eBooks: how do they work?

Some of my programmes are face-to-face, classroom-based, others largely online. For students on both platforms, access to sources of information and research is important. A few years ago there was a conflict between the online nature of a programme and the fact that students still needed to attend a library to access those sources. With the advent of ebooks that is not really an issue (though there will still be a huge role for physical books for a long time yet, especially as some students express a preference for hard copy and in the interests of inclusivity we can’t ignore that.)

Anyway, all of this is just a preamble to me wondering how other tutors go about helping their students use ebooks effectively and painlessly. Has anyone produced brief guidelines about how to navigate your way via the different routes to ebooks? My own college is working hard at this and access to ebooks is generally effective, but students tell me it is confusing that there are so many different publishers with different systems. How do you help your students?

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Emerging from Hibernation

Google Docs v Powerpoint

After I finished my OU course looking at using emerging technology in class and as part of online learning I took a bit of a break from blogging but although it’s cold outside the elearning urge is coming back to life.

I am very keen on getting my students (trainee teachers and trainers) to produce work collaboratively. For example, one of my programmes gets them working together in class for a day, producing one joint response to some questions about how they teach inclusively. They produce a joint end-product, usually a long powerpoint either with presenter notes for adding extra detail or even a voice-over. I believe that the peer learning which goes on when the students are hammering out their joint response to the questions is really excellent.

Two students in another group were given the option of producing a collaborative outcome, and they chose to use Google Docs. I have always thought it was perfectly reasonable for me to insist on my trainee teachers using Powerpoint but I shied away from suggesting anything like Google Docs as it requires users to be registered with Google – and I know that some of my students would see that as a barrier.

I would like to hearĀ from you if you have used ppt, Google Docs,Padlet or any other platform to get your students collaborating, whether in class or online.