College students publish ed-tech textbook on Apple’s iBookstore

More than 600 school districts have iPad programs.

At Georgia College, educational technology could spawn more educational technology.

A group of graduate students at the Milledgeville, Ga.-based campus have used Apple’s iBookstore to publish a video-and-image-laden eTextbook filled with information and advice for educators hoping to better incorporate technology in their everyday classroom lessons.

The eBook, “Using Technology in Education,” is a student-created textbook available for the iPad and available for free in the iBookstore, which was introduced in January to much adulation from campus technologists.

Nine graduate students in Associate Professor Chris Greer’s Advanced Technology for Teachers course researched, filmed, and photographed the text and images used in the ed-tech eTextbook, covering myriad topics from social media use in higher education to document cameras to advances in assistive technology and eReaders.

Greer said his class’s textbook is a good example of how technology can make education more efficient and affordable without sacrificing quality.

“This movement toward electronic textbooks and tablet computers could revolutionize K-12 and higher education,” he said. “Digital textbooks are inexpensive and can be updated more quickly and easily. Our textbook strives to look at technology and education together.”

Greer said making textbooks available for iPads will prove more impactful in K-12 and higher education as more educators adopt the eReaders for classroom use. More than 600 school districts have an iPad program, he said.

“It’s a cool, well-designed eBook,” said Greer, associate professor of instructional technology in the John H. Lounsbury College of Education, who added that Apple deemed his students’ work exemplary. “After we submitted it, no revisions were needed. The textbook passed Apple’s screening process, which speaks to the quality of the students’ work.”

Twelve percent of college students who answered a recent survey said they owned an iPad, the Apple product widely expected to mainstream the use of tablets in higher education.

Two in three student respondents said the iPad was “in” on their campus—an indication that the tablet’s popularity among twenty-somethings is much greater than ownership. In 2010, just after the first iPads were released in stores, 11 percent of students said the tablet was “in” at their school.

Student Monitor, a national market research firm, conducted the survey among 1,200 full-time students at four-year colleges and universities.

Six in 10 college students—and seven in 10 high school seniors—believe tablets will replace traditional textbooks within five years.

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