to prevent deterioration by scraping decayed matter from the holes in trees and then filling them with concrete so that the decaying matter will not return. Or, they may use the fertilizing technique, using a hand or machine sprayer, to keep plants thriving and productive.

The practice of arboriculture is primarily focused on individual wood plants and trees that are maintained as permanent fixtures of a landscape and amenity purposes. This refers to settings that are typically created for the enjoyment, protection, and benefit of human beings, including gardens, parks, wooded sanctuaries, and other populated settings. Consequently, it is related to but very distinct from agriculture, horticulture, and forestry sciences.

Education and training for this field of science typically requires completion of a two-year arboriculture technician program. Courses involve a variety of subjects that provide broad education and training on how to care for and maintain trees and similar plants.

The program covers subjects such as diseases of trees and shrubs. Students learn about the various fungal and bacterial diseases of woody plants and how to identify symptoms and render management techniques for reducing disorders. Another essential skill for the arborist to learn is rope technique. Some conduct work that requires climbing a tree, and some do not; however, it is typically part of the curricula.

Some universities and organizations offer arboriculture technician internship programs. In this capacity, the student intern has hands-on experience in every area of the practice, including tree-planting, tree health assessment and inventory, lightning strike prevention, cabling, and tree-climbing, to name a few. Internships are far and few between, so you must be diligent in research to find one suitable for you.

One must be willing to work odd hours and in all kinds of weather, and the work is physically demanding. This is nothing if you have a genuine interest in the profession. If you are one who loves trimling your home bushes and keeping your trees shaped and healthy, this is a good profession for you to pursue! Do some research and find if a program in this field is offered at one of your local colleges or universities. An Associate degree may prove to be sufficient enough. Some may choose to complete online certificate programs.

Custom Label iOS Buttons to Work Better With VoiceOver

If an app has buttons that are not labeled well for use with VoiceOver, you can easily edit them to work better. If you are not familiar with VoiceOver click here. For example if an app has a button that is not labeled VoiceOver will just say "button" when you select it. If you custom label the button you can make VoiceOver describe the action that the button preforms. This makes it possible for people using VoiceOver to know what button they have selected. To change the label of a button simply select the button with the VoiceOver curser and double tap and hold with two fingers. This tip will work with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.This will bring up a box where you can then enter in a name for the button. Watch the video above for more information.

Getting Learning out of the Classroom with Augmented Reality

For a while now I have been expounding the wonders of augmented reality (See: Augmented Reality and Web 3.0) , so I thought it was time at last to give some examples of how we can actually get students using this technology and to show how it can superimpose the Internet onto their physical world.

So here are some teaching suggestion which exploit two augmented reality type apps and gives students some reading, listening and speaking practice, as well as a bit of exercise.

The apps you need for this activity are both free and the first is 'Woices'.

Woices is a simple voice recording app that you can use on your mobile device to create and upload audio files to the Internet. You can also add an image to your audio recordings. The wonderful thing about Woices though is that by using GPS it understands where you were when you created the audio file and 'attaches' it to that location, so anyone who has the Woices app can go to the location and find the audio file by clicking on the 'Explore' icon on their app.

So it's a bit like leaving hidden audio notes around the world that only other Woices users can find.

Here's how it works. 
First register on the Woices website and download the app for your mobile device.
When you open the app it looks like this. You simply click on 'Record' to start speaking.

 When you have finished speaking click on 'Stop'. Then you can listen and delete the recording (recordings are called 'echoes'), or if you are happy with it, you can click on the small blue arrow on the right and add a title and description as well as a photo to your echo.

Then you click on 'Send' to publish it to the internet and this will use your phones GPS to attach it to the location where you created the echo.

To find 'echoes' which are relevant to your location, just click on the 'Explore' icon and you will get a list of 'echoes' which have been left close to your location.

The second app is called Layar and Layar enables developers to create web based multimedia information (called 'layers')which can only be accessed whenever you are close to specific locations.

Layar comes with  a number of packs of layers and the one that I want to use is the Wikipedia one. This layer enables users to find entries in Wikipedia which relate specifically to places in their environment.

So wherever the user is standing when they  activate the app they will get information which relates specifically to that place.

Here's how it works.
You need to download the Layar app for your mobile device. Make sure that when you open the app for the first time, you enable the location tracking feature so that Layar knows where you are. Then go to the layers.

You'll find the Wikipedia layer in the Education section. Click on it and then click on 'Launch'.

When you hold up your phone and move it around slowly you should start to see the Wikipedia summaries appearing at the bottom of the screen.

At the top of the screen you'll also see a kind of 'radar' screen which shows you where the interesting places are in relation to where you are standing.

If you click on the small Wikipedia summary you will get two more icons.

One of these takes you to the entry on Wikipedia for that location.

The other takes you to a map, which will show you how to get to the place from where you standing.

So here is how we can use this to create motivating out of school activities
  • Ask your students to find 5 interesting places around their town using the Wikipedia layer. They should go to each place research it on Wikipedia  using the Layar app and then record a short audio entry using Woices and add a picture to it. (You can check their entries through the Woices web based interface)
  • You could make a kind of treasure hunt and got to the places yourself and use Woices to leave audio clues about the next place to visit, so that students have to listen to your clue when they get to the location (by pressing the 'Explore' icon on the Woices app) and research the places around them on Wikipedia to find out where to go next to find the next clue. You could get them to leave an audio entry and image at each place along the trail to prove they have been there.
  • You could use Woices to leave audio notes at a set of locations and have factual errors in the notes. Then your students would have to visit the places, press 'Explore' and find the factual errors by comparing your audio with the Wikipedia entry for that place.
  • Get students to create their own audio tours or treasure hunts for each other using Woices and the Wikipedia layer.

What I like about augmented reality

  • I think it's great that we can get students learning about their environment outside of the classroom.
  • Taking learning out of the classroom like this gives students tools which they can use in their everyday life.

Things to be aware of
  • Be careful of your students e-safety and make sure they don't leave any information about their home address or where they live.
  • Make students aware of their digital 'footprint' so that they use social media responsibly.
I hope this shows at least a little of the potential of augmented reality apps on mobile devices. I think there is huge potential in these kinds of apps to develop location based experiential learning that can get our students out and about exploring their environment and interacting with the world around them through the internet. I hope you give it a try.

Lastly, I'd like to welcome Worth Ave Group as a new advertiser. 

Related links:
Nik Peachey

Learning Ally Audio App Updated But Still Missing Key Features

Today, the Learning Ally Audio app was updated to version 2.0.4. The Learning Ally Audio app costs $19.99 from the App Store. You must be a Learning Ally (formally RFB&D) member to use the app. The app allows members to listen to audio books downloaded from Learning Ally on the go. The update adds the ability to download books over the web without having to connect and sync with iTunes. It also has minor user interface improvements.

On the downside the app does not allow users to listen to their audio books in the background. In other words, you cannot listen to your books while you view the printed text in another application. This feature is very important for sighted users who want to read the printed text of an iBook with the audio support. You also can't check your email, browse the web or anything do anything else. Once you close the app, play back stops. iOS has had the ability to play background audio for over a year, but Learning Ally has yet to adopt the feature. 

If you are a Learning Ally member the Learning Ally Audio app is a great buy. If your not a member you cannot use this app. Read2Go, Bookshare's iOS app, is a more polished app. Click here and here to learn more about Learning Ally.