October 6, 2014
Instructor's iBook saves students money
College of Education instructor Cyndi Danner Kuhn developed an iBook for her teaching course and all early indicators are positive.
Kuhn received an award from the dean's office for the Open/Alternative Resource initiative to create her iBook "the LINK: Opening Minds & Blending iPads into Teaching & Learning," which is compatible with Macs and iPads. Saving each of the 143 students $90 in the Technology for Teaching & Learning course this semester translates to a total estimated savings of more than $25,000 for the 2014-15 academic year.
"The students seem amazed that it is free, and that they can take notes inside the book," Kuhn said. "Because it's interactive, they can highlight, make sticky notes, watch videos and do everything in one place — and no Internet connectivity is necessary after the initial download, which takes about 10 minutes."
Kuhn appreciates the flexibility the technology offers.
"I find myself making additions and updates each week as I use the iBook," she said. "Changes are based on student questions and new ideas as they arise. I suspect next semester it will be even better as well as more complete."
For faculty interested in developing their own resource, Kuhn has advice.
"Creating an iBook is an easy process through the free iBooks Author software on a Mac; the tough part is deciding the content," she said. "But in the long run, it is well worth the time I have spent. I believe the students have all the information they need because it is all in one place, it looks good, it is interactive, and it is free."
The college's Open/Alternative Resource initiative is part of the college's technology plan — a key component to achieving its K-State 2025 objectives and philanthropic goals. In 2013, Dean Debbie Mercer provided all full-time teaching faculty with an iPad along with professional development opportunities. In 2014, the college provided iPads for all preservice teachers in their professional courses.