iPad Meeting Highlights

“If you focus on a tree you may miss the forest” stated Dr. Alison Terry, a Higher Education Apple Executive, who guided the discussion at our final iPad meeting of the semester. Through a thoughtful conversation she challenged us to think of the big picture instead of focusing our attention too narrowly on the technology. If you have a goal for your course,   department, or organization, what challenges prevent you from achieving your goal? After carefully considering your goals and challenges you can then work towards the best solution.  For instructors, in some instances there may be an app that can help you to disseminate your course materials in an exciting way that works for both you and many of your students, but far too often finding feasible solutions will require more thought and effort.
If we begin to think about collaborating across schools we can harness the knowledge, wisdom and experience of our faculty and students to perhaps resolve some of the common issues that abound in the  classroom. Our final meeting was certainly a departure from our typical iPad discussions, but I believe it left many of us thinking. If you have any ideas that you would like to explore, please feel free to email me at mblackwood@pace.edu.

Thank you to all of the presenters and attendees of our spring semester iPad meetings. We look forward to meeting with all of you in the fall. Please take a moment to complete the iPad meeting survey that you have already received.

Have a wonderful summer!

Storify iPad Application- Digital Storytelling on the go

By Megan Burke

I am delighted to report that now you can create digital stories on your iPad!  Storify gives you the ability to drag media from networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google onto your own Storify blog with the touch of a finger.  Storify is a digital storytelling tool which allows users to create a story using social media.  Students can showcase their own social networking tweets and posts all on one page, or create stories using key points from public tweets and posts.  As you thread elements from all over the Web into a story, you can type in your own comments to voice your opinions.  You can even tweet from within the Storify application to participate in the conversation.  Combining elements from these different sites makes for an informative, innovative story.  As long as your iTunes is updated, you are ready to begin blogging on your iPad! 

 


Once you publish your story, you can embed it in ePortfolio to show off your new digital story.  To get the application on your iPad, search for “Storify” in the app store, install the application, and begin creating digital stories by browsing through social media posts.  Digital storytelling is now at your fingertips- so reach out and touch social media to create something fascinating!  Click here to download Storify for the iPad from the App Store!

 

I Love This iPad

By: Allie Olender

  I love this iPad. It’s compact and easy to carry around. It’s both fun and functional. It’s almost perfect.

  It has become my best friend before I go to sleep. My roommate goes to sleep much earlier than I do some nights and I’m a movie junkie. I always feel awkward leaving the television on when she’s trying to sleep, so instead, I just whip out my iPad now and watch something on Netflix or a movie I’ve bought on iTunes with my earbuds in.

  It’s also become incredibly helpful with my schoolwork and emails. I’m a part of a sorority and also involved on campus in many other organizations, so being able to send out a quick email and access all of my old emails is a great thing for me. I used to use my blackberry, but sometimes that’s much harder for me to look back on who I have received emails from in the past. The iPad lets me see everything I need to.

  In other classes, I’ve downloaded the Blackboard for iPad app and that has helped me view all of my notes and power point presentations on my iPad as the professor is going over them. It’s really helped me stay on top of my homework and projects in all my classes.

  If I were to pick out some negative things about my iPad I could probably only think of a few (I mean, it’s an iPad, not too much to complain about). The major issue I have is typing. The number of times I’ve had to erase what I’ve written and rewrite it while writing this is ridiculous. I have trouble hitting the keys without accidentally hitting the one next to it. I’ve been told it gets much easier with practice, so I suppose practice I must.

Sent from my iPad

It’s Easy

By: Christine Lander

Using the iPad in the classroom has been very helpful. I like that we can all post our stories online and view them on our iPads in class. It is much easier than bringing in laptops because the iPad is so light and easy to carry around. The iPad actually really helped me in another class other than the one the iPad has been given to us for. In my other class, my professor had posted homework but it would not come up on my computer. I was relieved when I tried to open the homework on my iPad and saw that it came up. I was able to do the assignment because of my iPad. I have also been helped by my iPad because I have been able to begin typing assignments on it when I am not near a computer. If I wish to finish the assignment on a computer, I can simply email it to myself from my iPad and continue working on it on a computer.
I used to think that I wouldn’t want to use an electronic device at all times in the classroom. However, after using the iPad in English class and using it for other assignments, I see that it is very helpful. I could see myself using only an iPad. It may take some getting used to, but in a short time I think it would prove to be very helpful. Having textbooks on the iPad would save you from having to carry heavy textbooks around. I also think it would prevent students from forgetting to bring their books to class; they would only need to remember to bring their iPads. I have not taken notes in class on my iPad, but I would like to try it. I believe there are styluses that allow you to write directly on the iPad screen in certain applications. This is something I would consider because if you need to draw a picture or diagram in your notes, you could easily do so with a stylus. However, when only text is needed in your notes, typing works very well also.
I have been very satisfied with using the iPad in the classroom and with using it to complete various assignments. I will be sad to part with it at the end of the semester, but I am enjoying my time using it while it lasts. I would recommend that the iPad be used in other classes as well in order to assist students in their classes and give them a new experience in the classroom.

Sent from my iPad

An iPad Introduction for the Financially and Technologically Impaired

By: Veronica Goin

When Dr. Collins told our class that we would be using iPads for the semester, I couldn’t imagine a use for them (in or out of the classroom). I couldn’t conceive that I would learn to use one. And with my track record of clumsiness, I couldn’t imagine that I would make it through the semester without filing some awkward accident report for the device (still keeping my fingers crossed).

After a few weeks with the iPad, I have been quite pleasantly surprised. Though initially confusing, the iPad is generally straight-forward, and I have (slowly) learned to use it. The iPads are also very useful, not just in Creative Writing, but in other classes too (I plan essays, do research on the go, and even take notes using the iPad). I have also discovered that, despite my fear of not being able to keep the delicate technology alive all semester, so far the iPad and I remain unscathed.  My boyfriend reminded me to “Just treat it the way you treat a book. Not the way other people treat books, the way YOU treat books.” He and I use the iPad to play Words with Friends together (and help each other cheat; we’re not very good opponents). We also watch Frasier, using the Netflix app, and look for good hiking trails with a terrain map app. I get a word sent to me daily (complete with the word’s etymology) using the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app.

The iPad has proved itself to be both charming and useful. When asked if I would be willing to buy one on my own, once the semester is finished and my loaner has been returned, I am tempted, but they are prohibitively expensive. A large part of the lent iPad’s charm for me, comes from its lack of a price-tag. If Pace does offer a large-scale iPad program, I would strongly recommend providing them at a discounted rate (and applying Financial Aid considerations to the cost as well).

Sent from my iPad

How a Light, Little Device Transformed the Writing Workshop

By Dr. Jane Collins

My iPad has become a part of my daily experience.  It is so light that I bring it with me just about everywhere.  I read books on it (although I admit that I prefer to read books on my Kindle; and I will admit that I prefer to read books on my Kindle than to read a book made of paper); I read the newspaper on my iPad; I do crossword puzzles on my iPad; I send emails to my students on it; I check their online work on it; I play Scrabble with people I’ve never met on it; I use it as a meditation timer; and my niece loves to draw pictures on it.  The iPad is truly a full-service device, a lifestyle device.   It serves up media, communication, education, fun, and pleasure in a physically manageable package that does not get in the way of human interaction.  This comfort level, this feeling of connection to the device, is important for understanding how the iPad works in the classroom.  It is pretty hard to find a student who will declare, “I love my textbook.”  However, quite a few of my students have told me “I love my iPad” and I know just how they feel.  This semester, Dyson College supported a pilot project with my ENG 308 Fiction Writing Workshop.  Each student has an iPad for the semester to use for the class and also in any other way that they like.

When I first held my iPad, I thought, “This will change how computers work in the classroom.”  I’ve been using laptops in my creative writing classes for several years now.  Most of my students have one, so I have asked them to bring them to class and we use them to workshop student writing, with everyone looking at the same document and then giving feedback on it.  When all students have not had a laptop, I’ve used the classroom computer and projector to project the student writing onto the screen at the front of the room.  Each of these methods of looking at student writing seemed to create distance between the students in the classroom.  Laptops in the classroom created a kind of physical division, with the upraised screen creating a kind of wall that protects but also isolates the student behind it.  Projecting student work on the board creates a different kind of division between students.  The writing became more impersonal, almost like looking at a bug under a microscope, magnified many times, with all students staring at the giant words floating across the screen.  We were no longer looking at each other or the writer; our focus was the screen.

Enter the iPad.  It lies on your desk not much bigger than a piece of paper; you hold it in your hand like a mid-sized notebook (not the computer kind!); you can make eye contact; you have no wall in front of you; you can read, write, talk, surf and interact with people with it in your hands.  When we workshop using iPads, we write directly into an app that then emails our comments to the student we are workshopping.  The technology creates a more human and more humane experience in the writing workshop.  We use the iPads every class and at the end of each class, as I slide my little iPad into my backpack, I think, “Yep. This is the way a writing workshop is supposed to work.”

My students in ENG 308 Fiction Writing have agreed to share their ideas and feelings about their iPad experience in this pilot project sponsored by Dyson College.

**Posts written by Dr. Collins’ students will appear in the coming weeks.

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.

If you would like to do so, please take this brief survey as we attempt to better serve the growing iPad community.

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

The iPad Diary episode #1

Professor Manuela Soares, an instructor in the Graduate Publishing program, has allowed us to take a  rare glimpse into her diary. She is the first member of the faculty to bravely accept the iPad challenge. Written in diary format, Professor Soares shares her week long journey of using the iPad as her sole computing device.

Friday

It was raining in New York and I was eager to get to the airport and start the trip. iPad in hand, charger in my bag. I know it says 10 hours, but it always feels like less. I had it plugged in yesterday and unplugged when it reached 100%. I’ve been told it’s not good to leave these devices plugged in indefinitely. This morning, the iPad registered 98% – but hadn’t been used at all. Now it’s 96%.

Rain in New York – and  just heard on the news – a tsunami headed to California. Flying directly into trouble. At least I’ll be entertained.

Waiting at the airport, my traveling companion had a copy of New York magazine and I started the crossword puzzle, then hunted for sandwiches for the plane, and used the iPad for about 10-20 minutes to check my messages and download a couple of magazines.

Read a ya novel on the flight, along with the current issue of the New Yorker and Martha Stewart I had downloaded into the iPad earlier.

About 6 hours later – San Francisco

A friend picked us up at the airport  – which is what people do in SF and we rode into town. At Union Square we noticed a very long line of people and wondered why they were waiting in line. Stopped at a light, we analyzed the crowd – all young and hip we decided. What were they waiting for? The line was so long we could see around the block. Then it hit me – the new iPad 2.

The next day we walked to Union Square and sure enough, there was the Apple store that had been out of sight when we stopped the day before.

At the hotel, I decided to read a little before my nap – and needed to download another book – since I had just been reading a sample. I looked at the battery – 13%. I guess that’s about right – but still not the 10 hours everyone thinks it should run. I plugged in the iPad.

Sunday

The hotel was supposed to have wifi – and it does – for an additional $15.95 A DAY! So forget surfing the web or buying any new books. I can always go to a Starbucks or find wifi elsewhere, but so far we’ve been too busy with family events. Reading a new mystery – Damage — that takes place in SF. OK, but not liking it as much as The Help, which I’d recently finished. I have a few papers downloaded to Dropbox, but without an Internet connection I couldn’t sync those files. Guess I would have had the same problem with my laptop.

Had wanted to download the new blackboard app, but didn’t have a chance before I left. Now can’t download. But wait – somewhere in the hotel someone named John Wright has a wifi connection on his MacBook pro – and I can coattail on his connection. At least for as long as it takes to download the blackboard app. Success! Thanks, John.
But of course, if I wanted to connect to Blackboard or anything else I still need wifi. I would take the iPad with me, but when we go out for the day, I often have my nikon (heavy), and other stuff, so the iPad is usually left at home. Even the new slimmer thinner iPad seemed heavy to me when I tried it at the apple store yesterday. They are sold out; expecting more on Tuesday. My friend was particularly impressed with that magnetic cover.

Monday

The Borders store is closing and we stopped by to see if there were any bargains we couldn’t pass up. Sad to say, no. Even the few things we considered meant carrying them around for the rest of the trip, so we didn’t buy anything.

Tuesday

Extremely frustrated by not having wifi, but would have the same problem if I had the laptop instead. Managed to access the Dropbox and sync so I could get my files. Some didn’t sync properly and I can’t access them.

Wednesday

In Napa and wanted to find the names of some restaurants, but no wifi. Used my iPhone; it also has a built-in GPS so we can find our way around town. Too frustrating not having wifi – this hotel charges for wifi access, too. Fifteen $ a day.

I can still read my book and have been able to read a student paper as well, but can’t annotate it.

Friday

On our way back to NYC. I managed to do some work; read a lot; played a few games. But next week, on a business trip to Chicago – I’ll take my laptop. Maybe it’s the keyboard that makes it easier to work on. Or just the fact that everything I need is already on the laptop. But, I guess if I used the iPad more, that wouldn’t be an issue.

The iPad does slide snugly into the side pocket of the laptop case, so I can bring both for now.

Will you accept the iPad challenge?  If so, please contact Martina Blackwood at mblackwood@pace.edu.

April iPad Meeting Highlights

If you’ve heard the buzz around campus about the April iPad meetings, this post will provide you with the meeting highlights.

Three Apple representatives visited the New York City and Pleasantville campuses with ideas on classroom integration of the iPad. They also arrived with iPads loaded with interesting apps for us to use during their presentation. They wowed us with apps we had never used and they provided us with concrete suggestions on how to create and distribute personalized course material using the iPad.

Over the years you have likely used several textbooks from various publishers, but you may not have found books that offer everything you wish to present to your students.  Electronic publishing, or ePub as it is commonly called, will allow you to author your own content and include rich media like pictures, videos and podcasts. You can use Pages and other iPad resources to begin creating your own documents on the iPad. You can even sell your electronic publication on ITunes!

During our session we also examined iPad apps like Inkling, which will allow students to buy an entire ebook or purchase specific chapters from the textbook. Imagine assigning different chapters from different textbooks without having to ask students to buy several complete textbooks.

Although it has not been on the market very long, the iPad has already helped to make the idea  of ubiquitous computing a realization for countless people.

How would you use the iPad in your classroom?

Please feel free to attend the next exciting iPad meeting during the month of May.

The iPad Challenge!

If you are currently using your iPad merely as a mobile social device, while reserving serious tasks for your laptop or desktop, then you are not alone. Although many people are still buzzing over the iPads, they have yet to release their firm  grip on their traditional machines. When they need to do more than send a few emails, take notes and browse the app store, they immediately turn to standard desktops and laptops. Have you ever attempted to use your iPad as your main computerized device?  If you are willing to use your iPad only for at least a week, please document your experience and share it with all of us on the iPad blog.Your story may be just the inspiration that we need to see if the iPad can replace our laptops and desktops. You may also help us to discover why we may never fully release our desktops and laptops from our clutches.

Are you willing to take the iPad challenge?