April 15th iPad User Group Meeting

Today we had three presentations during our second to last iPad meeting of the semester.  The first two were from Pace professors and the last was by a Pace student.  The two perspectives really helped tie some things together.  Lets review the two Professor presentations.  Our student presenter will be giving us a special guest writing piece later this week to share!

The first presentation was by Professor Matthew Bolton of the Political Science department on the NYC campus.  He discussed three distinct ways that he utilizes the iPad: For Model UN, in his online class, and in a research role.  As far as Model UN is concerned, the iPad really is an all inclusive device that allows for the Model UN group to have information at their fingertips at anytime to share on their website.  The website is a Word Press blog which has a great application on the iPad which allows for direct updates.  Word Press itself is a great tool that Pace does offer and this presentation brought that to the forefront for those who weren’t aware of it.  It’s a great tool that’s easy to use via your iPad.

As far as online courses and research go, Professor Bolton also touched on these two items.  He discussed the Blackboard app which is great for needing to access things in a pinch, but reiterated that it is not a direct replacement for Blackboard itself which is accessible via a Mac or PC.  It works for the little things, but there is definitely room for some improvement as with anything.  As far as research is concerned, he discussed actual conferences that he goes to and how the iPad works so well for that.  It not only eliminates the need to have numerous clunky devices on the go, but lets you jot down those hard to remember thoughts at that inconvenient time because you always have the iPad ready and waiting whether you are at a conference, riding the subway, etc.

The second presentation was by Professor Emily Welty of the Political Science department on the NYC campus.  She discussed a few apps that were related to data recording as well as presentations.  First, she discussed data recording and introduced us to two really interesting apps: Super Note and Quick Voice.  Both essentially allow for the recording of audio either for interviews, during class, you name it.  You can make notes, and then listen to the playbacks later on.  And the best part is it actually seems like interviewees or professors are “less” nervous when being recorded this way versus a traditional tape recorder and tape.  These apps are both great tools for students and faculty alike.

The second app that Professor Welty discussed was Haiku Deck.  It’s a free app and is an extremely interesting and unique way to present topics in class.  She mentioned that she was trying to move away from the traditional PowerPoint all the time and this is a really fun and unique alternative or supplemental tool.  Essentially Haiku Deck makes presentations “simple, beautiful, and fun” according to their website. The basic idea is to get rid of the standard presentations and get creative while also keeping it simple.  You take an idea, search for a picture (or use your own), choose a layout, and just like that, Haiku Deck has taken your presentation to a whole other level.  It is so unique and opens the doors for students to really become actively engaged in the topic and conversation as opposed to always staring at a wordy slideshow.  It’s quite the app and will take a little bit of getting used to, but is definitely worth trying out in your classroom or even at a meeting for brainstorming!

Our third presenter was a student, Heather, from Dr. Jane Collins (ENG PLV) iPad course.  She will be submitting a write up to share later this week sharing a student perspective on how vital the iPad has been in her time here at Pace, so be on the look out for it.

Our next, and last, meeting this semester is on Wednesday May 1st, 2013 @ 11:15am in Miller 16 and E319.  See you then!

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