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It's Cool to be Clever

Produced by Agio Studios at Agio Publishing House
Contact: Bruce Batchelor, bruce.batchelor@gmail.com
250-380-0998 (8:30 am to 8:30 pm Pacific time)

Welcome to the Media Room page at Agio Studios at Agio Publishing House.

Thanks for your interest in the amazing story of "Who invented the Internet?" and how Edson Hendricks overcame childhood bullying for being "different" to become one of the most influential computer scientists ever.

Downloaded by over 23,000 people (as of November 2016) from all around the world!


  • Rated 5 stars out of 5 by Carisa Kluver of digital-storytime.com: "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. Struggling, older readers will also benefit from having a title tailored to their interests with the option to listen rather than read..."
  • "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 www.iPhoneMom.com
  • "Cool to be Clever: Edson Hendricks is a wonderful biography for iPad... This is a very nicely written application, narrated effortlessly by Hendricks himself, who has a wonderful speaking voice which 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 or 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.com
  • "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.com
  • "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.com
  • "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 smartappsforkids.com.
  • 4.5 stars out of 5! - Review at AppTudes.com
  • Oak Bay News (story also printed in Victoria News, Esquimalt News, Saanish News, and other newspapers in the News Group chain)
  • The Province (Vancouver, BC)
  • The Ottawa Citizen
  • The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton, NB)
  • The Times Colonist (Victoria, BC)
  • Quill & Quire


  • To arrange an interview with Edson C. Hendricks, please contact Bruce Batchelor, bruce.batchelor@gmail.com, phone 250-380-0998 (8:30 am to 8:30 pm Pacific time)
  • Easy link to app in Apple Appstore is http://bit.ly/CoolToBeClever
  • Trailer at youtube: http://youtu.be/rv0wvwS7sGs
  • Press release in PDF format
  • Press release as a .txt file
  • Press release with invite to launch event as a .txt file
  • Hi-res photo of Edson Hendricks - edson-one.jpg. Please credit "danbatchelor.com" if possible.
  • Hi-res photo of Edson Hendricks two - edson-two.jpg. Please credit "danbatchelor.com" if possible.
  • Photos of Edson Hendricks, sister and parents, from family album - clever-family-album-FINAL-v2.pdf - 8Mb.
  • Complimentary coupons for the Appstore, for reviewers - contact Bruce via email.
  • Predicting the Future: Interview of Edson Hendricks. His response to being asked if he and other top IBM computer scientists could foresee the impact of their inventions. On youtube.com at http://youtu.be/_zfpXqimB2s. We can provide broadcast quality copy on request.
  • People Who are Different: Interview of Edson Hendricks. Advice from a genius to others who think of themselves as "different". On youtube.com at http://youtu.be/ZHi1c4Wq0Rk. We can provide broadcast quality copy on request.
  • Ten other 40 to 90 second interviews of Edson Hendricks. As shown on the app itself - we can provide broadcast quality copies on request.
  • A footage reel showing the app in use (video footage used in making the trailer shown below) for broadcast use - provided on request.
  • Edson's blog (with lots of new material not included in the Cool to be Clever app) and excerpts from the app may be found at this promotional website: www.whoinventedinternet.com.
  • Evolution of a Virtual Machine Subsystem, the 1979 IBM Systems Journal article by Hendricks and Hartmann chronicling the technical development of VNET into a world-wide network years before the Internet was launched - PDF format

Here's the description of the COOL TO BE CLEVER iPad app

It's Cool to be Clever: the story of Edson C. Hendricks, the genius who invented the design for the Internet

Have you ever wonder how the Internet was really invented? IT'S COOL TO BE CLEVER tells the true story of an inquisitive schoolboy in the 1950s who is bullied because he is so smart. He finds comfort in an imaginary world where he has machine parts, and no biological organs or emotions. Years later, Edson's strange capacity to "think like a machine" helps him create a way for computers to communicate. His "connectionless" network design is used in today's Internet.

Includes intriguing illustrations, story by Leanne Jones with narration by Edson Hendricks, and an original musical score. Read the latest info on preventing bullying at school. Loads of pre-Internet emails, anecdotes and other computer science archival material, 12 video interviews with Edson Hendricks and 3 audio interviews of author/composer Leanne Jones, exploration of the "genius" and "inventive" mind, predicting the future, first email virus, advice to programmers, the origin of tektites, and so much more.

Ideal for all ages, especially clever children 6+ and anyone with an interest in Internet history and inventing. How was the Internet really invented? The inspiring true story is revealed for the first time in a most entertaining fashion with a bonus treasure trove of backstory research.


  • bright child-appealing illustrations that "float" delightfully into position with each finger swipe
  • a true inspiring story written by a former primary school teacher, suitable for "chapter-book" reading level
  • complete story narration by Edson Hendricks (with option for the app to turn the pages)
  • the latest information about preventing schoolyard bullying from the Red Cross, The Council for Exceptional Children and the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
  • "teaching children of genius" advice from Leanne Jones
  • Edson Hendricks' memories of being bullied as a child and by IBM managers
  • "How my mind works" and "people who are different" interviews with a genius
  • Hendricks' unorthodox insights into the origin of Earth's water and tektites
  • original musical score – 6 songs composed and performed on piano by Leanne Jones
  • Hendricks interviewed: "genuine inventions", "predicting the future", "necessary situation for invention", "creating a network", "debugging", "naming VNET", "the first email virus", "advice to programmers"
  • "Evolution of a Virtual Machine Subsystem", the 1979 IBM Systems Journal article by Hendricks and Hartmann chronicling the technical development of VNET into a world-wide network years before the Internet was launched
  • dozens of anecdotes about creating VNET and meetings with Vint Cerf and other scientists
  • trip reports, internal memos and documents detailing IBM's bungled opportunity
  • 160k log of pre-Internet emails between scientists debating standards
  • and lots more.

A customer review from the iTunes appstore:
Curling up with a good book takes on a whole new meaning with this app! "Cool to be Clever" skillfully weaves together a true children's story, audio interviews with the author plus narration by, and video interviews with, the subject. Tucked away in 'secret pockets' are valuable anti-bullying tips from the Red Cross and a fascinating collection of archival correspondence with IBM management. The resulting app will appeal to a broad audience - from kids experiencing the endemic bullying in our schools, to IT history buffs curious about the earliest origins of the Internet. At its core, Leanne Jones' mini biography of Edson C. Hendricks sensitively recounts his struggles to endure the schoolyard bullies that made his early education a nightmare. The central story and supporting anti-bullying resources offer wise insights for victims of bullying, bullies, parents and teachers. It would be a mistake, though, to dismiss the app as a simple children's book. Having survived high school as a clever kid and thrived at MIT as a youthful genius, Edson Hendricks took his exceptional talents to IBM. Neatly tucked away in the app is a treasure trove of archival correspondence between Hendricks' small circle of fellow visionaries and their senior management at IBM. The correspondence paints a fascinating picture of squandered opportunities at IBM and the corporation's failure to recognize the future of the Internet. There is a double edged warning here - to bullies who risk stifling their brilliant peers and to corporate managers who risk stifling the visionaries in their midst. Thanks to all involved for bundling such a thought provoking collection of materials in a single app. What a bargain! In closing, a heads up to school librarians. If you haven't done so already, it's time to get some iPads. Every student deserve access to resources like this, not just those fortunate enough to have an iPad at home.

Review by Heather Leister at iPhonemom.com:
Cool to Be Clever is a terrific e-book about Edson C. Hendricks, the man who invented the design for the Internet. I had never heard Edson's story before and I found it fascinating learning how he got his start with computers and how the idea for the Internet came to be. The invention side of the story is inspiring but I appreciated the value of the "cool to be clever" message. Edson was bullied as a child and he also faced discouragement throughout his career. The e-book shows that you can overcome all of this and do great things.
Cool to Be Clever features illustrations that do a wonderful job capturing the spirit of Edson's story. Readers can choose to listen to him narrate the story in person and enjoy a musical score accompaniment. In addition to the story there is also a section with information on bullying. Here Edson shares his experiences being bullied and readers can also find information for children who are dealing with bullying. Those who are interested in the Internet history will be happy to find plenty of tech extras included in the app.
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.

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