[Gowers] has debuted a new online mathematics journal called Discrete Analysis. The nonprofit venture is owned and published by a team of scholars. With no publisher middlemen, access will be completely free for all. Can academic publishing actually cost nothing? READ MORE: This renowned mathematician is bent on proving academic journals can cost nothing | Vox
At some point this year, a child somewhere in the developing world became the ten millionth beneficiary of Room to Read, a non-profit organisation created 15 years ago after a high-flying Microsoft executive quit his job to help children in Nepal. The charity, which works to eradicate child illiteracy and gender inequality in education, builds libraries and stocks them with books. It’s no surprise that its founder, John Wood, invokes the spirit of the 19th Century library-building steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. In a sense, Room to Read has outstripped its spiritual mentor, building 17,500 libraries to Carnegie’s 2,500. READ MORE: Library builder’s monument of books | BBC News
Library for All is now working in impoverished places around the world on a simple mission with a major impact. Rebecca McDonald came up with the idea for Library for All after visiting Haiti in 2010. The country had just experienced a major earthquake, and the schools there were having a tough time getting back to normal—even more so, because they lacked basic education materials.
“The reason we started the library was that, everywhere I went, they didn’t have any books. And if they did, they were in English when people either speak Haitian Creole or French. They were good paperweights, and that was about it,” McDonald says.
Library for All now works with 10 schools on the island, with plans to partner with nine more. The model is simple. The nonprofit assembles a highly curated local-language collection of books that schools access through Android tablets.
When I was little I wanted to be a doctor, and imagined myself sweeping across continents providing invaluable medical assistance as part of Doctors Without Borders. I came to accept that I’m a writer, not a medical professional, but now I have an opportunity to realign those early dreams with my actual life: I’m interning with the coolest group I know of – Librarians Without Borders. Same basic concept, slightly different product.
Most schools in rural India can’t afford basic supplies like desks, and most of the students attending them can’t afford backpacks. The Bombay-based nonprofit Aarambh worked with designers to come up with an ingenious solution to both problems: Their simple stencil transforms old cardboard boxes into a convertible desk and school bag.
Back in 2010, when Dana Saxon decided that she wanted to trace her family’s lineage, her expectations were low. “I thought, for people who survived slavery, there’d be little public information,” she says. What happened next “blew her mind”–and led to the creation of Ancestors Unknown, an international nonprofit that is bringing the past to the most impressionable among us: young students.
Saxon discovered that public archives had not completely ignored the existence of the enslaved, who legally were considered the same as property. While putting together the puzzle of her family’s past, she had an epiphany: “There were so many ancestors waiting to be discovered, waiting to be appreciated for what they did to help get us to where we are today,” she says. Knowing that most school curriculums do not include the names and contributions of people from the African Diaspora, she “wanted to find a way to help young people place themselves and their ancestors in the larger context of history.”
The Mission of Ancestors Unknown… “To inspire the personal and academic success of students throughout the world by introducing them to their unknown ancestors.”
Code.org today launched a massive campaign aimed at encouraging kids to learn computer programming.
Kicking off Computer Science Education Week, the nonprofit organization joined forces with supporters like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman, and Jack Dorsey to get students, teachers, and parents excited about coding.
The “Hour of Code” initiative, first announced in October, provides an interactive introduction through online tutorials. Are you just a beginner looking to learn the basics, or have you already mastered one coding language and want to pick up another? Visit Code.org to find coaching on building apps and Web pages, programming robots, and more.
Kickstarter just announced via its Twitter account that it will be opening up its crowdfunding platform for Canada-based projects as of “later this summer.” Thus far, that’s as specific as the company is getting, but anyone interested in finding out more can sign up at Kickstarter’s Canada launch page with their email and project category of interest to get an alert when things go live.
You may also like: Funding Library Projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo | The Modern MLIS
Millions of students have signed up for massive open online courses, and hundreds of universities are offering some form of Web-based curriculum. Most students aren’t paying much for these classes, if they’re paying anything at all. So where is all that knowledge—and all the cash—coming from? via Major Players in the MOOC Universe – The Digital Campus 2013 – The Chronicle of Higher Education.