eReaders, tablets, and digital tools to assist in further education
In an age where students are taking untraditional routes when it comes to higher education and their tools, we’re taking a look at what’s new in the eReader market. As less and less people rely traditional textbooks and libraries to gather their needed information, and more and more students go to digital textbooks and the Internet to get what they need, eReaders are becoming ever-popular in classrooms and Ivy League campuses around the nation.
Bookless libraries seem to be the buzzword these days on college campuses and offer rows of computers and access to millions of electronic platforms and items to better assist with students’ education. Take for instance Drexel University’s new Library Learning Terrace which opened this June.
Scott Erdy, designer of the new library says that the space promotes open and flexible space, movable furniture and a wall that acts as one giant whiteboard allowing students and staff members the ability to transfer knowledge. Danuta Nitecki, dean of Drexel’s libraries tells Time.com, “We don’t just house books, we house learning.” It looks like Kansas State University was the first to go bookless in 2000 with its engineering library and Stanford University and the University of Texas at San Antonio followed suit in later years.
Read on about what’s new in the eReader market, whether it’s new devices, apps for students, or digital textbook programs that are taking students into the digital age even further.
Amazon Kindle Textbook Rentals
Just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, Amazon announced its new Kindle Textbook Rental which will allow students to save up to 80 percent on its retail prices of textbooks – while also promoting its popular eReader device. Students can rent out eBooks from the Kindle Store instead of buying them the traditional way. Amazon says that tens of thousands of textbooks are available as students start the 2011 school year. Rental length options equally abundant ranging between 30 to 360 days.
Students only pay for the time they need a text book and can extend rentals in specific time periods, like a single day or even convert a rental to purchase it at a discounted rate. Additionally, students can even access their notes and highlights after their rental period ends by visiting Amazon’s website. The company already announced that it will launch a free version of its Kindle Lending Library later this year so we can imagine consumers will be keeping an eye on this sector of the business.
Kindle with Wi-Fi
The ever-popular Kindle by Amazon was one of the first ways to read digital books and became a standard toy when traveling, hitting the beach, and pretty much any other opportunity when users knew they would be in need of a distraction for a couple hours. The Kindle is sleek, light, has a battery life of up to two months, stores up to 3,500 books and can download new books in 60 seconds.
The best part of the Kindle has to be the built-in Wi-Fi in addition to its 3G wireless capabilities so you can search the web for new reading ideas. If you don’t mind constant advertisements, the Kindle 3G with Special Offers is $50 cheaper and offers special offers for Amazon.com gift cards and sponsored screensavers.
In our opinion, Apple’s tablet devices are the prettiest ones out there. From better graphics, usability, and special programs designed for better efficiencies, the iPad is always our top pick for eReaders and beyond. The next generation iPad device is in the woodworks and the term “iPad HD” seems to be the buzzword around the block.
Reports are coming out saying that the next-gen device will be equipped with the Retina display that made Apple’s iPhone so loved. It’s also been leaked that Samsung and LG have both provided Apple with high-resolution LCD displays that are being quality tested at Apple’s China facility. While the next-gen device will probably hold on to its 9.7-inch display, its resolution is allegedly going to be quadrupled and we can imagine the price points will be equally hefty.
Sony’s Reader Touch Edition offers a 6-inch clear touch screen that reads just like a real book. Page turning is easier and content can be purchased from the online Reader Store if you’re looking for new releases and best sellers. More than two million free titles are also available, as well as links to borrow eBooks from local public libraries is another novel option provided by the Sony Reader. The Reader’s 2GB of storage space allows you to hold up to 1,200 books.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.