Reflections on ELI Part 3: iPads at Notre Dame and Cal State Fullerton

This is a little ironic for several reasons. Our group (Education Technology Services) is currently involved with some pilot projects
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I’m done with the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting now and thought I’d share a few of my observations. This is part 1 of 3 (probably).

About the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting:
For those who don’t know, advice website the ELI conference is a gathering of about 700 people who are focused on various aspects of educational technology, mind mostly from higher education. I knew that others in our group would be attending sessions on topics like analytics and gaming, visit this so I spent all of my time at sessions focused on mobile learning and eTextbook/Paperless initiatives. Here are some of the highlights related to those topics:

eTextbooks at Indiana University
Anastasia Morrone from Indiana University talked about rolling out a eTextbook initiative aimed at reducing the student cost of textbooks to 35% of the cost of new books. They are doing this in partnership with a company called CourseLoad and a mandatory eTextbook fee that students pay as part of their tuition bill when they have signed up for one of the courses in the initial rollout. Indiana University is working through Internet2 to expand this program to other universities. I think it’s an impressive initiative that has focused on reducing student costs and ensuring accessibility. By expanding this to other universities, they are hoping to use collective bargaining power to keep costs low. For more, see: Indiana University eTextbook Site

iPad Initiative at Anderson University
Ben Deaton from Anderson University talked about their iPad initiative for all of its incoming students. This year, 580 freshmen received iPads as well as abut 90% of their faculty who were only required to say that they would try using the iPad for teaching and learning purposes. Six of the faculty were involved in extensive course redesign projects that involved using the iPad as an active element in the course. For example, a biology class identified mitosis and meiosis as difficult concepts, so they had students use their iPads to create stop-motion animations that illustrated those concepts. Pre/post test data showed that student understanding went way up.

That’s all for part 1. My flight out of Austin is taking off soon.
I went to two sessions about iPad initiatives.

California State, melanoma Fullerton:
They have a university-wide initiative to go as paperless as possible. That includes ideas such as converting all forms and meeting documents t electronic formats. As part of this plan, store they offered iPads to faculty and staff as long as they participate in mandatory training and their departments pay for ongoing service. They signed an agreement with CourseSmart to provide electronic textbooks. CourseSmart was selected because of the cross-platform support, accessibility of their platform, and their publisher agreements.

The program cost them about $700K. They figure that they have made this money back already by saving $560K in printing costs and $170K by extending the lifespan of faculty and staff computers from three years to four years.

Overall, I found it interesting that this is a faculty and staff initiative. Students are not part of the program and are expected to bring their own technology. Also, we have been wondering what groups are doing regarding lifecycling iPads. The idea of extending the time for buying new laptops makes sense as a way to help mitigate costs. Finally, I believe that part of their success can be attributed to a tie-in with larger university-wide “going paperless” theme. That changes it from a technology initiative to a strategic one.

Fullerton iPad Site

Notre Dame:
An ePublishing Working Group, composed of people from the bookstore, library, university press, and faculty, was already meeting when the iPad was announced. Two faculty members (Angst and Crutchfield) decided to create a paperless class and get iPads for students. This meant no paper for content, assignments, or quizzing.

Angst surveyed his students several times. Overall, they liked the portability of their course materials, the long battery life of iPads, the versatility of the device versus something like a Kindle, being constantly connected, and being able to add social media apps and games. They didn’t like that there wasn’t a real keyboard, limited features of some eReaders, lack of multitasking, and that there wasn’t a “save” button. The save button concern turned out not to be an issue as the students got used to the devices and how they didn’t really need a save button.

This entry was posted in educational technologies, mobile learning, mobile technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply