The incoming class of MBA students at The Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM), at both the Mona and Western Jamaica campuses will be the first group of students at MSBM to utilize e-book packages on Smart Tab devices provided by The School in collaboration with international publishing partners Pearson and Cengage, and local technology firm JL Mobile.
As part of their orientation on Wednesday May 1 at Mona and Friday May 3 at WJC, the students received a special demonstration of the Jamaican designed tablet, SmartTab 9 IPS, which was this year named among the top 30 tablets in the world by benchmarking aggregator Antutu; outranking the Apple iPad3 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
MSBM is the first Business School in Jamaica, and the second department at the UWI Mona to employ the cutting edge e-learning solution. The initiative is part of a thrust for innovation by The MSBM, as Executive Director Professor Paul Simmonds explains, “The Mona School of Business and Management is a forward thinking institution which strives to give students the experience of a world class business school,” said Simmonds “This partnership ensures that MSBM students get a real chance to become globally competitive in this rapidly expanding digital economy.”
The institution seeks to pioneer a new frontier in local business education by formalizing the use of e-books in its programme offering with all text books in electronic format. MSBM’s digital package contains a tablet device for each student, allowing access to interactive online study groups and mind mapping applications. The e-learning tool gives young professionals a modern platform for learning within the changing landscape of technology; incorporating real time, remote interactions.
Presenting at the orientation session, UWI Special Projects Consultant Dr. Ronald Robinson, who spearheaded the SmartTab initiative with a pilot programme at The UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences, explained “This device has high level functionality, providing a customized learning experience. Books are housed on the tablet so those without web access can use it at home, while personal data files are fully protected and backed up in the ‘cloud’.”
JL Mobile’s Lloyd Laing demonstrated how students can build a full academic library on one device. Laing also noted that where formerly students would purchase new editions of books, some revised e-books would be uploaded free of cost, and that easy access to a large catalogue of titles encourages students to actively engage in reading.
Incoming MBA student Dowen Allen was excited at the development saying “It’s great to be part of a school that is leading the way as a change agent. MSBM’s use of the SmartTab is a clear advancement; it gives a new dimension to learning and added mobility so that you can study wherever and whenever.”
Students will enjoy a 12 month warranty, free upgrades for the life of the product, e-mail facilities and access to a technical support hotline. The SmartTab’s interface also allows MSBM students to check out books from and have remote access to the catalogue of The UWI Main Library.