Joining American Reading Company

American Reading Company

I’m excited to announce I’ve joined American Reading Company as Vice President, Digital Products. The team at ARC is extremely capable and I am pleased to join them. I will bring and leverage my experience from Ingram, ProQuest, and Audiofy to accomplish ARC’s mission, “To ensure every student is reading on or above grade level.”

ARC’s digital products include:

  • SchoolPace – Capture achievement data that targets reading growth for every student, every classroom, every school, every day.
  • eIRLA and eENIL – Track which standards each student has mastered and use real-time formative assessment to provide evidence of that mastery in both English (IRLA) and Spanish (ENIL).
  • IRLA Resource Center – Online searchable database including instructional supports and videos for teachers and administrators to help use the IRLA to accelerate student reading growth.
  • eLibraries and Bookshelf – Digital eBook solution backed by the Common Core State Standards. Every IRLA eLibrary collection features beautiful books from a variety of publishers, hand-picked by teachers, curriculum specialists, and literacy activists on staff to assure the best reading and learning experience.

American Reading Company has been delivering astounding results to school districts across America. My role here will expand that success, as we improve the experience for students and teachers via a suite of companion and stand-alone digital offerings.

iPad Keyboard Commands for gcloud web-based ssh terminal (vi w/ Zagg bluetooth keyboard)

2015-06-30 09.37.44

Escape: ALT or OPTION + “[” (left bracket)
Up: k
Down: j
Left: h
Right: l (lowercase L)
Bonus: tab completion can be accomplished via CTRL+tab.

I’ve been playing around with Google Compute Engine and setting up a development environment on my iPad. A requirement for the sysadmin side of the process is vi. From a terminal app on a Mac or PC, this is cake. From the web-based SSH client on an iPad, you have to use the old school keyboard commands instead of the arrows, ESC, and TAB. I use this Zagg bluetooth keyboard case.

I’ll probably cover the complete dev setup in another post, but if you’re curious here’s a summary:

– Server admin and Apache/Node configs: Open the Compute Engine instance in the web and open the web-based SSH client.

– Code editing and development: Textastic iOS app, using Dropbox.

– Code versioning and repositories: A server is sync’d with Dropbox and file changes trigger a git commit and push to GitHub. Merges and branch changes are done via web-based terminal.

– Continuous Integration: After GitHub commits, an HTTP POST is automatically sent to the deploy server. It retrieves and applies the applicable version from GitHub. (note: I may switch to Chef, but for now this “just works”).

How To Write Your First Book

Good points by Gary North on how to market yourself as an author and the basic steps of getting your first book in to print:

Book publishing is getting expensive. Profits are way down. Readership is declining for printed books.

Ebooks, yes. POD books, yes. But books published by a profit-seeking publisher are limited to low-risk authors. High-return authors are best.

If you have something to say, blog it. After a few years of blogging, write your first book. You will have an audience.

If your blog does not attract an audience, neither will your book. Publishers know this.

Bottom line: Start a blog and prove you can attract an audience… If you’ve got traffic, you are infinitely more likely to get your book published.

Gary’s full post is, So, You Want to Write Your First Book. Here Is How to Do It.

Could somebody please make Mike Arrington a Web App?

Mike Arrington of TechCrunch claims he is quitting his iPhone as soon as he can port his number to Google Voice. I don’t think he realizes someone could have a web app that solves the Google Voice and iPhone interaction within days.

We don’t need a full blown Google Voice application on the iPhone. A simple web app would do. In fact, it would probably be better for overall adoption because only a small percentage of people update their apps religiously.

Given Google’s API for GV, and the speed at which the native apps were developed, this isn’t a stretch. A couple decent web developers could get this launched by Monday… In time to save Arrington and the world from an unnecessary rant on the failings of Android.