Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ditching Textbooks, One Mini at a Time

Like many higher education institutions this year, Lynn University is helping its incoming freshman class to dabble in technology while they study. The school is issuing an iPad mini to each fresher and transfer student.

Unlike other institutions, though, Lynn has been more transparent about its endgame with the iPads.

“Essentially, our goal is to get rid of all textbooks in our core curriculum. Without getting myself in too much trouble, I’d like for that to happen next year,” Chris Boniforti, Lynn’s chief information officer, told Inside Higher Ed.

The minis have been preloaded with digital materials for a required freshman course and access to the LiveText online portfolio system. Students will be able to use the devices to access other apps and materials for their classes. The university also encourages students to download free-time content to their iPads, such as music, games, and photos.

In two years, students will be expected to trade their minis in for the newest version, which they can keep after graduation.

Students aren’t the only ones being prodded toward high-tech scholarship. Lynn’s faculty have also been developing course content on the iOS platform. This year the university is rolling out nine introductory courses through iTunes U.

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