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Building familiarity with digital materials

Campus bookstores can help in the adoption of new technology
University Business, January 2014

Not everyone on campus is ready to use e-books, video lectures and other digital learning materials. But the campus bookstore can help in the adoption of new technology.

“As the course materials information center on campus, college stores are uniquely positioned to be the go-to resources on digital,” says Elizabeth McIntyre, vice president of communications and public relations at the National Association of College Stores. “Stores should take a role in educating the campus community about digital.”

Three ways to help familiarize the campus population with the growing variety of digital course materials include:

  • Taking digital test-drives. Inside the store or elsewhere on campus, let students and faculty experiment with digital content. Some college stores call such displays “digital petting zoos,” McIntyre says.
  • Training faculty. Bookstores can offer training on digital materials at faculty orientation. Bookstores can also give regular tech updates at faculty senate and other groups.
  • Sharing student insight. Bookstore personnel often know what materials students like and what problems they are having. This information should be shared with other campus decision-makers.