Breaking Down Barriers with Technology

By: Bailey Phillips

As the world becomes increasingly technological, it is imperative that education follows suit. At A&M-Commerce professors and students alike are making efforts to stay current on the latest tools that are available as well as best practices for using technology to enhance teaching and learning. Two professors who are pioneers in the movement are Dr. Lee Waller and Dr. Richard “Rick” Lumadue. Their collaborative and innovative efforts in the development of iTunes textbooks and the Global eLearning Journal are engaging students who are digital natives and breaking down the barriers of classroom walls.

The Global eLearning Journal is a scholarly peer-reviewed online digital journal that focuses on teaching and learning in a global context. The journal’s editorial review board is made up of scholarly individuals from all around the world. Dr. Waller and Dr. Lumadue are currently working on the fourth publication of the journal that is experiencing rapid growth with now over 1,200 subscriptions. The Journal has been a huge success thus far and is listed in Cabell’s Directories of academic journals and is also indexed in ERIC (Education Resources Information Center). “My hopes for the Global eLearning Journal are that it would continue to grow into a leading international Journal in all disciplines and fields of inquiry and will stimulate continued interest for research in the field of Global eLearning in Higher Education,” said Dr. Lumadue.

Dr. Waller and Dr. Lumadue have published 12 iTune textbooks between the two of them, all currently available for download on the iPad. Once Apple releases iOS7 the textbooks will become available on all platforms including the iPhone. Their mission is to make information readily accessible and more affordable for everyone, with each book costing just $2.99. iTune textbooks provide students with rich digital content that goes far beyond print textbooks and use multimedia elements to help students better grasp the material. The iTunes textbooks published by Dr. Waller and Dr. Lumadue are currently being reviewed by the Merlot System, a leader in affordable learning solutions in Southern California, who are looking to add the textbooks to their affordable learning website. The Tennessee Board of Regents is also reviewing the iTunes textbooks for the same use.

In addition to being embedded into the iTune textbooks, video lectures can also be accessed through Dr. Waller’s YouTube site. As of August 1st, the site had reached an impressive 458,863 hits and Dr. Waller is looking to break half a million hits in the fall by bringing in between 25,000-30,000 hits per month. The YouTube videos are organized into playlists by class so students are able to access the videos they need to be successful in online courses. Not only does Dr. Waller have a tremendous amount of hits, but the viewers represent 202 different countries around the world with the leading countries in downloads being the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, India, and the Philippines. Dr. Waller has delivered over half a million minutes of instruction internationally and is fueling the global learning community that is arising in our world today.

The work that Dr. Waller and Dr. Lumadue have put into creating these digital resources for students supports the universities emphasis on globalization. “Education is no longer constrained by place or time. Cloud resources provide the opportunity to provide educational services without limits or boundaries,” Dr. Waller said.

YouTube channel:

Global eLearning Journal