Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teach From Print using printMe1.com

If you are looking for great ideas on preparing and distributing teaching materials, printMe1.com is a super choice to offer to your students for a convenient and affordable printing option.  We've put together some tips to help make it easier for you and your students take advantage of our convenient options.

1.) Step 1.  Understand that print is good.  Millenials like to study from print and there are growing reasons for this.  And paper is a renewal resource. These concepts run counter to conventional wisdom, and designing your teaching materials around an affordable print option is one that will be appreciated by your students at evaluation time for price, convenience, and effectiveness. 

2.) Plan Ahead. Most of the things you can include are right in front of you. If you usually post notes & slides before each lecture, consider preparing the notes before the semester starts. If you routinely create handouts like study guides for tests or problems for review, consider if they can be reused and organized in one larger file for distribution.

3.) Creating your own materials already? Some more tips on what to include. If you are creating a book, don't forget to check out open source, creative commons, or public domain materials. There are some great resources out there for rights-free materials to use in class, and the key word there is "free".  Examples:  OpenStax, Community Texts, Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks.

4.) Starting from scratch? Here's why you should create your own materials if you can. The cost of educational materials has outpaced inflation by 1000% in the last 40 years, and 9% since last year (link).  You can beat this trend by creating your own materials.  Lecture notes and powerpoint slides combined with including areas to handwrite next to each slide or topic makes a great teaching tool. Handwriting notes has been found to improve memory compared to typing.

5.) Design for print. You can use a familiar page designer, powerpoint, or word processing application, and then print or save the final draft to PDF to distribute to your students. The end result of your collection should be something easy to print. For that, we recommend a standard 8.5"x11"page size. Our service automatically prints double-sided/back-to-back  at this page size.

6.) Distribute the PDF to your students & tell them about printMe1.com. This step is using whatever type of course management system you use, but then tell them about our service. They will be glad you did!

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