The microfunding site Kiva.org has announced a pilot program of Student Microloans on Kiva.org. With the program, anyone can lend as little as $25 to students in Bolivia, Lebanon, and Paraguay. As Premal Shah, president of Kiva.org says, "In developing countries, access to funding for education doesn't exist like it does in the United States. We believe the internet community is in a unique position to share the risk of student lending in the developing world and if these students repay their loans -- as we believe they will -- it could be the very impetus needed to make education accessible for everyone around the world."
MIT OpenCourseware and OpenStudy have joined forces to help OpenCourseware students. OpenStudy has been piloting a program with study groups that provide real-time interaction between students. This program allows OpenStudy members to help answer each other's questions and work and learn collaboratively. According to Phil Hill, CEO of OpenStudy, Our goal is to bring a more social learning experience to students on MIT OpenCourseWare by ensuring they don't have to study alone. Seeing so many of them now working together from all corners of the globe is a great first step.
Stephen Wolfram's book A New Kind of Science is now available as an iPad app. On one hand, an announcement that a print book is now available in digital format isn't that big a deal. But Wolfram's book -- a 5-pound, thirteen hundred page tome more than a decade in the making -- gave immense insights into his development of complex computational systems for understanding the world. And it's not just the heft of the text that makes A New Kind of Science perfect for the iPad. As Wolfram notes in a blog post today, the technology allows the iPad version to contain a much better reading experience of the incredibly detailed diagrams in the book. (The app is $9.99)
Open Culture drew my attention to the fact that Khan Academy lessons are now available via the iTunes University -- good news, particularly for districts where YouTube, one of the other distribution sites for Khan's videos, is blocked.