Search
Blog
View full story chiyuliao.jpg

Story: Sep 26, 2014

CIA's Community Works series focuses on socially engaged art...

View details 2014 Faculty Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Aug 28, 2014

2014 Faculty Exhibition

View full story croppedrusso.jpg

Story: Sep 22, 2014

Television and film writer teaching narrative writing at CIA

View details Lunch On Fridays: Haishan Deng

Events: Oct 03, 2014

Lunch On Fridays: Haishan Deng

View Link

Social: a day ago via Facebook

Rachel Lamping '14 won first place and the audience favorite award at the California International Animation Festival 2014 for her 2D animation, "Different Not ...

View full story tinacassar.jpg

Story: Sep 16, 2014

CIA Professor Tina Cassara inspires Sculpture Center exhibit...

View details CIA Portfolio Day

Events: Oct 11, 2014

CIA Portfolio Day

View full story dormdeckyoga.jpg

Story: Aug 27, 2014

New residence hall welcomes first-year students in comfort, ...

View details A Creative Life featuring Paul Yanko

Events: Oct 18, 2014 @ William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, OH

A Creative Life featuring Paul Yanko

View details fistfulofdollars.jpg

Blog: Oct 01, 2014

10/2-5: Bertolucci's new film Me And You, A Fistful of Dollars, Bound by Flesh & more!

View full story liberal-artscma.jpg

Story: Aug 18, 2014

CIA again named to "Best in the Midwest" list

View details Unruly Engagements Conference

Events: Nov 06, 2014 @ Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH

Unruly Engagements Conference

Blog . iBooks makes textbooks fun to use (Part 2: Biology)

Blog

iBooks makes textbooks fun to use (Part 2: Biology)

02/07/12  |  Posted by Amber Luning  |  Posted in Digital Canvas - Apps & Accessories

For this review I am only going over one book: E.O Wilson's Life on Earth. Because it's the only biology text available, and because it's the best thing that has ever happened to textbooks. Algebra 1 might have made math more interactive, and more fun than it otherwise would be, but this book takes interactive learning and cranks it up to 11. It's like watching Planet Earth, but being able to hit pause and play with the ants. It's beautiful, it's stupendous, it's educational. And it's completely 100% free, so that's a plus as well. Why get a Biology textbook, you might ask? Besides those of you going into Biomedical Art (you will find this book a priceless resource if you do), you might need or want a biology book simply for reference of plants, animals, insects and humans should you choose to draw or sculpt or model or animate any of these things. You might want to watch mitotic divisions and take a trip inside DNA for inspiration. You might just like knowing more about the world around you, and letting your knowledge inform your work. There are, in short, as many reasons to own this book as there are types of artists, but at the very least, it's something slightly more substantial to play with than Angrybirds. Now the book itself starts with this awesome movie: Life on Earth from E.O. Wilson Biodiversity on Vimeo. Pretty awesome already. The title sequence makes you think this is going to be an adventure. And you're right. Because it totally is going to be an adventure. This guy is taking you on an adventure. [caption id="attachment_2362" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="This guy. Get ready, kids."][/caption] As of now, there are only two chapters of the book out, but more will be released in update form. The book right now is more of a proof of concept than anything else, but oh boy is it one fine proof of concept. Chapter one introduces the reader to the format of the interactive textbook, as well as basic concepts in Biology and Ecology. [caption id="attachment_2371" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Ants are freaking awesome."][/caption] Now, on all the pages, between the text, there are four kinds of things. Images, which can be enlarged for more detail: [caption id="attachment_2360" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Too much detail!"][/caption] Image galleries, which are, well, image galleries [caption id="attachment_2378" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Freshwater biomes!"][/caption] Movies, which can be more of this guy talking: [caption id="attachment_2361" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Talk to me, E.O. Wilson. Talk to me."][/caption] Or some super awesome animations or live footage of a particular cell or organism or... anything you can make a video of. [caption id="attachment_2370" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="I think those little walking dudes are adorable."][/caption] The last object on the page is an interactive object. These come in a wide variety of types, but all of them, as you can tell from the title, contain an element of interactivity. So you can zoom in and out of your own genetics: [caption id="attachment_2369" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Genetics are AWESOME!"][/caption] Or explore the landscape types of the Gorongosa national park! [caption id="attachment_2374" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Yay landscapes!"][/caption] With all of these awesome things to watch and do and look at and play with, I'm not sure how you can not learn at least a little something. But, if you're worried about retaining the things you've learned, don't worry. It's still a textbook. There are still review questions. [caption id="attachment_2375" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Even the review questions are awesome!"][/caption] E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth is a bold experiment in education. By creating a text that is engaging, interactive, and a delight to look at and play with, it is breaking ground in student investment in the material. By putting it out in a digital format, new editions can simply be updated versions of the app, diminishing the need for the paper waste and hefty cost of printing and binding new textbooks, and throwing the old ones away. Students can learn in a way that suits them, and administrators don't have to deal with the question of "should we buy new floors for the gym this year, or new books?". Continued education at a distance could be streamlined. There are so many possibilities it literally boggles the mind. But most of all, it's fun. And it's free. So give it a try, will you? It'll only cut into your facebook hours a little bit. I promise. If you don't believe me, watch this guy's review instead. E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth can be downloaded via the iBooks store for FREE

  • Comments
    0
  • Print

Leave a comment

Back to blog listing

YouTube Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Flickr Pinterest Instagram

Social Feed

Join us tomorrow @ 12:15p for a free presentation featuring young pros from @GM Design Center. Free pizza + bevs! http://t.co/z4gf8MO6d5

5 days ago via Twitter

Read More

Community Works

Visiting artists, exhibitions, conference and symposia exploring socially engaged art.

Read More

Uptown Residence Hall

Check out the new student digs.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Learn more about CIA's proven method for academic and professional excellence.