NEW YORK (November 17, 2006) – McGraw-Hill Higher Education, a leading global provider of higher education materials, today unveiled a new content management tool that promises an evolutionary improvement in the lives of university instructors. The new tool, PrepCenter, was designed in conjunction with Firstborn, a leading interactive design and technology studio.
PrepCenter is a password-protected, web-based interface that gives instructors an entirely new way to browse and organize the total library of supplemental materials associated with McGraw-Hill Higher Education textbooks.
Beth Mejia, publisher for the McGraw-Hill Higher Education Group, said that one test user of PrepCenter reported cutting her course preparation time from five hours to 45 minutes. “A critical difference with this tool is being able to browse rather than search. When you search, you have to know exactly what you’re looking for,” said Mejia. “With PrepCenter, instructors can browse and organize assets by topic, chapter and other categories. It was truly designed with an instructor’s unique needs in mind.”
McGraw-Hill Higher Education, which is constantly assessing and evaluating the needs of its customers, conducted intensive research with college instructors. By maintaining an ongoing dialogue with these educators through focus groups, surveys, interviews and product reviews, the company discovered a solution to one of an instructor’s biggest challenges.
“One of the most time-consuming parts of an instructor’s job is class preparation,” said Andy Winston, publisher for the McGraw-Hill Higher Education Group. “Imagine having 200 or more video clips or exercises that are available for just a single text. PrepCenter is a practical way for instructors to see immediately what is available and download the most relevant materials without spending large amounts of time finding ‘just the right thing’ to illustrate the lesson.”
PrepCenter allows instructors to create their own “playlist” of class materials, similar to the way people manage digital music files. Available materials include dozens, even hundreds, of videos, CDs, multimedia, PowerPoint presentations and manuals that instructors can quickly identify, preview and download from a single screen.
“It was clear from the beginning of this project that the potential impact on the education market could be significant,” said Michael Ferdman, president of Firstborn. “Our goal was to create an interface that would display on a single screen anything an instructor could possibly need. We built a resource that makes lesson planning something instructors really look forward to,” he said.
McGraw-Hill Higher Education is currently piloting PrepCenter with titles that cover management, marketing and psychology. The full-scale launch of PrepCenter is anticipated for the beginning of 2007.
About McGraw-Hill Higher Education
McGraw-Hill Higher Education is a premier provider of teaching and learning solutions for the post-secondary and higher education markets worldwide. It is a division of McGraw-Hill Education, a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 40 languages. Additional information is available at http://www.mheducation.com
Firstborn is a leading interactive design and technology studio with headquarters in New York and Los Angeles. Through its innovative use of technology applications, unparalleled project management and award-winning design expertise, Firstborn helps marketers create meaningful brand experiences that achieve strategic business objectives in sales, marketing, training and communications. Since its inception in 1997, Firstborn has provided breakthrough interactive solutions for a diverse range of high-profile brands and worked with some of the world’s top advertising agencies. For more information, please visit www.firstbornmultimedia.com.