Today we had our second user group of the semester. Our presenters were Devin McLaughlin from Apple and Amanda Villavicencio from ITS. Both presented on some very interesting topics.
Devin has been with us before and always gives a nice presentation. One of the very cool things that he introduced to us was the Apple iBeacon. It’s a Bluetooth enabled device that essentially provides location based information that you can access through your other iDevices. Devin gave the example of recently leaving his iBeacon in a checked bag on a flight and being able to track its exact location once he (and it) was on the plane in ‘proximity.’ Quite a cool feature and something he thinks many will start using in all sorts of different ways as far as location based offerings are concerned.
Devin went on to discuss iOS 8 and the new features that it comes with. Some of the highlights include:
- Screen capture between an iOS 8 device (with a lightning connection) and your Mac (running Yosemite). Essentially you are able to perform an audio/video recording using QuickTime.
- The introduction of new 3rd party keyboards. The most popular is Swype (currently free, normally $0.99) and another is Swift Key. These are what many Android users are already used to and a welcomed addition to the standard Apple keyboard.
- Having the Continuity feature which allows you to start a task on one device, and continue/complete it on another.
- The ability to make and receive calls on your other devices (as long as your iPhone is within Bluetooth range) as well as pickup an iMessage or even SMS text message conversation on another device that you started on lets say your iPhone.
- Specific to EDU, the introduction of extensions which allows iOS 8 users to reach into another app and access documents. Also a direct connection with DropBox via iCloud drive which is very useful for lots of users of these two services.
- For managing apps, e.g. with volume licensing, there is now the option of assigning and revoking access. So this is something that may work well in the EDU field (and other fields of course) where shared iPads and apps had become quite costly.
- The Apple TV now has the ability to talk to your devices via Bluetooth instead of the complications of having to be on the same network. This could be a game changer for using this tool in higher ed spaces. The Apple TV was designed to be an at home product, but as Devin mentioned there are so many uses for it, especially in the EDU environment. With this new option it may open the door for increased usage.
There is so much more out there now with iOS 8 and the new Yosemite OSX. Please let us know if you know any other tips and tricks below.
Amanda, one of the ITS eTerns, discussed the many changes that ePortfolio just had over the past few months. There is a new option for changing your layouts and making your ePortfolio more appealing. More on the new layouts can be found by clicking here. Amanda referred to it as a “pyramid” when showing us her showcase page which started with her most current accomplishments as a Graduate student and went back through Undergraduate and High School as well which was very cool.
Some other additional features include:
- The ability to embed PDF files, not just upload them.
- A new editing menu which stays with you as you scroll down your pages for easier accessibility.
- A more responsive design for mobile editing. You no longer need to be on a computer for the this, you can now edit with your smart phone, tablet, etc.
- Badging has been introduced and is a way to show off accomplishments in a digital fashion.
- You now get a warning when you are about to delete a journal, so there won’t be anymore accidental deletions!
- There are now quick links on the dashboard page which allow you to quickly create something or share something in a simpler fashion.
Please follow the ePortfolio blog here: http://eportfolio.blogs.pace.edu/
Please contact the ITS Academic Technology Dept for any questions regarding ePortfolio: email@example.com
Thanks to both Devin & Amanda for their informative presentations.
We look forward to seeing you at our last meeting of the semester on Tuesday December 9th, 2014 at 12:10pm in Miller 16 (PLV) and E319 (NYC). As always please feel free to leave comments below and if you have any ideas or would like to present at an upcoming or future meeting please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org