Those of us in the library monitoring ebooks closely wanted to share some details as many of you begin making textbook decisions for the fall. By now the majority of students on the ACU campus have access to an iPad, presenting ACU faculty with a unique opportunity to offer cost-savings on textbook purchases in 2014-15. Here are some of the providers you might consider.
iBooks – The standard ebook reader for iOS is Apple’s iBooks app (free). Most trade titles you teach are available on the iBookstore as well as a number of interactive textbooks from some of their publishing partners that include media. In addition to highlighting/annotation, the iBooks app allows students to turn their notes into notecards for later review.
You can also open and store PDF and ePub files in iBooks, whether you digitize an article or share a digital copy of your syllabus. The iBooks Author application for Mac also allows teachers to produce custom content with interactive maps and media.
• Search Textbooks in iBooks
• iBooks Textbooks
Kindle – Amazon has Kindle reader apps for the iPad and iPhone as well as most mobile and desktop platforms. They offer Kindle versions for many trade titles you already teach on amazon.com that now include Xray which they describe as a “smart glossary” pointing to related content. Students buy the Kindle book and it syncs directly to the Kindle app for iPad (free), and they’re saving money.
Recently Amazon has also worked with textbook companies to offer rental options for Kindle where students are allowed to rent some textbook titles. The main point is that students don’t need to own a Kindle device to read Kindle books on their iPad.
• Search Kindle Textbooks
• Amazon Student (50% off Prime)
CourseSmart – Started as a collaboration among textbook companies, CourseSmart claims to offer 90% of standards in Higher Ed. Students rent a copy of their textbook for the semester instead of owning the book. CourseSmart for iPad (free) is also one of several readers they offer for mobile and desktop platforms.
• Search CourseSmart
• Request an Examination Copy
Inkling – This is another interactive textbook platform, so many of Inkling’s titles will incorporate media and interactivity as well as self assessments. They offer Inkling for iPad (free) as well as for Android. Students can buy only the chapters from a textbook the teacher assigns which can also lower prices.
• Search Inkling
• Request an Examination Copy
GooglePlay Books – Another company offering e-textbooks from major publishers is Google through its GooglePlay store. Some titles are also available to rent and they offer GooglePlay Books for iPad (free) as well as for Android and other readers with the standard features.
For faculty interested in historical manuscripts, the Google Books project also scanned millions of volumes from the world’s great research libraries, and since most are out of copyright students can read original first editions for free.
• Search GooglePlay Textbooks
• Google Books catalog
OpenLibrary – Finally, OpenLibrary is another great resource for putting students in touch with free content, especially primary documents and first editions available in PDF and ePub. Once students go to a book record on OpenLibrary, they can download and open the file in the iBooks app.
• Search OpenLibrary
Kno – One other player in the interactive textbook market is Kno. They were recently acquired by Intel and have some unique features, including student dashboards and assessments. They offer Kno for iPad (free) as well as for other mobile platforms. Their catalog is growing so may be worth a look.
• Search Kno
This will be the first year all freshman Bible students will use Introducing the New Testament from Baker Academic. ACU faculty led by Curt Niccum, Trevor Thompson, and Rodney Ashlock have worked closely with Baker to develop content for the new edition filmed in the Learning Studio.
All Cornerstone freshmen will again be using a revised edition of the custom Cornerstone iBook written by ACU faculty and led by Cliff Barbarick and produced in the Learning Studio.
For More Information
Does your department teach a course taken by hundreds of students? We’re happy to work with your faculty to weigh the value of ebook options currently available or custom textbook projects you might contribute to in the future.
So you just checked out one of the Learning Studio’s Canon DSLR cameras, and you go to shoot your first short film. But the process is a little trickier than you expected.
DSLRs were originally built for still photography, but today many of them also shoot video, and they’ve been prized by filmmakers for the quality of the images they produce. Yet shooting video on a Canon 60D isn’t quite as intuitive as shooting photos.
In our first installment of the Gear Up series, the Learning Studio’s Nathan Driskell gives you a three-minute checklist to get you up and running with video production using the Canon 60D.
For more advice on shooting with your DSLR, stop by the Learning Studio and ask a Media Assistant for help on your next project.
DSLR Filmmaking on Lynda.com
Once you’re comfortable with how to set-up the camera, check out a course on Lynda.com to continue to develop your skills.
A few weeks ago we enjoyed sitting down with Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker, associate professor of Psychology and director of faculty enrichment in the Adams Center to talk about her work with undergraduate research.
Her study investigates gendered marketing of Lego blocks and possible implications for attitudes toward STEM in young girls. Dr. Shewmaker reflects on working with Caitlyn Spain, a marketing major, on a human subjects study in the Adams Center’s new Learning Research Lab.
Pursuit is a quality enhancement program at ACU focused on developing energy around undergraduate research and creative expression. Dr. Shewmaker’s was just one of a dozen projects over the last two years that provided mentoring and research experience in departments across campus.
For more information or to apply to work on a future project, visit the Pursuit site.
Recording a video can be a complex process. The checklist of settings and techniques to remember for any given camera is often daunting, especially for someone new to the equipment. That’s why in 2013, the Learning Studio began beta testing a new solution for quick video recording: the One Button Studio.
The One Button Studio was developed by Penn State University, who worked with us to install the first One Button Studio outside the Penn State system, upstairs in the ACU library.
The unique studio is perfect for students practicing a speech on camera or for a professor sending a short message or lecture to a class.
Now, any visitor to the Learning Studio can record a video in three simple steps:
- Place your USB drive into the slot
- Push the silver button to start recording
- Push the button again to stop recording
The HD camera mounted on the wall records directly to your USB drive. To enhance your video, three professional-grade lights and a directional microphone ensure clean, high-quality audio and video. Users can even project slides over their shoulder using a short-throw projector connected to the iMac in the room (You can ask the front desk for a remote to control your slides).
The One Button Studio is the personal film studio anyone can use.
[TIP: Reserve Studio 1 up to 7 days in advance to plan your next visit to the One Button Studio.]