iPad Meeting Highlights #4

The final iPad meeting for the Spring 2011 semester provided attendees with a fore gleam of the future use of iPads at Pace University. While previous iPad meetings focused on interesting apps and in-class iPad experiences, our final meeting examined app development at Pace University. In lieu of feverishly searching through the App store hoping to find apps that could benefit our students, some members of the Pace community have started the process of developing apps which will specifically address the needs of our community.

Dr. Jonathan Hill, Assistant Dean in Seidenberg School of CSIS, opened the discussion by mentioning the new buzz term SoLoMo, which stands for social, local and mobile. SoLoMo essentially describes the use of mobile devices as a gateway for information that is pushed down to users on their local devices. The term also covers the ability to interact socially on  these devices through Web 2.0 platforms. Dr. Hill also encouraged attendees to consider mobile technologies as a whole instead of focusing solely on the iPad and iPhone.

Jeremy Pease, Anthony Perrone and Paat Sinsuwan are three programming students from Seidenberg who have been working on developing apps for Pace University. The students described the difficulty involved in learning the iOS. Dr. Kline, an Associate Professor in  Seidenberg, chimed in by explaining that “students are not used to managing memory through programming”, a factor which happens to be an important part of app development. A programmer must ensure that an app doesn’t use up all of the memory because it can cause the device to crash. Challenging themselves to learn how to program in unfamiliar territory has not caused these students to shy away from their iPad app projects.

Paat Sinsuwan is working on a app which will allow students to rate their courses and course textbooks. Through this app  students should be able to easily view their requirements worksheet to see which courses they have taken as well as all  available course options. A student’s personal interests will be used to suggest appropriate course electives.

Jeremy Pease and Anthony Perrone have been working hard at converting the Pace events page into a user friendly application. When their application is finalized, users should be able to search for  active university events by campus.

Dr. Phil Greiner, Associate Dean for Faculty Development  in Leinhard School of Nursing, described the useful app being developed for nursing students. The app will provide nursing students with access to industry standard instruments, which they can use while assessing geriatric patients. As shown through the prototype, the app  will feature buttons that will be large enough to allow patients to comfortably work through specific assessments. Nursing students will be able to email assessment results directly to their advisors without revealing the patient’s name. Dr. Greiner also explained the obstacles involved in trying to customize specific instruments for the iPad. We were able to view the mobile site which features the assessments the nursing students will soon have access to through the iPad.

Professor Emilie Zaslow, a Dyson instructor in Communication Studies, shared her in-class iPad experience. Six iPads were made available to her class of 30 students for the course Gender & Media. The ratio of students to iPads presented the first challenge as 5 students hovered over a single iPad.  In one assignment, the students watched an episode of Gidget to analyze the ways in which feminism was constructed then they used the storyboard app to develop updated constructions. In a second assignment each student had an opportunity to take the iPad home  for a visual learning assignment. The students were able to use  Moxier  Collage to create a visual collage for their final paper.

Alexander Weisman of ITS, demonstrated the power of GoodReader and Dropbox through his step by step tutorial. We learned about the integration of  these two apps, which will make it easier for iPad users to edit documents and make them public through their mobile devices.

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Thank you for joining us during the Spring 2011 semester as we learned about the power of ubiquitous computing through iPads.