In 2007, as undergraduates, we started a student government project to lower the cost of textbooks through price comparison. The goal was to help fellow students find their course materials at the lowest cost. To accomplish this, my classmates and I built a price comparison tool that collected a small affiliate fee from retailers each time a transaction was completed. In addition to saving students money on their course materials, we used the proceeds from those affiliate fees to help build a school in Zambia.
The next time you say, “I am making the best decision based on the information I have available to me”, you want to know your decision was made with a clear perspective and informed by the bigger picture. Today more than ever, students are presented with an increasing number of tools and study aids, each producing valuable learning data. As educators look to improve student success through the analysis of this data, the difficulty of gathering and consistently interpreting the data is compounded by the number of tools in play.
I’m a book lover. I enjoy curling up with a great book and my wife owns and manages a lovely independent bookstore on Boston’s North Shore. I spent the first half of my 40 years in the education industry publishing print textbooks and still have many of them displayed proudly on my shelf at home.
The world of education is moving inexorably towards digital products. Also of course, publishers are caught in a Catch 22 – they know they need to move to digital, but a substantial amount of revenue still comes in from print.
What’s the first thing you do when you get a new phone? How about a new computer?
Customization and personalization are innate in today’s digital habits. Some people like to use certain shortcuts, install special plug-ins, change their settings.
Not all educational content is created equal. Content used for learning anatomy requires lots of images and diagrams. Content used for learning to speak another language needs audio recordings. And math content usually requires math notation.