CourseSmart Helps Colleges Understand The Benefits of Using eTextbooks

I’ve discussed on here before about the HUGE need for digital learning training programs that are catered to school administrations specifically. Current trends are suggesting that students of all ages are seeing the value in using eTextbooks and other digital learning materials both on and off-campus, and slowly but surely it seems that the majority of teachers and professors are really warming to the idea as well. The problem we have currently taking place within the digital learning scene is that the administration officials at the the top of the pyramid (think Chief Academic Officers, Provosts, Vice Presidents, Academic Technology Officers, etc) are not necessarily in “tune” with the benefits involved.

Some of the folks at the decision-making level are very risk-averse, and for GOOD reason too…they have a University that depends on their sound judgement and cost/benefit analysis. Some of these folks recognize that digital learning is the future, but are scared that rushing into a certain platform or digital solution might could up costing the University and possibly their jobs in the long-run, should say that digital learning platform they chose becomes too error-prone for use and too expensive to maintain, thus forcing the University to spend even more money on different solutions, etc. These are certainly complicated decisions with complicated answers, and I for one do not envy people that are forced to make extended commitments involving technology. (In my experiences with technology platforms, things tend to go wrong a lot that are completely outside of your control, even when things seem as promising as ever…but hey, I am a fairly pessimistic person in general hehe).

So, it appears that CourseSmart is taking the lead (they tend to be doing this A LOT in regards to anything related to online textbooks if you haven’t already noticed) and partnering with Campus Technology to host a webinar titled: “Making the Move to a Digital Campus: Best Practices and Pitfalls from the Front Lines”, which will be held on November 10, 2011. The awesome thing that they are doing is bringing in school administrators from around that country that have FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE  implementing digital learning solutions on a larger University-level. These people I’m sure had their own doubts and questions regarding the benefits of digital course materials, very similar to the questions and anxiety most school administrators around the globe are asking and feeling when confronting the reality of the digital learning revolution.

All in all, this is just great news for the entire digital learning movement and I’d hope and expect to see a lot more similar similar educational presentations and online webinars taking place throughout the world. Once administrators are educated, it will be time to move on to educating instructors about using digital learning solutions in their classrooms and lecture halls. The challenge will always be providing this vital technical education in a cost-effective manner. My vote is that they use online webinars, just like the webinars they are using to educate administration and faculty  discussed within this post. Just have teachers and Professors log online and go through instructions and activities that inform them about how to use the digital tools in the most effective manner. Give them access to forums and other live feedback from other teachers and professors implementing the same tools as this will create a mini-community very quickly that is truly “alive” with new digital learning information and information on implementing these digital learning solutions.

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