Skyepack – Making Interactive Course Materials Affordable & Aligned With Your Syllabus.
The mission of Skyepack is to make interactive course materials affordable and aligned with your syllabus. The company primarily relies on inside sales to reach faculty. In the past, Skyepack has focused on leveraging open educational resources (OER) and using mobile learning technology to deliver engaging, interactive course materials. This new model has been successful in delivering on its mission, and is gaining in popularity with faculty. The following are a few of the reasons why the company is growing so quickly.
Skyepack is a Mobile Platform For Publishing Interactive Learning.
The concept of a mobile publishing platform for educational content originated from the iBooks Author freeware, which was used to create digital content for the library’s students. However, the software’s shortcomings meant that it was not able to provide content to non-Apple devices, which prompted the library to seek alternative solutions. The project was led by Kyle Bowen, a former director of informatics at Purdue University. Bowen was motivated to find a solution for this problem by the increasing cost of textbooks. The Skyepack platform was developed in response to this challenge and incorporates multimedia beyond static text. The software also incorporates question-and-answer functions and embedded course discussions.
In addition to creating mobile apps for educational content, Skyepack also allows faculty to create e-texts. Students can access the content through apps available for Android, Apple, and Web platforms. The technology has scalable, which means that it can used in a variety of settings. While most people will likely use the platform for creating online courses, this solution can be used for other types of educational content as well.
It Offers Digital Course Materials to Align With Your Syllabus.
When it comes to developing a syllabus, finding relevant course materials can be an ordeal. Traditional textbooks convey information through printed words and images, but with advances in technology and media, learning materials have become increasingly interactive. With Skyepack , instructional designers can create engaging content with multimedia and interactive elements. In addition to delivering course materials that align with the syllabus, Skyepack also offers detailed reporting on student interaction. For example, embedded quizzes provide an instant snapshot of student understanding, while a comprehensive evaluation of a unit’s content allows instructors to measure student progress and make improvements.
Traditional textbooks are expensive. The average student spends $1,240 each year on books and supplies. Between 2006 and 2016, textbook prices rose 88%. Those costs are on top of other rising costs. By offering digital course materials, instructors can greatly reduce the financial burden students face. With this, instructors can provide engaging learning materials while simultaneously decreasing costs for students. By eliminating the need for physical textbooks, Skyepack is helping students affordably and efficiently complete their coursework.
It is Based on Open Educational Resources.
Open educational resources , or OERs, are resources that can be freely used by anyone for any purpose. Examples include textbooks, PowerPoint slides, and other materials. In contrast, Skyepack custom-creates content for each class, working with a team of writers, copy editors, media designers, and videographers. The team also obtains and licenses copyrighted material from third parties. Skyepack has used by more than 60 campuses in the U.S.
Open educational resources (OER) are free and easily adaptable to a specific context. Instructors can share OER content with other users, which reduces the burden on dedicated educators and gets more OER into the hands of more people. Creating, curating, and distributing OER is not an easy task, but the benefits are well worth the effort. It is also possible to make a free or low-cost version of a given OER.
It is Affordable.
The mission of Skyepack is to provide college students with high-quality, affordable course materials. In addition to creating digital instructional materials, the company offers faculty services and job training funds. Its business model focuses on providing instructors with engaging, high-quality course materials that are priced at or below market rates. The company also offers job training funds to support the expansion of its business. Students can enjoy the savings of using Skyepack for any course that requires a textbook.
Eric joined the company in 2015 while working at Purdue University. He worked as an instructional designer and salesperson. He primarily interested in how Skyepack could make higher education more affordable and accessible. While there are many free educational resources available online, skyrocketing textbook costs have become prohibitively expensive. Eric saw the need for more affordable educational options and decided to work for a startup company that provided the software he needed. During his time at Skyepack , Eric made sales calls to faculty on his cellphone, using an excel sheet.
It is Accessible to all.
The project has proven to be worthwhile. It highlighted the value of Library assistance and improved the student learning experience at UQ. Elena appointed as the Project Manager of the Skyepack eTextbook in May 2015. She has experience in research, teaching and the publishing industry. She has also worked with a range of content types, including highly specialized and challenging material. While the process was challenging, Elena’s enthusiasm and commitment to the project have paid off.
The program makes the most of open educational resources – free content created by educators. These materials include textbooks, PowerPoint slides and other course material. Rather than relying on commercial resources, Skyepack works with a team of writers, copy editors, videographers and media designers to develop content specifically for each class. It also licenses copyrighted material from third parties. Currently, more than 60 campuses in the U.S. use the service.