Trailblazing the E-reader Revolution: Two Universities, Two Approaches

By Joan Wines, Julius Bianchi, Harlan Stelmach, Gary Gorka and Michael Brint.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

E-readers are promising teaching and learning devices for the mobile generation whose
reading and writing skills educators are working to improve. These two universities are exploring and identifying
practices that will best optimize an e-reader’s potential for encouraging deeper student learning.
Importance/Relevance: The portable e-reader, so intuitive to students, is the ideal device for the mobile
generation. Educators who want to engage students more deeply in reading and writing are using e-readers
to help enhance and personalize education for diverse student learners. Student engagement
in reading and writing is the overarching objective of these projects. Students carry e-readers everywhere,
read the “isolated-page” texts anywhere, highlight and comment on those texts, save the information,
paste it into Word documents, and then refine it for use in their papers. Research Results:
CLU found that the key to using e-readers is to meet course objectives by first identifying and then teaching students to apply the e-reader functions that best unleash the teaching and learning potential of the e-reading device. In humanities pilot courses and in an Oxford study-abroad course, students were trained to use e-reader functions interactively, creating new learning environments that are as portable as the e-reader devices themselves. Dominican University concluded that by using a social media model, delivered through the iPad and a dedicated web portal, they might draw students into deeper reading and more significant engagement with seminal humanities texts.

Keywords: Student Engagement, Deep Reading, Writing, E-readers, E-books, Critical Thinking, Library, Inferential Reasoning, Analogical Skills, Reflection, Insight

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.189-196. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 749.359KB).

Dr. Joan Wines

Professor and Chair, English Department; Writing Center Director, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, USA

In addition to her duties as chair of the English Department, Dr. Wines has been the advisor for CLU’s award-winning literary publication Morning Glory for the past 12 years. She also directs the Writing Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at CLU. The Center for Teaching and Learning provides CLU faculty with one-on-one and group support that includes integrating technology into course redesigns and a Thursday Teaching and Learning series. Much of Dr. Wines’ scholarship is centered around enhancing teaching and learning at all levels. Dr. Wines is active in the Aldous Huxley research community and was an organizer for the 2008 International Huxley Symposium co-convened by CLU and the Huntington Library. Education: B.A., M.A., University of Detroit M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California.

Julius Bianchi

Associate Provost for Information Services, Office of Information Systems and Services, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, USA

Twenty years ago, Mr Bianchi came to Cal Lutheran as the Director of Academic Computing. He assumed his most recent position, Associate Provost for IS, six years ago and is responsible for leading a merged IT and library organization that includes administrative and academic computing, media services, telecommunications, help desk, and library. Prior to coming to California, he worked at Trinity College of Vermont for six years and was a student and employee at Indiana University, Bloomington for ten years. His current interests include library and classroom facilities planning, portal development, and integrating Web 2.0 into teaching and learning environments. Julius has a B.S. in Education (Sociology and World History) and a Master’s of Public Administration from Indiana University.

Dr. Harlan Stelmach

Chair, Faculty Forum; Professor, Humanities; Chair, Humanities Department, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, California, USA

Harlan Stelmach’s graduate work in the field of ethics began at Harvard University where he received his masters degree. He completed his doctoral work at the Graduate Theological Union in 1977 in an interdisciplinary program in ethics and social science. A post-doctoral visiting scholar stay at the Haas School of Business in Berkeley contributed to one of his specialties in business ethics. He was the director of the Center for Ethics and Social Policy in Berkeley for five years. He is the chair of the humanities department at Dominican and teaches courses in moral philosophy, medical ethics, and social science and religion. Dr. Stelmach joined the faculty of Dominican in 1997. He currently chairs and teaches courses within the Humanities Department which includes an MA in Humanities and the following undergraduate programs: History, Humanities, Latin American Studies, Philosophy, Religion, Social and Cultural Studies and Women and Gender Studies. He is president of the Board of the Marin Interfaith Council, co-founder and board member for The Center for the Common Good, and project volunteer for the Latin American Council of Churches.

Gary Gorka

Executive Director, Archbishop Alemany Library, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, California, USA

Gary Gorka, Executive Director of the Archbishop Alemany Library at Dominican University of California since 2005, has led the transition of the library from a traditional print collection to a full-featured access and service center for students and faculty--with a greatly expanded emphasis on electronic delivery and consortial relations with other academic and public libraries. In addition to his administrative duties, Gary frequently teaches information literacy to undergraduate and graduate students and is spearheading several projects to re-engergize faculty research and pedagogy using online data sources and new ubiquitous technologies. Gary, who earned his MLS from Kent State University and holds an MA in Slavic linguistics and literature and a BA in journalism from the Ohio State University, was recently elected to the board of directors of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium. Gary served as a database developer for the US Forest Service, translator and foreign language cataloger, consultant to the film archives at Lucasfilm and General manager and media literacy instructor for a public access television station as well as 10 years as reference and systems librarian at Chemical Abstracts Service and five years on the Ohio Dominican University faculty in the department of Library Science.

Dr. Michael Brint

Uyeno-Tseng Professor of International Studies; Director of CLU-Oxford Study Abroad; Professor of Political Science, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California, USA

Dr. Brint has been a visiting professor at Stanford University; an assistant professor of government and foreign affairs at University of Virginia; Thomas Jefferson Professor at Cambridge University, England; and, immediately prior to coming to CLU, was Director of the Integrated Program in Humane Studies and Associate Professor of Humane Studies at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Dr. Brint also served as Chief Administrative Officer for Laureate Inc., an organization to improve institutional information, collaboration and student learning through the use of information technology.