iPads as Effective Learning Tools in Classroom

kid holding an ipadThe use of classroom in teaching and learning has been observed in many in many years as a potential alternative to modern teaching and learning. Because skills requirement for the current century changes so as the teaching skills needed to support learning.

Teachers and educational technologists see iPad and similar tablets as viable substitute for teaching students and to gain new knowledge in the 21st century. Schools begin equipping classrooms with the necessary technology to assist teachers in delivering their lessons to students.

It started with college students down to 8th grader and plans are underway to provide the same type of gadgets to kids down that grade level to the preparatory level.

Students now find it amusing to see books that are interactive. It should be able to provide videos and texts as well as pictures to make learning fun and enriching, something that allows students to interact with it in a way that it responds to students questions. Or a book that allows students to raise queries and make other students respond to it.

Many similar pilot projects are being done to support the current trend of enriching student teaching and learning. Many schools now are in constant search for tech-savvy teachers to support the ever-increasing student need of students to support their thirst for knowledge.

Many schools started incorporating the use of iPads and use of gizmos in the classroom to augment learning and to support the various goals of schools in the promotion of technology for student learning and teaching. With the use of iPad, students and teachers no longer have to go to computer labs to watch videos or movie clips since the iPad is equipped with the capability to play video playback. This is very important because it reduces the amount of time teachers have to prepare to setup DVD players or similar devices and also help student focus on their studies and not bothered by transferring from one room to another just to watch video clips or movies.

in our previous blogpost we discussed about the need for more robust educational technology to be applied in current educational setting. The need for new methods and strategies for modern teaching is necessary in order to keep students interested in schools. CourseEasy is particularly interested in this new development and supports every school that does this. Have you checked the latest features of our educational platform and see if this is something your school needs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Classrooms, Schools, Students in Today’s Technology

The use of computers has become widespread in this age where technology is everywhere and we interact with it almost every single second of our lives. We’ve seen how it changed the way we live, the way we deal with others and the way we educate ourselves.

Children are by far the perfect example of how technology is changing the landscape of education. With 70% of children aged 2 to 5 able to maneuver a mouse yet only 11% can tie their shoelaces we can only speculate just how much computers and its spawns have made a huge impact in our lives.

A good infographic that depicts this is shared in LearnStuff. The infographic shows how well students, especially the younger ones, are using gizmos to help them learn concepts in school.

The infographic illustrates that 40% of teachers in the elementary grade are starting to use computers while teaching. This coincides with the fact that the US government is pouring in its resources to provide all schools with Internet and computers with current penetration at 98% as of this writing.

Graduating with Technology infographic

Not to mention that 3 out of 4 students prefer to use tablets like iPad to read books and other reference materials. With majority, at 90%, thinking that the use of such gadgets instead of the traditional printed textbooks help them gain more knowledge and perform well in school.

To date, there are more than 1.5 million iPads in use in schools and the numbers are steadily increasing as more and more learning institutions are switching to digital technology. Apple has successfully provided a great platform where students and teachers can use tablets and smartphones as learning materials and paved the way for the production of more than 200,000 educational apps in the Apple App Store.

The good thing about iBooks, Apple’s version of traditional printed textbooks, is that it drives the prices of textbooks down. Comparing the same book produced at traditional publishing house, a single textbook costing $65 would only cost $14.99 in Apple iBooks. This could save every single student around $900 per year for buying textbooks in school.

Many teachers are starting to see the positive effect of technology in student learning and many of them now use social media tools like social networks to assist students in their day to day academic work.

Latest statistics show that two out of three professors now use social media in their class as part of responding to students’ learning needs. In fact, 91% of school faculty now use social media as part of their work routine. What’s more exciting is that 84% of learning institutions now use Twitter as a communication tool to disseminate special school-related announcements. If you can’t be convinced, consider this: students who use Twitter achieve, by an average of .5 points, a higher GPA than those who don’t.

All these statistics can’t be ignored. What say you about these numbers? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments below.

Breakthrough Tools for Modern Teaching

steve jobs pictureThere are technological advancements in the field of teaching and education that instructors can use for better teaching. We’ve probably seen them already or students have already been using them in classrooms. But exactly these tools are for and are teachers and students really prepared to use them?

We’ve seen this question raised many times in classrooms and academe agree that in order to modernize education, technology has to be utilized. The Internet itself present itself as another avenue to start the modernization process but little has been done in order to take educational institutions with it. While other industries such as engineering, biology, and chemistry has improved a lot for the past decades, education has been stuck in the 19th-20th century.

Education definitely needs a real facelift and many companies such as CourseEasy are doing their share to help both students and teachers to manage their resources and introduce gadgets that will be useful for learning. The universality of smartphones and increasing number of tablet use is an evidence that times is changing and that many students are starting to embrace technology to either advance their learning or make learning easier for them.

Wireless Generation

Have you noticed just how widespread wireless gadgets use is and how wireless technology like WiFi has began to occupy much of our preoccupation with students’ learning? This is because students now have gadgets like tablets and smartphones where they keep notes of what they’re studying and access free eBooks that are part of the Open Source Textbook project.

The use of tablets like the iPad is also starting to embraced by teachers. Many schools now promote the use of iPad in presentation and in helping teachers deliver their lectures while flashing data from their device onto the whiteboard. It’s amazing how this happened in only a matter of few decades considering that the Internet is young.

Innovation Feeds Development

Innovation in any form provide for the continued success and expansion of any industry. Think about all the businesses out there that failed to innovate – they crashed and died. Apple Inc. is one of the many companies that continues to breed leaders that are unconventional, modern, and radical in terms of creating the kind of technology people would like to use today. They somehow dictate the kind of technology people should use rather than predict what the public wants.

Many schools don’t realize the potential positive impact of technology if applied in school systems. CourseEasy has this system where students and teachers can manage their learning and teaching resources respectively in order to amplify academic work. CE operates in a powerful cloud computing technology that makes course planning and selection in a breeze and manage student and teacher’s academic tools all in one place.

Class collaboration has never been this easy and interactive with CourseEasy. It’s a social network and classroom in one. Interested to take your academic status at a the next level? Talk to us today.

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Tips for Students to Avoid Overpriced Textbooks

reading lady with stacks of books beside herStudents can opt not to buy full-price college textbooks which cost a fortune. This article states how you can avoid paying for overpriced college books.

Yearly increase in textbook prices is old news to students: inflation is at around 6% annually. This has been a burden for financially struggling students and even prevented a considerable amount of incoming freshmen from going to college. But the need to have the required readings made students look for new ways to get books without having to pay for costly copies.

CourseEasy is equipped with book selling facility where student can make better judgment as to where and when to buy their textbooks for the next semester. College bookstores will also be able to adjust their textbook prices with the same website implement. CourseEasy also provides students to maintain their own student bookshelf where they’ll be able to keep track the types of textbooks they’ve bought, sold, or rented during the entire semester. A truly useful functionality, really.

The most frugal of all means is to look for free copies. You can:

  1. Go online and check for free downloadable version of the books you need. The number of available titles is growing and there is a good chance you will be able to find what you need in e-book format.
  2. Borrow copies from relatives, friends, or colleagues. If you know anyone who has taken the same subjects that you are taking, they might have the books you need.
  3. Go to the library and check the availability of the books. Professors often put several copies of the book/s in the reserve section to be accessed by the students.

If there is no free book in sight, cut your expenses considerably by buying used books instead. You can:

  1. Visit the college bookstore and ask if they sell used books. College bookstores can give you up to 25% off on used books, plus you can take advantage of the notes that previous students might have written on the pages.
  2. Contact student groups that hold book drives. There are usually several of these groups on campus at the start of the semester. Look for posters, flyers, or ask friends for more details on the event.
  3. Buy used books online. Several websites are popular among students who want to save more by buying second hand books. You can check bookgator.com, amazon.com, and other reputable e-bookshops. Some of them also offer buyback options so you do not have to worry whether you can sell your books after you use them by the end of the semester.
  4. Rent textbooks. E-bookshops serve as online book rental companies as well. You can avail this and have a book for a determined number of weeks. If in the end you find yourself wanting to keep the book, just pay the cover price on top of your rental, and it is yours.

If all else fails, you can opt not to shoulder the full price of a brand new textbook on your own. You can always find a good friend who is willing to split the cost with you, and then use the book together for your homework and exams.

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Simple Steps to Choose Good textbooks

textbooks on deskA good textbook can be typically identified as having: the most updated content, the most accurate facts, comprehensive topics discussed and of course, an affordable price. With the increasing prices of textbooks, students cannot afford to buy several books, making find good books even more important. Here at CourseEasy we’ve decided to write some simple tips and steps to help you make a sound judgment in finding or choosing good textbooks.

  1. Check publication date – In the test for accurate and up-to-date of information, the best way to check is to look at the date when the book is published. Generally, a more recent book will have more updated information, as well as be more accurate, as new editions will also edit or remove data that was disproved already.
  2. Browse through the introduction – The first few pages of the book will give you more information of the book than just the title page. When you are browsing through books on online libraries or a bookstore, you cannot really preview the full book – instead you can read the preface or introduction to get an idea of the content. You can also check the table of contents for the outline of topics and the bibliography for books cited or used as resources.
  3. Look for book reviews – Reviews by professors and other students are useful at getting feedback about the book without having to get your own copy. Point your browser to online sites or bookstores that ask readers to share feedback on textbooks.
  4. Compare prices – A more expensive book doesn’t always mean better quality, besides, who would want to spend so much money on books they might only use for a semester? Students on a budget might even opt to not buy books if they are too expensive. Do a compromise and do a thorough search online for deals on the books that you are choosing between – this way, you can get the book you want without breaking the bank.
  5. Professor knows best – There is no better resource than your own professor – he or she will know the course and the topics best, they will also know which books will match his or her teaching style and also, they usually already have a list of good books based on their own research and preparation for class.
  6. Choose the one with extras – Supplementary materials not only give you more value for your money, you are also given more to aid with your study – like CD-Roms and even exercises.

A good textbook is not hard to find. By knowing where and how to evaluate the book, through these simple steps, you can already eliminate other books and find the best one for you.

Academic cloud platform like CourseEasy is beneficial for college students as well as universities who are looking into helping their students manage their online resources and take full control of their academic life. Check out CourseEasy’s features today.

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Plugged-In Generation College Students to Benefit from CourseEasy Technology

college student in a classroom readingFor plugged-in generations like the college students of today, it’s surprising that many of them still prefers the old school printed textbooks. This is startling news shared by National Association of College Stores’s spokesperson Charles Schmidt.

Although the price cut for digital textbooks are way cheaper, usually 60%-70% cheaper than printed textbooks, most students still prefer the old fashioned way of reading their course materials. The result was taken from a poll conducted by NACS. But the data presented may not actually reflect the entire nation or entire students globally but it’s a good reference point to start.

System is Needed

Many college students now prefers to use eBooks rather than the traditional textbooks. The fact still remains that many textbooks are yet to be transformed to a digital format before publishers and students will start to see the benefits of being able to access their course resources in a portable tablet or laptops. This is important in order to amplify the use of eBooks and start doing away with cutting trees in order to produce printed textbooks.

Many colleges and universities started pilot testing many courses and programs in order to see the benefits of being able to make standard textbooks converted to a digital form. Because of this, a system is lacking in order to support the exponential increase of eBook use and help schools organize learning and keep track of students’ performance in one cool, neat computer program.

Technology

CourseEasy Technology is equipped with powerful online learning collaboration technology or cloud technology that helps teachers in terms of course planning and students in terms of academic tracking and collaboration with teachers and other students.

We’ve made quite a new advancement already and we’re continually upgrading our system in order to make our learning platform easy to use for students and easy to implement in schools. We have quite a number of schools already who have used the system and we’re proud to see that all of the pilot testing is well-received by the students and teachers in the academe.

We have cloud platform for bookstores that teachers and students can use in order to facilitate learning and make textbook buy and sell easy to accomplish and drive the cost down as well.

To Universities: Don’t let your college students leave your online bookstore

Make them stay by providing the necessary academic tools that they can use to enhance and enrich students’ learning experience. All tools at CourseEasy are all Web 2.0, social design more of like a social networking site where student can easily collaborate with other students and communicate with their professors. Try CourseEasy today and check on the exciting features we’ve developed for you.

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Features that Make Online Bookstores as Social Networking Sites Stand Out

japanese manga storeOnline bookstores can opt to function as social networking sites at the same time. Here are features that will make those more helpful and ideal to student learning.

Online bookstores should also serve as social media portals these days. Most of those bookshops are trying to beat and outpace competitors so they have to come out with strategies to entice students. Because social networking is popular among students, why not use it to boost sales of online bookstores?

Social networking can be integrated into online bookstores. By doing so, Internet-based bookstores can better serve the students, who on the other hand can use the portal as another tool that aids their learning. Here are the important features that stand out.

Messaging features

Online bookstores that function as social networks at the same time must have helpful messaging features. These can range from emails, to forums, to instant chats. Students can very well exchange knowledge and information through these features. They can exchange notes and share their learning techniques.

Instant messaging can facilitate better socialization and interaction. It is because students can instantly and immediately respond to what other students are saying. It will be like conversing with them but only virtually. This way, the interaction can serve less as a distraction. Students can still study or read their lessons while chatting, which is in line with the discussion of the textbook. This online bookstore feature is something that is also fully integrated in CourseEasy.

Tracking book purchases

Some students may prefer to interact with other students from outside their community or from other schools. Doing so may be advantageous because they can possibly learn more from them. In typical social networks, it may be harder to do so because there are millions of users worldwide and there can be more posers.

In online bookstores, there can be less or no social network poser at all. Students can be sure other users are also students who purchase textbooks from the online bookstore. They can make new friends or meet other students through checking out and tracking users’ textbook purchases. This way, they can identify other students who also bought and used the same textbooks they use. That can be a good start for conversations and interactions.

Selling and buying textbooks

Of course, online bookstores sell and even buy textbooks. As social networks, they also facilitate selling and buying of books among students. Some books can be so rare and almost obsolete, it may already be impossible to find and buy them even online. But other students may have copies of those that they do not use anymore. Thus, other students can just offer to buy those textbooks.

Online bookstores serving as social networks can also facilitate trading or exchanging of textbooks among themselves. They can agree to trade their old textbooks for books they need this semester. This type of activity can be facilitated by CourseEasy and it makes it even easier than ever to trade, swap, or buy textbooks online as well as track students’ performance in school.

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Online Bookstores as Social Networking Site for Student Learning

twitter iconOnline bookstores combined with social networks will create tools that will benefit students. Online bookstores as social networking sites can be advantageous in the following ways.

The use of social networks can significantly bolster student learning and achievement. This is the findings of a published research by the University of Maryland. According to researchers, students who use the social media build and keep important bonds through regularly connecting with their school friends via social networking sites. They added that when students achieve a sense of connection and belongingness, they will more likely perform better in school.

On the other hand, online bookstores are gaining popularity and patronage these days. This is not surprising because such sites are offering and selling all types of books through the convenience and security of the Internet. Many students prefer using such bookstores for finding and buying the textbooks they need. They not only find convenience; they usually purchase books at lower or discounted costs.

What if social networks and online bookstores combine? That will surely be more likely to benefit students. It seems that the two are fitted for each other. Online bookstores functioning as social networking sites as well will undoubtedly be effective. This is exactly what CourseEasy is designed to work.

Sharing information and security

Social networks are currently popular tools for exchanging and sharing information. However, many students and educators are wary because such social networks can also serve as distractions. Those can be dangerous Websites at the same time because some unscrupulous people and criminals can use the site to defraud and abuse students.

That is how online bookstores as social networks can be advantageous. Internet-based bookstores can only be useful to students who buy books from those sites. Thus, students can only get to interact with other students from their own schools or from others. It will be harder and impractical for posers to invest in buying textbooks they do not need just to distract other social network users. Course Easy is equipped with this feature where students can interact with other students and allow them to buy, swap, and rent textbooks right from the website. This is in addition to many other tools that comes when you get CourseEasy as a platform for student tool interaction, marketplace, and learning.

Trading and reselling books

Another practical and logical use of online bookstores as social networks is for trading and reselling of textbooks. Students can use the bookstores’ Websites to exchange information about the textbooks they use. They may share notes and insights about the content.

Students who have difficulty in finding specific editions of textbooks can use the online bookstores as social networks to possibly find those rare books. Other students may already have finished using their copies and decide to re-sell their books or they may trade those books for other textbooks. They can even have agreements on how to exchange or trade books to their own advantages.

Many businesses who have taken advantage of the unique features of CourseEasy have find it easy for teachers to interact with their students and allow a feedback system that positively reflects students’ interaction with their professors. It also has become a great avenue for students to express their thoughts on what’s working well and not inside the classroom and the entire course syllabus as well. With this, CourseEasy has made possible a true feedback system.

Check out more of what CourseEasy can do for for online bookstore business and school organization by reading our Product section.

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Using Technological Innovations in Classrooms and Bookstores

book held by a handThe use of new technology to usher a new age of how things are done in any industry is a sure driver towards innovation. We’ve seen this again and again and we realize that companies which fail to address the needs of its consumers or those that are slow to innovate usually don’t last long.

The same thing applies in the production of textbook as well as how college bookstores operate on a daily basis. Surely, printed textbooks are here to stay and it will take time before ebooks begin to occupy much of students yearly budget for textbooks.

Yet, with the current trend of tablet production all over the globe, there’s no doubt that textbooks will soon be a thing of the past come 2015. The IT@School Project is one big promising project where policy makers would like to see traditional textbooks vanished by 2015 and all current textbooks be converted to digital format before the set target. They also want to see more textbooks to become available to students for free.

Western countries as well as some in Asia are spearheading programs that will soon revolutionize the way student access their course materials or textbooks. Plans to replace traditional print textbooks to eBooks are becoming a norm and it’s only a matter of time before we start to see all these happen before our very eyes.

The use of these new technology will greatly minimize the cost of college textbooks and open up new avenues for a more flexible learning mode for students. Imagine the possibilities these technologies will bring to student as well as the savings parents will have as part of these changes.

New eBooks will either be preloaded in computer tablets or part of it preloaded or static and most are available in distant server where dynamic content are stored. The possibilities are endless and all these are made possible by the innovations made by companies who are eager to bring the same type of innovation to the classrooms.

CourseEasy has worked really hard to bring the kind of technology that is needed in this 21st century in order to help college bookstores capture the market that has been avoiding them for decades. To date, college students would usually look at their college bookstores just to see the books available and shop elsewhere. This trend has been going on for many years and little has been done to actually address it.

CourseEasy is equipped with the necessary technology to supply businesses like college bookstores to offer the needed services and help students get the textbooks they want at the right price and at the right place and time. With CourseEasy proprietary technology, students can now use college bookstores websites as a means to communicate with their fellow students, save on college textbook, and track their performance in school.

Find more information by visiting our Product section.

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How to Choose Textbooks

textbook buying fairChoosing the right textbooks for courses is not an easy task. Depending on the instructors’ and students’ level of reliance on a reference material to acquire needed content, the wrong choice of textbook can confound the learning process, waste class time, pauperize learners, skew information, or even sabotage instructional goals.

A well-seasoned professor or academic supervisor can attest that choosing the right book is not that simple. There is a need to look at several published materials that can possibly serve the purpose of effective instruction and learning. Anyone who is selecting books for courses must aim to match those materials with the instructor, the course, and the students.

Matching with instructor

What is the instructor supposed or intend to do with the book? Will the material fit with his style of teaching? The ‘sage on the stage’ or traditional lecturing style has become passé today. There is a need for more enlightened and innovative instructional methods. It will not hurt to choose textbooks that will be slightly divergent to allow students to logically question their own learning and fill in any gap without losing motivation to learn.

The book should cover everything that has to be covered in class. This way, the instructor can rest assured that even if a student misses a session, he will still easily catch up on lessons. Most of all, in this regard, the reference material should teach. It should divide important content into smaller and more manageable chunks for easier assimilation.

Matching with course

When choosing a textbook for a course, the succeeding and related undergraduate and graduate courses should be considered. If the course is on the introductory level, a core book will be more useful. Thought-provoking and more advanced books can be saved for the second-tier or higher courses.

Fortunately, publishers do their own research to determine the right treatment and mix of their books’ content. It is safe to check out recommendations directly from them. Thus, it is noticeable that almost all textbooks are in proper sequence and scope to facilitate better teaching and learning of courses.

Matching with students

Why are students taking the course? This question should serve as an effective guide to textbook selection. If they are just forced to take the subject, they should get standard and foundational knowledge from the material. If the course is preparatory for practice, the book must focus on theory into mechanics, practice, or application.

A more realistic assessment of abilities and knowledge level of students should be done for proper selection of textbooks. Proximal development should not be overlooked. The difficulty and readability level of books should always be looked at.

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