The engineering college has a very broad constituency – current and prospective students and their families, employers in business and industry, Iowans, government entities, other educational institutions, and alumni – to mention just a few. While our daily energy is focused on educating students and engineering innovation, we know that you are interested in staying up to date with the College of Engineering.
A sometimes-overlooked aspect is how we keep you informed about what’s new in the College of Engineering. We are shifting toward electronic communication technologies just like many magazines, newspapers, and book publishers. Online retailer Amazon.com sells three times as many ebooks as it does hardcover books, and 15% more ebooks as paperbacks. Borders Books announced this week it would close all retail locations due in part to the increase in digital delivery of books. Add these trends to the increasing number of utility and financial statements moving to online delivery, and it equals a powerful migration away from printed materials.
Last year, with a view toward cost-savings and helping the environment, we stopped printing and mailing our own publication Innovate, and we broadened its content to include more features about students and their good work. Today, you can read Innovate online through our website, or download an App to your mobile device. I have this App, which was developed by Iowa State engineering students, on my own iPhone. Android versions of our Apps will be available very soon.
While this move to digital distribution will save many trees and dollars, the shift to electronic and social media also gives you an opportunity to take part in the conversation. I encourage you to share your comments on the Innovate site, our official Facebook page, and the CoE Twitter account. In the past, you could type up a letter, print it, and mail it, but today you’re able to share your thoughts and stories instantly, and we want to hear them.
I encourage you to download our engineering Apps, and log in to the social network of your choice and stay up to date with the college. But don’t just read – let us know what you think.