Victoria (BC) Canada – How was the Internet really invented? And what is the link to schoolyard bullying? Cool to be Clever, an iPad app for youngsters that combines biography with video interviews, anti-bullying resources and pre-Internet documents, has been downloaded by thousands of families and schools from 50 countries. Awareness is quickly spreading, fanned by enthusiastic reviews from “mommy-bloggers” and children’s app review sites.

This breakthrough app – the first extensively enhanced ebook app of its genre – is based on the true story of Edson C. Hendricks, the genius who invented the design for the Internet. The story was written by Leanne Jones, a former primary school teacher who is now a private detective. The app was developed by Agio Studios of Victoria, BC, Canada. Hendricks himself was recruited to narrate the story and appears in 12 video interviews on topics such as “People who are different,” “Predicting the future at IBM,” “Being bullied” and “Advice to today’s programmers.” Jones composed and performed the musical score.

“We were delighted to include up-to-date resources on bullying prevention graciously provided by the Red Cross, the Council for Exceptional Children and the US Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports,” says app producer and director Bruce Batchelor. “There is amazing progress being made at schools across North America.”

Carisa Kluver of rated COOL as 5 stars out of 5: “This is truly a must-download title. My highest recommendation! Overall, this is a phenomenal title that presents non-fiction content in a more modern way, letting kids explore and learn at their own pace, with or without narration. This title would be great for lessons on bullying, the Internet, biography and more …”

“Terrific… wonderful… fascinating… inspiring… Cool to be Clever is a unique e-book and a great read for older children and adults. There’s inspiration here in Edson’s genius, creativity and his stand against bullying.” – review by Heather Leister at iPhoneMom

“Cool to be Clever is a wonderful biography for iPad… This is a very nicely written application, narrated effortlessly by Hendricks himself, who has a wonderful speaking voice reminding me of a less flamboyant Spaulding Gray, making him a great talent in re-telling his own story… A terrific learning tool that not only teaches about the history of the Internet but may also whet the appetite of children for other biographies of interesting people… this app articulates that life can get better for those bullied during their childhood years, making this a story worth telling in homes and schools, especially within gifted classrooms.” – Amy Solomon at GiggleApps.

“Cool to be Clever is an inspiring story that no parent or teacher should pass up and is highly recommended for children of all ages.” – AppsOnTapp

“This is a great book app. It teaches kids how to be resilient in a tough situation, and how to continuously pursuit your dream. Even parents can learn something new. With all these, it is FREE. Can you believe that?” – iGameMom

“App of the Day: Cool to be Clever! (Holy Crud, this is FREE?) This app combines history, computers, the Internet and some powerful messaging about bullying – all into one big nerd-friendly package.” – Deanne at Smart Apps for Kids

“4.5 stars out of 5.” – AppTudes

For the true geek, this app contains a treasure trove of historical materials, including “Evolution of a Virtual Machine Subsystem”, the 1979 IBM Systems Journal article by Hendricks and Tim Hartmann chronicling the technical development of VNET in the early 1970s into a world-wide network almost a decade before the Internet was launched. There are dozens of Hendricks’ anecdotes about creating VNET and meetings with Vint Cerf and other scientists, plus trip reports, internal memos and documents detailing IBM’s bungled opportunity to control worldwide computer communications. There is even a 160k log of pre-Internet emails between scientists debating computer standards.

Joining IBM’s Cambridge Scientific Center shortly after graduating from MIT, Edson Hendricks developed RSCS (later known as VNET), fundamental software that powered the world’s largest network (or network of networks) prior to the Internet and which directly influenced both Internet development and user acceptance of networking between independently managed organizations. Within IBM, the resulting network later became known as VNET and grew to 4000 nodes. In the academic community, VNET formed the base for BITNET which extended to 500 organizations and 3,000 nodes. VNET was also the networking design underpinning EARN in Europe, NETNORTH in Canada, and USENET/UUNET at numerous universities.

Edson Hendricks now lives in San Diego, California. Since his retirement from computer programming, he has contributed to revised scientific understanding of puzzles such as the origins of Earth’s water and where do tektites come from (his papers on these topics are included in Cool to be Clever). He is available for interviews.

“People ask why we’ve made this amazing app free,” says Batchelor. “We were fortunate in getting funding from patrons who believed deeply that learning materials can be developed that work for many learning styles, and are engaging and inspiring. We wanted to create an experience that is truly excellent. The reviews suggest that we succeeded in setting a new standard. Then our funders said to make the app free – it used to be $2.99 – their gift to children all over the world.”

“I’m hoping other developers will be inspired to create other robust and innovative educational apps, hopefully free as well. We’re currently raising funds for an app about vocal technique coaching, finding one’s authentic voice and the Ubuntu community choirs movement. The underlying concept is that anyone and everyone can sing,” adds Batchelor. “Our plan is to create a steady stream of apps that will be amazing, inspiring and free.”

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 4.2 or later
* 365 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Cool to be Clever: Edson Hendricks 1.0.2 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Books category.

Cool to be Clever: Edson Hendricks 1.0.2
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Located in Victoria, BC, Canada, Agio Publishing House was founded in 2007 by Bruce and Marsha Batchelor. Bruce Batchelor was the inventor of the print-on-demand [POD] publishing approach ten years earlier and was CEO of Trafford Publishing for 11 years. Marsha is an award-winning graphic designer. Together they edit, design and publish about a dozen books a year. They have now expanded to producing ebooks and iPad apps, as Agio Studios, teaming up with their son, videographer Dan Batchelor. Bruce Batchelor is a consultant to the publishing industry and presents to gatherings of writers, editors and publishers. Copyright (C) 2012 Agio Publishing House. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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