Entries Tagged as 'pilot'
From the announcement:
The University of Stellenbosch Business School and the popular South African online retailer kalahari.net launched an electronic book (eBooks) pilot project to determine the usability of ereader software in the learning process.
According to Prof John Powell, director of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), the school’s objective for this project is to determine the usability of ereader software (eBooks) in the learning process.
“We appreciate that eBooks are becoming a viable alternative for consuming content. In the absence of credible research to determine the consumption of eBooks in an academic environment, and clear indications of the impact on student learning, we initiated the project together with kalahari.net.”
According to John Jacobs, new business manager for kalahari.net eBooks, “the shared objectives of this project are to understand the consumption of digital content in an academic environment, so that we are able to respond to the challenges and leverage the opportunities.”
kalahari.net is developing its own eBook reader software which will allow people to read digital content, such as magazines or academic textbooks, on any device such as computers, hand-held ereaders or smartphones.
Did you catch the part where they said they were focusing on software, not hardware? They learned something from last year’s failed Kindle pilots.
First off, the reason I know that Devry (a private university with 100k students ) are running an iPad pilot is because while I was at the ALA Conference, I bumped into the woman who runs it. She couldn’t give me details about the iPad pilot, unfortunately. That’s understandable. DeVry are a private corporation and the information is proprietary. But since the Devry Kindle pilot covered 3k students with Kindles, the iPad pilot will probably be pretty big (3k, no; 1k, maybe).
Campus Technology are reporting that OSU will run an iPad pilot this fall.
Oklahoma State University plans to run an Apple iPad project during the fall 2010 semester to research the use of the tablet device in a classroom setting. The initiative will integrate the iPad into classes led by two faculty members, one in the school of journalism and broadcasting and the other in the school of business. The experiment will involve about 125 students at two campuses, the main campus in Stillwater and the other in Tulsa. Each class will integrate the iPad differently but will focus on specific measurable outcomes.
This was actually the third day of the conference, but it was the first that I attended. (Thursday and Friday didn’t have any ebook sessions that I could find.)
There were 2 sessions that I wanted to cover today, and a third that I missed because I didn’t realize it was related to ebooks. Fortunately Sue Polanka attended the 3rd session, and you can read about in 3 parts: here, here, and here. Of the 2 sessions I attended one isn’t worth writing about; there was nothing new. The other session was titled “Multiple Formats and Multiple Copies in a Digital Age”, and even though it’s about libraries I think it’s worth the time to write it up. I will post it tomorrow.
I stopped by the Blio booth, and noted the location of a number of booths I wanted to visit on Monday. I found 3 different book scanners, and I’m going to try to get a video of each in action.
I have a dozen pens, a bunch of pads of paper, and quite a few pins. I know that’s not much, but I wasn’t in the hall much today. Later in the day I caught the beginning of a session sponsored by Tor-Forge, and they were giving away bags of books. All were paper books, unfortunately (I was hoping for ebooks). But I wasn’t there for the books anyway. No, I was there to get Cory Doctorow to sign my Kindle cover. He did.
Devry’s Kindle Pilot Program
The word of the day is: serendipity. At one session I happened to sit in front of someone who works for Devry. She mentioned to her companion how few ebook sessions there were (she’s right), so I turned around and told about the ones I knew of. We got to talking, and it turns out that Devry started a 2 year long Kindle pilot program some time back. They gave 3,000 students Kindles, and then tracked what happened.
She said it was a colossal failure. She didn’t give specifics, but she did say that by the one year mark only about 2/3 were still using the Kindle, and no one was using it as a textbook. She also mentioned that Devry had been quietly talking with their competition about the Kindle pilot program. She hinted that the University of Phoenix had also run a Kindle pilot, and had gotten similar results.
From the press release:
To help public libraries address the growing needs of school students, job seekers, and other library patrons, ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies, today announced a new pilot program that combines more than 20,000 e-books from leading publishers under a simultaneous, multi-user access subscription model; free access for local public high schools; do-it-yourself e-publishing tools; and complimentary marketing services.
For more information, or if you want to see a demo, contact ebrary at: email@example.com.
The University of Hagen (a distance learning school in Hagen, Germany) put out a press release earlier this month. A group of Graduate Education students were given Sony Touch Editions for the summer semester. All of the content for the summer semester is included on the ereader, and the devices will only be loaned to the students for the summer semester.
Converting that content to a Sony compatible format took several months. As part of the program, the students are required to keep a weekly journal of their experiences. They’ll also be interviewed twice during the semester.
I’ve found a bunch of ereader pilot programs recently. That’s great, but I do wish there were more signs that people have moved beyond experimentation and into common usage. [Read more →]
The story I found this morning about the Kindle DX pilot program at UVA reminded me that it wasn’t the only pilot last fall. I’ve found reports on several of the pilots, and I’ll write them up as I get the chance.
Princeton University released the final report on their ereader pilot last month. You can download it here. The results were mixed, but generally the same as that of UVA. The Kindle doesn’t make a good digital textbook. It’s very good at displaying text, but like most epaper based devices it falls far short of the annotation abilities most students require.