New application allows professors to create course materials for mobile devices

A new application developed at Purdue is allowing professors to create customized course materials that can be downloaded directly on to students’ mobile devices.

The application, called JetPack, is available to Purdue professors at no cost.

One Purdue professor, Jennifer Neville, decided to use JetPack to create her own course material because she was unable to find affordable course materials for her data mining and machine learning course.

My hope is that this catches on with more professors. As most people know, textbooks are ridiculously expensive.

Even if the digital textbooks and course materials don’t catch on very quickly, there needs to be a more unified effort to bring the astronomical prices of textbooks back down to earth.

I remember spending around $700 for my textbooks earlier on in my college career. There’s just no reason for that.

With Apple recently releasing e-textbook publishing software, and a textbooks section in its iBooks application for the iPad last month, things are starting to look really interesting for the future of textbooks.

It’s really exciting to see some professors ditching the boring, expensive, out of date, clunky paper textbooks in favor of interactive, customizable, digital textbooks.

More information about JetPack can be found on Information Technology at Purdue’s website.

What are your thoughts about digital textbooks/course materials? Would you rather use them or would you miss having physical books? How much of a factor is the price? Do you think more professors should use this technology?

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are, so please let me know in the poll or comments below!

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