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eBooks for iPad: Faculty Resources

Posted on Apr 16, 2014

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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

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eBook Updates

Cover250This 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.

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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 options in the future.

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Introducing the One Button Studio

Posted on Feb 17, 2014

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:

  1. Place your USB drive into the slot
  2. Push the silver button to start recording
  3. 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.]

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Lynda for the holidays

Posted on Dec 11, 2013

In our first year of Lynda.com, we’ve had 731 users view 4,310 different videos. Teachers have assigned Lynda content to support specific assignments or as a textbook replacement in some subject areas.

To get a sense of the variety of potential uses of Lynda content, just look at the list of our 12 most viewed courses in 2013.

1. Excel Essential Training

2. Premiere Pro Essential Training

3. C# Essential Training

4. QuickBooks Pro Essential Training

5. After Effects Essential Training

6. XML Training

7. Illustrator Essential Training

8. Time Management Fundamentals

9. Photoshop Essential Training

10. Sales Skills Fundamentals

11. Ruby Essential Training

12. Maya Essentials

 

If you’re looking to learn a new skill or piece of software over the holidays, don’t miss our 12 Days of Lynda playlist.

And if you’re teaching with Lynda.com next spring, you can create your own playlists to share with students as well. Here is a quick tutorial for how to create them.

lynda

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12 Days of Lynda

Posted on Dec 5, 2013

This week we’re celebrating 12 Days of Lynda.com, giving prizes to some of the top lynda.com users from the ACU campus over the past year. You can also enter to win some stocking stuffers including 8gb key drives.

Over the holiday break if you’re looking to learn a new skill and try out some new software, check out this playlist featuring 12 of our favorite new Lynda courses.

And if you’re teaching with Lynda.com next spring, you can create your own playlists to share with students as well. Here is a quick tutorial for how to create them.

 

lynda

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A very media Christmas

Posted on Dec 3, 2013

Christmas_Card

This week the Learning Studio is saying thanks to the ACU campus with stocking stuffers for your holiday media projects. Enter in one or more of the following ways. Give-aways begin Thursday, December 5th.

• follow @learningstudio on Twitter

• like ACUlearningstudio on Facebook

• create your Lynda.com login

Later in the week we’ll share other ways you can get involved along with a few of our favorite projects from the last year. Thanks for being a part of a great 2013.

 

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24fps Film Festival at the Paramount

Posted on Oct 29, 2013

This weekend Abilene will again be home to the 24fps International Film Festival. The event will feature 31 short films in three programs Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.

If you haven’t been before, 24fps offers a great chance to see entertaining and provocative work from around the world, including films that have already won awards at Sundance and Cannes. Tickets are $10 for one of the showings or $20 for the weekend.

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Here are trailers to a few of the films they’ll be screening.

 

 

 

 

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