XanEdu, the leading faculty-preferred provider of custom course materials and textbooks, has partnered with Barnes & Noble and Texas A&M to conduct research on the efficacy of accessing and studying custom course materials within NookStudy. Students at Texas A&M will access their XanEdu course materials in NookStudy and provide valuable feedback on usability, accessibility and feature preferences of both the application itself, and the digital content provided. Continue reading →
enTourage Systems, Inc. announced today that it is working with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a senior college of The City University of New York (CUNY), for a semester-long pilot program with the enTourage eDGe.
Students in the Introduction to Drawing and Technology Applications in Public Management and Criminal Justice classes at John Jay College of Criminal Justice are testing the devices throughout the fall semester with e-textbooks and PDFs that can be downloaded, annotated and shared to provide feedback after incorporating the enTourage eDGe into an academic curriculum. Continue reading →
Education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched a new algebra curriculum delivery system for Apple's iPad. Dubbed "Fuse," the system is being piloted for a one-year period in middle schools in four California school districts.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said the Fuse: Holt McDougal Algebra 1 app is the first full-year algebra curriculum application for the iPad. In addition to Holt McDougal content, the app's interactive tools provide feedback on practice questions, allow students to take notes and save them for later use, give students access to video-based lessons, and provide guided instruction. It also offers tracking tools focused on student comprehension, as well as real-time reporting tools for teachers.
I made a vow to be less negative on this blog, but this is such a bad idea. We're talking about a $600 piece of electronics running a custom app (which was probably pretty expensive to develop).Does anyone really think there are any school districts who can afford expand this program to cover a whole school district? I don't.
I don't see any value in even trying these pilot programs if there are no funds to expand upon it. And so long as a school district asks parents to send in supplies to be used by the teacher, no, there is no money to spare.
You might have caught the launch of the Inkling digital textbook iPad app a couple weeks ago. I just came across a new detail today that most of the stories on Inkling seemed to have missed.
Do you recall the iPad pilot programs I've been posting about? Well, according to the Inkling press release 4 of those programs are operating in partnership with Inkling: Abilene Christian University, Seton Hill University, the University of Alabama, and with the Virginia Department of Education.
That changes the tenor of the programs, IMO. We could see some real improvement in app features and usability, here. I'm looking forward to the results.
Here's the press release, in case you're interested:
Inkling(tm) today announced the launch of its platform for advanced learning content, with immediate availability of its iPad app. Inkling delivers engaging interactive textbooks that feature powerful social collaboration, integrated multimedia, and instant learner feedback. Inkling is available in the App Store (www.iTunes.com/appstore) and users can buy individual chapters or entire books at a discount to the print price.
Inkling's sync technology lets students collaborate in real time by sharing their notes and highlights with one another. Students can see comments from their friends and professors right alongside their own notes, making it easy to collaborate side-by-side or across campus.
Additionally, Inkling offers:
Integrated interactive media in every title, such as movies, 3-D objects, and guided tours
A simple and powerful user interface that makes it easy to skim readings or jump from place to place in the title, while always keeping track of your progress
Interactive formative assessment that helps students immediately gauge their level of understanding
An intuitive search engine that predicts your search as you type
“This has become known as the iPad class,” Corey Angst, assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame, told his students on their first day of class Aug. 24. “It's actually not … it's ‘Project Management.'”
A member of Notre Dame's ePublishing Working Group, Angst is debuting the University's first and only class taught using Apple's new wireless tablet computer to replace traditional textbooks. The course is part of a unique, year-long Notre Dame study of eReaders, and Angst is conducting the first phase using iPads, which just went on sale to the public in April.
“One unique thing we are doing is conducting research on the iPad,” Angst says. “We want to know whether students feel the iPads are useful and how they plan to use them. I want them to tell me, ‘I found this great app that does such and such. I want this to be organic …We have an online Wiki discussion group where students can share their ideas.”
The working group participants are from a broad array of colleges and departments, including the Mendoza College of Business, Notre Dame Law School, College of Arts and Letters, First Year of Studies, Hesburgh Libraries, Office of Information Technologies, Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Office of Sustainability, Notre Dame Press and Office of Institutional Equity.
One problem, IMO, with these programs is I think they've put the cart before the horse. They bought the hardware, but is the software really up to the task? We discovered from the KDX pilots that the Kindle wasn't. I think we will see the same outcome here.
Bookbyte, a trusted e-commerce pioneer and online bookstore, today announced it will launch a pilot project with Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Oregon to bring digital learning experiences to the classroom. The pilot project is scheduled to kick off this September in conjunction with the new school year. Bookbyte Digital, a division of Bookbyte focused on digital content and e-books, is partnering with the school district to deploy digital learning programs via Apple iPads to enrich students’ learning experiences, increase teacher productivity and provide learning analytics.
As part of the digital content pilot program, teachers and students at three schools: Hammond Elementary School, McNary High School and South Salem High School, will receive iPads from Bookbyte for classroom use to enhance the learning experience. The pilot initially will provide digital math and English curriculum to more than two hundred primary and secondary students. Some students will engage with the iPad in as many as three times a day.
As the centerpiece of a new mobile computing initiative, Monterey College of Law (MCL) in California is distributing Apple iPads to all students enrolled in a supplemental curriculum program that helps them prepare for the state's bar exam. According to information released by the college, all entering first-year students signed up for the program within the first week, as did 70 percent of the remainder of the student body.
The college said the impetus for the program, which launched last week, was a perceived need to create studying opportunities outside of the classroom for its students, who, with a median age of 38, are typically full-time workers attending school in the evening. MCL has 36 incoming first-year students and a total of 105 students this year in its doctor of jurisprudence program.
The pilot program was developed in conjunction with BARBRI, the bar exam review/prep provider. BARBRI is providing MCL's supplemental curriculum program and has worked with the college to ensure that the students won't be absorbing the price of the iPads, according to Mitchel Winick, MCL president and dean.
We're probably going to see a rash of these programs in the next couple months, so I've added this as a category. Just off the top of my head I can think of 4 other pilot programs I've already covered.
This one's rather interesting. Most of the students in this pilot are older than the average college student. We're going to get opionion form a bunch of baby boomers basically, and the other pilots will be filled with Gen Xs.
The student newspaper for Abilene Christian University, the optimist, are reporting:
Students in Dr. Ian Shepherd’s microeconomics class were greeted with more than just a syllabus on their first day of class Tuesday. The students were told they will be given iPads and told they will be among the first in the nation to use a textbook on the device.
The 50 students in Shepherd’s class, along with 14 students in a senior level marketing course taught by Dr. Rick Lytle, will be issued iPads with the preloaded digital text book for their course. Students will not pay for the iPad or digital textbook, but will return the device at the end of the semester.
ACU is collaborating with iPad textbook developer Inkling to investigate the textbook and platform along with some other software being used in the class.
Curiously enough, last fall ACU ran another pilot with an iPhone textbook app. ACU are probably working with the same developers.
The University of Stellenbosch Business School and the popular South African online retailer kalahari.net launched an electronic book (eBooks) pilot project to determine the usability of ereader software in the learning process.
"We appreciate that eBooks are becoming a viable alternative for consuming content. In the absence of credible research to determine the consumption of eBooks in an academic environment, and clear indications of the impact on student learning, we initiated the project together with kalahari.net."
According to John Jacobs, new business manager for kalahari.net eBooks, "the shared objectives of this project are to understand the consumption of digital content in an academic environment, so that we are able to respond to the challenges and leverage the opportunities."
kalahari.net is developing its own eBook reader software which will allow people to read digital content, such as magazines or academic textbooks, on any device such as computers, hand-held ereaders or smartphones.
Did you catch the part where they said they were focusing on software, not hardware? They learned something from last year's failed Kindle pilots.
First off, the reason I know that Devry (a private university with 100k students ) are running an iPad pilot is because while I was at the ALA Conference, I bumped into the woman who runs it. She couldn't give me details about the iPad pilot, unfortunately. That's understandable. DeVry are a private corporation and the information is proprietary. But since the Devry Kindle pilot covered 3k students with Kindles, the iPad pilot will probably be pretty big (3k, no; 1k, maybe).
Oklahoma State University plans to run an Apple iPad project during the fall 2010 semester to research the use of the tablet device in a classroom setting. The initiative will integrate the iPad into classes led by two faculty members, one in the school of journalism and broadcasting and the other in the school of business. The experiment will involve about 125 students at two campuses, the main campus in Stillwater and the other in Tulsa. Each class will integrate the iPad differently but will focus on specific measurable outcomes.
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