Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daytona State College - All eBooks

As my title alludes, Daytona State College is looking to get rid of traditional textbooks. The campus started using eBooks in several departments in 2009, and is hoping to be a 100% eBook campus by next fall.
Instead of each book costing students anywhere from $50 to over $200, each eBook will cost about $20. Students can either buy an eReader (like the Kindle or the iPad) at a reduced cost from the school, or read their books from one of the school's computers. Students and teachers could also print out their eBooks and place them in binders, if they so choose.
The CFO of Daytona State College is hoping that by having such a large reduction in costs for textbooks, more students will be able to stay in school.
No one is very sure about the success of this program, however; the National Association of College Stores sent out a survey to college students, which found that 74% of students prefer to have printed textbooks in class.
I have to say, I agree with that 74%. It would be really difficult to have to carry around something like an iPad to every class and/or to the library. I would be really afraid I would drop it. Every classroom would need to have a bunch of power outlets, also, just in case several students' eReaders were losing power at the same time. And, if the students doesn't buy an eReader and just uses a school computer, how would he be able to bring his book to class? There are positives to using eReaders, though; instead of carrying around 4 large textbooks, a student would only need the eReader and it is much more environmentally friendly. All in all, I am really unsure about how I feel about going 100% eReader on a college campus. I think it could have many more problems than benefits.

Digital access, collaboration a must for students

This article was written in response to a survey refereed to as “Speak Up 2009: Creating Our Future: Students Speak Up about their Vision for 21st Century Schools,” which is the latest education technology survey put on by Project Tomorrow. According to the survey. Students are emerging as "free agent learners" which are students who increasingly take learning into their own hands and use technology to create personalized learning experiences.
I think that this article is articulating everything that we have been talking about in class. The survey stresses that using technology in the classroom is becoming increasingly important to students.

The survey noted, "Students, regardless of community demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, gender, and grade, tell us year after year that the lack of sophisticated use of emerging technology tools in school is, in fact, holding back their education—and in many ways disengages them from learning." I feel as though this statement alone expresses everything that I have learned so far in my education classes. In order to close the achievement gap and ensure that our students are succeeding to their highest potential we need to find innovative ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. This semester has really taught me the many ways that I can accomplish this very goal. The report identifies three essential elements of a new emerging student vision for American education. They are:
  • Social-based learning: Students want to leverage emerging communications and collaboration tools to create and personalize networks of experts to inform their education experience.
  • Untethered learning: Students envision technology-enabled learning experiences that transcend the classroom walls and are not limited by resource constraints, traditional funding streams, geography, community assets, or even teacher knowledge or skills.
  • Digitally-rich learning: Students see the use of relevancy-based digital tools, content, and resources as a key to driving learning productivity, and not just about engaging students in learning.
The article also noted "[that] while the three elements offer the potential for remarkably new approaches to teaching and learning in a classroom, students likely will see the use of these emerging technologies as a “natural extension of the way they are currently living and learning outside of that classroom.'"

Overall, I was really impressed with the way that this article truly describe everything that we have been learning in class. I'm really glad that we post all of our stuff online so that we can access these resources and use them in our future classrooms.