Cyndi Danner-Kuhn, instructor in the College of Education in the department of technology studies at Fort Hays State University, will no longer spend endless hours copying handouts for the students in her Instructional Technology for Elementary School and Hypermedia/Hypertext Applications classes. Instead, she'll send students to the bookstore to buy her book "Creating Quality Web Pages and Multimedia Projects." A tutorial and project idea book, it is the only publication out on the software program, eZediaQTI 2.
"I was always making instructional handouts for my students and it became clear it needed to be a book. I was writing more and more tutorials, and I had lots of ideas for teaching and for projects," Danner-Kuhn said.
Danner-Kuhn attended the National Education Computing Conference in June 2005.
"I knew I wanted to write the book and had an example of what I wanted to do," she said. "There were lots of publishers there. I went to Visions Technology in Education and showed them what I had and what my ideas were."
In late August she received a contract and the book was finished in December. It took Danner-Kuhn a little longer than she expected to complete. She recruited friends, co-workers and students to help her review all the instructions to double-check that they made sense and that they worked.
"Everything in the book has been tested. I had to learn the software backwards and forwards, inside and out," Danner-Kuhn said. "But it was a fun project; I learned a ton."
The 157-page book comes with two CDs that contain tutorial files, templates for interactive books and Web pages and examples from Danner-Kuhn's students and teachers from all over the country.
Given the high price of textbooks, her students are getting a bargain when they make a $34.95 investment in the book and a $24.95 in the eZediaQTI software they can continue to use long after they have graduated.
The public also receives a bargain with the $49.95 market price.
The book is sold separately from the eZediaQTI 2 program, but the software is fairly inexpensive, Danner-Kuhn said.
"It's a real bargain. I like it because I can be very creative with it. I have no limitations," she said. "I can make multimedia projects and presentations with it; in fact, I may never use PowerPoint again."
She likes how easy the program is to use. Students at Washington Elementary are using it for class projects, but Danner-Kuhn used the program to create her own professional Web site.
"Lots of people want to have a Web site but can't afford to hire someone to do it," she said. "This program makes it very easy -- it's drag and drop. And it's identical on both Mac and PC platforms."
Danner-Kuhn does beta testing for the program and will update her book as necessary when the program updates. The software is scheduled for an update this summer, and Danner-Kuhn expects to have an updated edition next fall.