This fall, Program Co-ordinator Randi McDermott says they are eliminating all paper books in Georgian’s paramedic programs. Students will purchase iPad Minis and Georgian Stores has created one-stop-shopping for all required digital books.
“Some of the advantages to eBooks is that students can carry all of their books, notes, articles and apps in one device,” says McDermott. “The iPad Mini weighs less than a pound whereas their textbooks weighed about 25 pounds. This means that it will be much easier for them to study and to do literature searches at any time and from anywhere.”Another advantage to eBooks is the ability to highlight text, annotate and rapidly search for information without the cumbersome exercise of flipping pages.”The screen quality of the iPad is so advanced that I find I can read for hours without eye strain,” adds professor Rob Theriault.
Georgian’s paramedic programs have always strived to be innovative. In 2005, faculty began podcasting their classes and played a lead role in helping the college adopt iTunes U as a platform for the dissemination of audio and video material. In fact, few people may be aware that Georgian was the first community college in Canada to adopt iTunes U.
In 2007, thanks to the support and vision of Dr. Cassandra Thompson, faculty also adopted a synchronous (same time, different place) online learning platform and the Advanced Care Paramedic program has been taught live online ever since.
Wherever possible, the use of paper has been eliminated. Student competencies are tracked digitally, mock patient care reports are completed digitally, and according to Theriault: “My students submit their essays digitally though Turnitin, I mark them using the Word or Adobe PDF review functions and return them via email. There are no piles of paper slipped under my office door. It’s great to be green!”