Field Notes

Highlights and happenings from across the industry.
The Kindle Textbook Creator, which allows educators and authors to design and publish their own e-textbooks and other educational content, is now available from online retailer Amazon.com. The tool allows educators to turn PDFs of their course materials into Kindle books and upload them to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing website, where the public can access and purchase the content. Compatible with Apple, Android, or Microsoft devices, the texts support highlighting, notation, bookmarking, and flashcard creation, and give students access to dictionary and Wikipedia information. Authors can earn royalties, while maintaining the rights to their content. Visit kdp.amazon.com/edu.

IMD of Lausanne, Switzerland, has launched the IMD Global Leader Index (GLI), a free online platform that allows users to compare their capabilities to those of their peers in four areas: strategic leadership, execution leadership, stakeholder leadership, and personal leadership. The GLI then helps them identify areas for improvement. The tool is based on methodology developed by Dan Denison and Robert Hooijberg, professors of organizational behavior and leadership at IMD. Visit www.imd.org/gli.

The CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange has released an action paper that compiles 71 expert-generated ideas for increasing student participation in study abroad opportunities. Ideas range from offering more economical housing alternatives to using technology to allow students to take required courses on their home campuses while they are studying abroad. The paper supports the Institute of International Education’s 2014 Generation Study Abroad initiative, which aims to double the number of U.S. students who study overseas to 600,000 by the year 2020. The paper “Answering the Generation Study Abroad Challenge” can be found at www.ciee.org/global-education-conference/images/email/CIEE_Conference%20WP2_022015.pdf.

MakerBot, a 3-D printing company, recently opened a MakerBot Innovation Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The multidisciplinary center is equipped with 31 MakerBot Replicator printers, a supply of filament, desktop 3-D scanners, and a proprietary 3-D printing software platform that links all the printers together, allowing for remote access, paywalls, print queuing, and mass production. The university pays for the equipment, while MakerBot provides consulting, technical support, and training. The company also will help faculty develop a curriculum that supports entrepreneurship and quick prototyping. Since it began working directly with universities last year, MakerBot has helped set up large-scale printing centers at three other higher education institutions, each with more than 30 3-D printers. These include State University of New York at New Paltz; the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas; and Florida Polytechnic University in Polk City. Visit www.makerbot.com/innovation-center.