The ebook is free to download.
More than 100 faculty and staff and more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students from 51 units across the U of M compiled their tech stories and perspectives into a unique eBook: Cultivating Change in the Academy: 50+ Stories from the Digital Frontlines at the University of Minnesota in 2012. Faculty used technology and crowd-sourcing to overcome traditional barriers between colleges and disciplines in order to bring new thought to the form of a peer-reviewed online publication. The result was a peer-reviewed and online book published in only three months. It is believed to be the first such eBook of its kind.
“Our world is changing rapidly and technology presents educators with great opportunities. The challenge is acting fast enough and translating that new knowledge before technology becomes outdated,” said Ed Nater, co-editor and professor of soil, water and climate at the U. “An eBook was a fun, fast and effective way to start sharing successes. Educational technology is not about computer labs anymore. It’s about being nimble enough to engage students in learning on their terms.”
EBook chapters were written by a variety of contributors, many who were part of the U of M’s Academic Technology Showcase 2012 (http://www.cehd.umn.edu/Showcase/). Inspired by a common goal for cultivating change through technology, the editors invited Showcase presenters and others to contribute eBook chapters. Within a month, editors compiled more than 50 submissions, and co-designers then assisted with peer review and design.
The eBook is organized into four sections:
Changing Pedagogies – Contributors discuss how to move teaching beyond memorization of facts toward interactive coaching and problem solving.
Creating Solutions – Includes innovative uses of video, podcasts, vodcasts and simulations to engage students. Contributors also showcase use of GoToMeeting, Moodle, Blackbag, iPads, Camtasia Relay, Skype, Ning, Google Apps and others.
Providing Direction – Challenges the assumption that big, expensive programs are necessary to make things happen. Claudia Neuhauser, vice chancellor at the University of Minnesota, Rochester, illustrates how minimal investments in individualized education can produce significant local results.
Extending Reach – Showcases expanded student and community engagement through technology.
The free eBook is available at http://purl.umn.edu/125273 and will be available at iTunes U, Google and Amazon. While designed for an iPad, Kindle, Nook or other tablets, it also may be viewed on a laptop or Web browser.