Boundless is moving education into the digital age with high quality textbooks both students and educators love. Today, we’re excited to unveil the next wave in our textbook revolution and give educators the tools they need to bring the revolution into their classes. The new Boundless Teaching Platform gives educators the ability to customize affordable textbooks, monitor their students’ progress on assignments, and access teaching aids (like PowerPoint presentations).
Bringing educators into Boundless is a natural step in our march toward a post-textbook era. With both educators and students on the side of affordable, digital textbooks we’re excited to take this step forward. Read more about what’s included in the new Boundless Teaching Platform below.
We were happy to run across a recent study that confirms Boundless is doing the right thing by frequently quizzing students on their readings to help them retain important information. The study, by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin Psychology Department, showed that a group of students who “brought laptop computers to classes and took daily quizzes that provided immediate and personalized feedback” performed better than current and past classes who did not supplement their learnings with quizzing.
The students who took daily quizzes were seen to score, on average, half a letter grade higher than their predecessors in previous semesters where the students did not get regularly quizzed on their learnings. The use of active-recall methods also “resulted in a 50% reduction in the achievement gap as measured by grades among students of different social classes,” making education more accessible to all.
Here at Boundless, we’re all about accessibility and effective learning. The Boundless Learning Technology in our premium textbooks uses active recall by guiding students through their readings with regular quizzes after each chapter section – just as this study proved effective learning should be. Our textbooks are a fraction of the usual college textbook cost, and are easily accessible on any device. Check out Boundless premium textbooks for yourself.
At Boundless we’re always striving to improve learning — and helping students retain important information more effectively is one of our goals. We use Boundless Learning Technology in all our premium textbooks to help students understand and remember concepts better, so they’re prepared for exams and lifelong learning. Active recall is a core component of our learning technology.
This is the first in a two part series about the science behind Boundless Learning Technology.
What is active recall?
One key aspect to our learning tech is active recall, the process by which knowledge is actively retrieved from memory by taking a quiz or test, rather than passively reviewed by reading over notes repeatedly. So, instead of students sitting down with a pile of notes trying to memorize facts for the next exam, active recall engages them in their readings with questions about what they just read. Read more »
With Boundless, we set out to create a learning experience that went beyond just a textbook. We’ve just introduced updates to Boundless that create a better, more unified navigation around your book to make learning more efficient. The new design allows easy access to flashcards, quizzes, and highlights from one core spot. Take a look at what we’ve been up to recently to see how Boundless just got even better than your assigned textbook.
This week, Boundless published a guest post on USA Today College on studying distractions students should embrace. If you focus too hard on studying and forget to give your brain a break, you might wind up doing more harm than good. Whether you’re studying for a final exam or prepping for a weekly quiz, here are some studying distractions to say ‘yes’ to:
Late Night Snacks: Set a late-night time with friends to get some snacks, and stick to it. Having an event to get to later in the night will make you set a deadline and keep you efficient. Just remember to go back to studying when you’re done.
The Gym: Keep up with your physical routine during midterms, because when the body gets flabby, so does the mind. The gym also forces you to shift your focus from studying to another excruciating activity. When you’re ready to go back to studying you’ll be refreshed from the break you gave your brain.
Building a product consumers will love means using their feedback to elevate your plan. As entrepreneurs, we have the obligation to get inside our customers’ heads to hone our strategy, test new ideas, and try out fresh messaging—and sending out the occasional user survey won’t always do the trick. Sometimes, you need to break away from the office to do legwork for your customer development.
That’s why, throughout the school year, I hit the ground at area colleges to talk with students, users at the core of Boundless. At colleges around Boston, you’ll often find me chatting with students in the campus center or at local coffee shop. Going back to school and meeting our customers keeps me in sync with what Boundless needs and how we will grow. If you’re itching to get boots on the ground for your cust dev plan, here’s how to do it.
Boundless CEO Ariel Diaz recently spoke at TEDxCambridge about inverting the curriculum. The crowd was great, the weather was amazing, and the online conversation sparked by the talk was engaging. Check out the video of Ariel’s talk and catch up on some of the #TEDxC chatter.
We’re teaching students backwards. Students spend too much time focusing on minute details, like memorizing definitions or formulas, instead of thinking about the big picture. Ariel Diaz, CEO of Boundless, spoke recently at TEDxCambridge on Inverting the Curriculum as a means to fix the broken, backwards way students learn. See his talk in full below.
When we say “inverting the curriculum” what do we mean? In today’s educational system, students are taught the details and inner workings of a subject up front. Memorizing physics formulas or cellular structure can seem, well, a little boring when you’re new to a subject. Instead of weighing students down with these intense details up front, let’s show them the beauty of the big picture! Imagine if an intro biology course started with lab work to give students an understanding of ecology before memorizing what an endoplasmic reticulum does. Students would grasp the beauty of biology from the start, and appreciate the small details more when they understand the big picture.
Many educators are already doing just this. Professors at Grinnell College, for example, invert their intro biology classes. They found their inverted curriculum better served students who had no intention of becoming scientists, and that some might even discover a love for science they never knew they had.
Let’s take what professors at Grinnell College and other institutions are doing and apply it everywhere! It’s time to invert the curriculum to give students an understanding of the beauty intrinsic each subject.
I’ve always been extremely invested in academia, so one of the many reasons I love working for Boundless is that we’re empowering students to shape their own education. I’m now a full-time employee, but I first joined the company as an Editorial Edcurator in September 2012.
As an Editorial Edcurator, I copy edited content from a number of our textbooks, including Microbiology, Art History, and Chemistry. In the spring I expressed interest in working on larger projects, and I was involved in the pilot of transferring one of our textbooks over into the iBooks format. I then joined Boundless as an intern and managed a team of Edcurators importing our content onto the iBooks and Amazon Kindle platforms. As a full-time employee I’m now working more closely on the development of Boundless textbooks.
Right now, Boundless has opportunities for freelance Content Edcurators (see below!) — these are the people who scour the Internet for sources and then write and copy edit content for our textbooks in 20+ subjects. It’s a great job if you’re looking to make a difference in the world of education, especially in a particular subject. It’s also perfect if you need flexible hours: you can do all your work from home, at any time of day, and you can take on a lighter workload one week and pick up the slack the next. You’ll get a lot of practice with online research and technical writing — and Edcurators, like me, are always considered great candidates for full-time jobs at the company.
We’re looking for people who are passionate about education and who have the discipline to work independently. If that sounds like you, check out the Content Edcurator job description below! Read more »