Curling up with a good book takes on a whole new meaning with this app! “Cool to be Clever” skillfully weaves together a true children’s story, audio interviews with the author plus narration by, and video interviews with, the subject. Tucked away in ‘secret pockets’ are valuable anti-bullying tips from the Red Cross and a fascinating collection of archival correspondence with IBM management. The resulting app will appeal to a broad audience – from kids experiencing the endemic bullying in our schools, to IT history buffs curious about the earliest origins of the Internet. At its core, Leanne Jones’ mini biography of Edson C. Hendricks sensitively recounts his struggles to endure the schoolyard bullies that made his early education a nightmare. The central story and supporting anti-bullying resources offer wise insights for victims of bullying, bullies, parents and teachers. It would be a mistake, though, to dismiss the app as a simple children’s book. Having survived high school as a clever kid and thrived at MIT as a youthful genius, Edson Hendricks took his exceptional talents to IBM. Neatly tucked away in the app is a treasure trove of archival correspondence between Hendricks’ small circle of fellow visionaries and their senior management at IBM. The correspondence paints a fascinating picture of squandered opportunities at IBM and the corporation’s failure to recognize the future of the Internet. There is a double edged warning here – to bullies who risk stifling their brilliant peers and to corporate managers who risk stifling the visionaries in their midst. Thanks to all involved for bundling such a thought provoking collection of materials in a single app. What a bargain! In closing, a heads up to school librarians. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get some iPads. Every student deserve access to resources like this, not just those fortunate enough to have an iPad at home.
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