A new committee has been formed to research and report Ranken’s options for using e-textbooks (digital textbooks) in classrooms. The committee is called the e-Text Technology Committee and was formed in June, 2012. This fall, Architectural Technology, Automotive Collision Repair and Computer Networking Technology will use e-texts. Additionally, most of the general education courses will offer an e-text option to students.
The option allows for the students in general education classes to purchase either hardcopies of the textbooks or the e-text access codes from the bookstore, saving them up to 50% off the cost of the hardcopy prices. Shawn Bowers, bookstore manager, is working with Derek Babcock, director of Information Systems, to select a reader device that could possibly be purchased in the campus bookstore. Their research has pointed toward the Samsung Galaxy for being one of the highest ranking Android tablets and a lower cost alternative to the iPad.
In an effort to keep the faculty and staff informed of this technology initiative, the e-Text Technology Committee is planning to hold open forums and other communication avenues such as Inside Ranken, the Ranken Employee Newsletter, and Ranken’s Intranet.
The first pilot project occurred last summer when John Helterbrand taught a class in automotive collision repair using digital technology on iPads. “I only printed 24 sheets of paper the whole semester,” says Helterbrand, referring to one obvious perk that going digital offers. In addition to having easy access to their e-texts and handouts, students were also able to do Internet research in class as well as complete online tests on Inside Ranken.
“For instructors, there are a lot of free education apps out there to be used in the classroom,” says Helterbrand. The committee members are Missy Borchardt, Shawn Bowers,
Charles Corrigan, John Helterbrand, Crystal Herron and Patsy Zettler. Please feel free to contact any member for more information. By taking a step at a time, the committee is looking forward to a smooth transition into e-text technology.