Article 8 – Books We Recommend

robotsguideAbsolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots (Paperback) by Gareth Branwyn

Review from

Finally, a robots book for people who don’t know the first thing about robotics! Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Robots is well-written, inviting, and action-packed, with engaging ideas and fascinating factoids about robots and robot-related arts and sciences. You are led gently into the intimidating world of robotics, but nearly 400 pages later, you emerge with a respectable knowledge of robot history, the major fields and “schools” of robotics today, and the basic skills and resources needed to create hobby robots. By the end of the book, you will be the proud owner of three bots, the first two of which demonstrate key robotic principles. The third is a programmable/expandable robot, which serves as a platform for future experimentation. And best of all, these robots are built with simple to get and inexpensive parts – many of which you already have around the house!

schoolingSchooling America,  How the Public Schools Meet the Nation’s Changing Needs
by Patricia Albjerg Graham

Here is a very comprehensive book on the history of America’s
educational system. The comments below are from Howard Good’s review in
Education Week, May 1, 2006…

“All the familiar figures are here—Charles William Eliot, John Dewey,
Maria Montessori, James Conant, Albert Shanker—and some not-so-familiar
ones, such as Leonard Ayres, author of the 1909 classic Laggards in Our
Schools. Graham, former dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education,
treats their ideas fairly, if briefly, and always within the context of
their times. . . .”

“The reason schools have been not entirely successful at carrying out
these shifting tasks, Graham suggests, may have less to do with the
sincerity or energy of educators’ efforts than with the unrealistic
nature of the assignments. Schools have been asked to accomplish
goals—promote virtue, guarantee justice and equality, stimulate
learning—that any institution in our gonzo culture, even a
better-organized and supported one, would struggle to fulfill.”

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