Sheet metal industry text books available on Windows-based devices

More than 100 text books now available on devices serving two operating platforms

FAIRFAX, Va. – Higher educational institutions across the country are offering text books to their students via e-reader. Not only does it save students from lugging heavy text books across campus, it saves them money on expensive texts they can oftentimes never resell.

Last year, the International Training Institute (ITI), the education arm of the unionized sheet metal and air conditioning industry, joined many colleges and universities and introduced text books available via iPad. In April, the ITI launched the long-awaited Windows version, available on laptops, desktop computers and tablets running the Windows operating system.

In the Windows version, students can highlight text, place notes, search text and print­, which is not an option on the iPad version. Apprentices and journeymen must be granted access to the text books through TotalTrack, a proprietary comprehensive database that puts all apprentice and journeyman information, along with assignments, course syllabi, grade books, forms for instructors and exams, in one place. From there, instructors or apprentice training coordinators can grant accessibility to students to 116 text books.

While the e-reader benefits students, it makes instructors’ jobs easier as well.

“This will be an invaluable tool for instructors to print exercises and handouts right from the curriculum,” said Larry Lawrence, ITI field representative and instructional developmental specialist. “The ITI felt that developing an application that would allow the user to highlight text, place notes, search text and print from the application would be a win-win for all of us.”

“TotalTrack and the electronic curricula put ITI on the forefront of technology in the unionized building trades,” added James Shoulders, administrator for the ITI. “By keeping up with technology, the ITI better prepares apprentices for the sheet metal careers of the future.”

The application was developed by Maryland-based firm MOSAIC Learning. The mobile content delivery system offers a user-friendly interface with search capabilities, large file view with no delay, off-line access to downloaded content, password protection, non-stop encryption, push notification ability and zoom capabilities.

More than 15,000 apprentices are registered at training facilities in the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (formerly the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

ITI supports apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal industry throughout the United States and Canada. Located in Fairfax, Va., ITI produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

For more information about ITI, visit www.sheetmetal-iti.org or call 703-739-7200.

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