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2017 University News

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2017 University News

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Office of Communications Staff

Distance Education Staff Wins Best iBook Honor

For a tongue-twisting title, Ten Ways Teachers Tame Twitter has done very well, winning Best iBook of the Year under the Education (School Activities) category at the second annual iBooks Author Conference.

It's the first multi-touch book from WCU's Office of Distance Education (ODE). An instructional designer in the ODE, author Marc Drumm found himself a finalist among creators from Apple Education and PBS Learning Media.

Drumm used Apple's iBooks Author to craft an interactive experience in Apple's Multi-Touch format, the features in which "go beyond the traditional ebook," he notes. "Readers can actually interact with the book: play audio and video, touch different areas of an image to find more information, rotate three-dimensional models, and quiz themselves on their understanding of the content. This was my first time creating a Multi-Touch book, so I was trying to keep it simple and primarily used the media widget for including audio and video."

Ten Ways explores how faculty and graduate students from such elite institutions as Johns Hopkins University, MIT, and UCLA have embraced Twitter to engage their students both in and out of class, collect research data, and communicate and collaborate with individuals who have similar interests from around the world. Drumm plans a minor update to the book this spring and says he's "been collecting more examples of how higher education faculty use Twitter … for a major update at some point."

From appealing templates ("You don't have to be an expert in graphic design or page layout – it takes care of all of that for you," says Drumm) to ease of publication, iBooks Author is a flexible tool for education professionals. He sees potential for both faculty and students to create multi-touch books using the app. "It took me just part of an afternoon to publish a book to the online [iBooks] stores in 51 different countries. How long would it take to do that with a printed book?"

Ten Ways Teachers Tame Twitter is available to download for free from the iBooks Store and can be viewed on any Mac, iPad, or iPhone using the iBooks app.