Google is again pushing the envelope for what should be public and free. Now everyone with a computer and Internet access has the ability to have Email, Document Collaboration, Websites, Translation/Phone, and soon even an Operating System. Our society has often needed to adjust to these changes and while Google has faced legal battles from their attempts to free books from restrictions, the time has come for Google to roll out its solution to book availability.
Announcing Google eBooks
Google eBooks is going to become one of your favorite websites. Now, you have access to search and read millions of books for research and preview. Through an agreement between Libraries, Publishers, and Google, you can now search the text of books to find relevant information for what you need. While this was available in part before, it has been greatly expanded to coincide with their ability to ready eBooks in the cloud.
Textbooks, magazines, and many other resources are available for search, viewing, and purchase. Through a new agreement you can now purchase digital versions of your media and then view them on your computer, eReader, and mobile device.
While the resources available are expansive, I am sure that even more will be available with time since Google has devoted a large amount of resources and time to this venture.
I am grateful to all who have worked hard to create exciting new ways and methods for learning.
Benjamin Franklin has always been one of my heroes (which is why my son is named after him). One of the most laudable and long reaching gifts he gave to this country was the US library system. How many of our lives have been enriched by a library? Yet, in much of our country access to high quality resources proves difficult for many in low income or rural areas. Thankfully, there are programs that allow libraries to share but it is time consuming and expensive.
Then Tim Berners-Lee dramatically cut down the barriers to learning when he opened up the World Wide Web to us all. Now information from all over the world was accessible through personal computers and while this can still represent a stumbling block, community resources are available so that almost all people can use the Internet, just maybe not as often as others.
Now as more and more people shift away from the traditional work/learning space and find themselves using phones and small devices, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos made learning mobile with the Apple iPods/iPhones and Kindle respectively which made it possible to read large amounts of information on mobile devices (I should mention that I don't solely attribute this to Jobs and Bezos but their leadership certainly drove the innovation that led to the new technologies).
With each passing day, more and more people are able to learn the new and widely diverse skills that make our society so unique. I hope more people take Google's lead and provide their technologies for as little as possible to provide equitable opportunities for all to learn.
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