Learning Technologies is pleased to announce that Andreas Brockhaus (Director of Learning Technologies), Joe Shelley (Director of IT Planning & Admin) and Ian Porter (UWBLT Learning Technologist) have been awarded the Worthington Innovation Fellows Award for their project proposal titled Untethered Teaching: A Pilot Project for Teaching With Mobile Computing Devices. Great work, everyone!
Left to right: Andreas Brockhaus, Ian Porter, & Joe Shelley
Untethered Teaching will be a year-long project that will examine the use of mobile devices in the classroom while determining best practices, challenges, implementation strategies, future steps, and overall value of the technology. The research team will work in collaboration with trained faculty to implement mobile devices into their curricula, then collect data via personal interviews and pre- and post-surveys. The final result will be a cost-benefit analysis, which will determine if implementing the technology formally and on a broader scale will be worth the costs and resources required.
This project, along with six others, are the first to ever receive this award. Established in February 2013, the Worthington Innovation Fellows Award provides funding and support to group or individual projects that “support the use of technology to enhance innovation across the campus”. The final findings from all projects will be presented at an on-campus public forum, such as the Chancellor’s Innovation Forum and the Teaching and Learning Symposium.
We look forward to the project’s findings in the coming year. Congratulations again to Andreas, Joe and Ian!
Click here for more information about the Worthington Innovation Fellows Award.
Attention UW-Bothell students interested in computer programming and interactive media: here is an interesting event worth checking out!
At CodeDay, hosted by local non-profit StudentRND, students group up in competitive teams to be the best coders. With only 24 hours, everyone works vigorously and passionately to design and develop a new, functioning script from scratch.
In this environment of little more than fresh pizza and donuts, whizzing computers, fellow programmers and a lot of innovative energy, age and experience level become irrelevant. In the last Seattle event, the youngest participants were only 14-years old, yet they competed just as well against their high school and college peers. Displaying a wide range of talents and technologies—from coding to graphics design to audio composition and from websites to mobile apps to offline games—the final presentations and awards ceremony mark the long, but meaningful and exciting day’s end.
For the full article by KING 5 about the previous CodeDay event, please click here.
For more information on the Bellevue CodeDay Classic event (Apr 6-Apr 7), please click here.
For more information on the next Seattle CodeDay event (May 25-May 26), please click here.
Amazon introduced its new textbook rental service today, just in time for back-to-school season. Similar to other rental sites like Chegg and UW’s University Bookstore rentals, Amazon offers students the option to pay a fraction of the book’s cover price to borrow the book for 130 days (one semester). Students then send the books back, free of return shipping, in like-new condition. This service is a great idea for students who have a difficult time paying full price for textbooks, but need them for a course.
Textbook rental is nothing new, but a company like Amazon joining the market may change things for it in the near future. Amazon also currently offers eBook rentals, available for reading through their Kindle devices and apps.
Last Thursday, Apple unveiled iBooks 2, the company’s new platform for interactive eTextbooks. TG Daily reports that since then, Apple has sold over 350,000 of their new textbooks.
Also unveiled (which may be more exciting for instructors) was a Mac App called iBooks Author. iBooks Author is a free app that allows anyone to create an interactive textbook for the iPad. It supports images, slideshows, and various other widgets.
Currently, there are only eight available textbooks in the iBooks 2 store, all seemingly at high school-level. This makes sense, considering the keynote presentation focused mainly on the education of K-12 students. However, we can’t help but cross our fingers in hopes that this new approach to textbooks catches on in the world of higher education as well.
If you have an iPad and would like to take a firsthand look at what these new textbooks are all about, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is available for free on the iBooks 2 store. The other eTextbooks are still priced reasonably at $14.99/book.
EDIT: Chelsea Stark, of Mashable, posted the following chart several hours ago, comparing iBooks Author to other self-publishing software. Check it out:
You may remember a post on the LT blog from March that provoked the question “how do we make the e-book experience different from the experience of reading from a physical book?” According to Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis, this is what the e-book industry needs in order to survive. Who knew there would be an answer to our question so quickly!
During the same month, software developer Mike Matas of Push Pop Press demonstrated his company’s first interactive book for Apple devices, Our Choice by Al Gore. The presentation is available to watch on TED here and features Matas flipping through pages, playing videos, expanding photos and interacting with infographics all in the e-book. The quality is beautiful, and the layout is not at all like a traditional book.
To be fair, this may not be an “answer” to the question, but more of a glimpse into the possible future for e-books, and possibly even e-textbooks!