Kaltura At Pace

kalturaVideo is becoming bigger than ever, especially in higher education.  With many products we run into storage limitations, collaboration issues, integration hurdles and so on.  Kaltura looks to take these needs head on and offer us a robust media solution.

Yesterday we had an online webinar for our monthly user group meeting.  The topic was Kaltura, a new service that is coming soon to Pace.  Our presenter was Ken Taylor, Director of Education, Mid-Atlantic U.S. for Kaltura.

Ken spoke to us about the different features that Kaltura will bring to the table.  First some background; Kaltura is a streaming video service with over 300,000 web publishers integrated into Blackboard.  You can upload videos into Kaltura directly through Blackboard, and make them available to your students in any Content Area, within a Media Gallery, or as a component of an assignment, test, or quiz.  Essentially you can upload, share, and manage content within groups, with your students (and vice versa) and so much more.

Kaltura has this direct connection with Blackboard which allows for easy usage and integration for faculty, staff and students.  It brings flipped classrooms, distance learning, BYOD and more to life and provides a truly enriching experience to its users.  Kaltura is a solution for many user case needs: lecture captures, teaching and learning, media repository & archiving, and group collaborations to name a few.  In addition to higher education, Kaltura has many enterprise, media and numerous brand name clients (HBO, Philips, Nestle).

If you are interested in hearing more about Kaltura, please check out their website here.

If you are interested in using Kaltura as an early adopter at Pace, please leave us a comment here, contact your school IT director or email: acadtech@pace.edu

Microsoft Office, Everywhere for Everyone

Microsoft has continued to make changes over the past few years in the way in which they deliver office to consumers.  Since the introduction of Office 365 which offers the current versions to consumers in a subscription based model, there has been a push for Microsoft to make Office more mobile in the tablet age.  ZA104386679

This past fall Microsoft rolled out the complete Office experience to iOS and these new apps match the modern look and feel of Office 2013.  Furthermore, these apps now let you view and edit office documents for free.  In order to use more advanced features for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, users can either make an in app purchase or redeem a license that comes in a multiple device subscription, now offered by Office 365.

For those unfamiliar, Office 365 is a yearly subscription to Office, but it includes cloud based storage and provides users with the most updated version.  When used on multiple devices, this model can be a more economical option.  Microsoft Office is further expanding the availability of Office beyond iPhone, iPad and PC platforms, as they will be rolling out new android versions in the coming months.

officeverywhere-infographic-2-984x1024However, Microsoft’s Office Everywhere for Everyone campaign would not be complete if it did not bring the modern office experience to Mac.  It has been more than four years since Office for Mac 2011 launched in 2010 making Office for Mac 2015 long overdue.  The new screenshots released by Microsoft confirm that Office for Mac will match the Windows experience and aesthetics.  This will no longer be a less powerful version. Additional improvements include support for SkyDrive and Retina Displays, in addition to One Note for Mac, which is available for free right now on the Mac App Store.  Office for Mac 2015 is expected to launch in the later half of 2015, with a beta coming sometime in the spring.

01-Mail-All-Retina-1024x674To summarize, Microsoft is making big changes in the ways that Office is brought to consumers.  They brought new apps for iPhone users in addition to updating their iPad apps.  They are previewing and testing new android apps and are working to update the Office for Mac experience.  However, the biggest change is there is now limited free access to such a critical tool for everyone, even if they don’t have a subscription.  If you have thoughts on the new Office experience or Office 365, you can share them by commenting below.  It will be interesting to see how these apps shape up in the coming year.

Fall 2014 Begins…Adobe EchoSign Takes Off?

Welcome back everyone!  Today was the first meeting of our Fall 2014 semester.

ESOur topic was Adobe EchoSign presented by yours truly.  For those who have never heard of it, Adobe EchoSign is a robust e-signature platform that is entirely cloud based.  It allows users to send and receive documents for signature all electronically.  It has simple functionality, is efficient, and allows for document tracking and metrics.

Ever send that form to get signed and it got “lost?”  Ever send something via snail mail and have it take days to get to its desired location?  Or maybe the form is still sitting in a pile with a few hundred more on someones desk.  EchoSign can eliminate the back log of paperwork and we hope eliminate the need to print paper forms as well.  We are not only going green, but we are able to efficiently establish a new protocol for the way we do business at the University.

EchoSign allows a user to initiate a document and send it to “x” number of users to sign.  Once you fill in the appropriate fields (email address, attach the document, designate locations for signatures, etc) – very similar to sending an email – the software does all the rest automatically for you.  You will simply receive the signed document back once all parties have signed it.

No account?  No problem.  Not everyone needs an account to sign (however you do need an account to originate).  If you are asked to sign something, simply follow the instructions in the email that you receive.  You can sign anywhere and anytime.  You can even sign on a mobile device while using your finger as a stylus.

MobileDevice

Dyson is currently finishing a pilot of 8 months of usage.  The document processing and turn around time has been exceptional and the metrics back this up.  Documents that used to take days take hours…Documents that used to take weeks now take days.  The difference is night and day.  Once we are able to upgrade to the next level we hope to roll out this tool to other users within Dyson and ultimately the University.  Stay tuned for more updates about this exciting tool and please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or wish to see a more detailed demo: rmiller@pace.edu

Please contact us if you have any topic suggestions or would like to present at one of our upcoming meetings.  See you at the next meeting on November 6th!

Spring 2014 Mobile Tech Meeting Survey & Beyond…

The Mobile Tech User group sent out a survey to its users to gain some end of the year feedback.  Thank you to all that responded.  Here is some of the pertinent information that came from it.  Also, we take a look at some future topics that may be presented during next semesters meetings.

The survey consisted of 12 total responses.  9 faculty and 3 staff responded.

All 9 faculty have said they have used some form of the technology we have discussed in the meetings in the classroom.

All 12 respondents felt that the meetings were at least somewhat useful (3), useful (7), or very useful (2).

8 out of the 12 respondents at least read this blog occasionally.

Reasons that respondents felt that the blog was helpful:

  • Get information if they missed a meeting
  • To help discover new technologies, tech trends and get ideas
  • Learn how others are using technology in the classroom
  • To read reviews of applications for their own potential usage

Respondents felt that this content would be helpful on the blog going forward:

  • Talk about items that there wasn’t enough time for during the actual meetings
  • Tech trends
  • Anything regarding integration of technology

The biggest suggestion for future meetings was regarding the potential for online attendance for the user group meetings.

Some proposed topics for future meetings include:

  • Top Hat
  • Free versions of student engagement systems
  • Connect/LearnSmart
  • Gamification – tests as games, synchronous mobile applications and gaming for educational purposes.
  • EchoSign – e-signature tool and app
  • eTexts and OER
  • Apple updates from our Pace Apple representatives
  • Apple’s new operating system
  • Online office hours
  • Virtual science labs

The schedule for the upcoming Fall semester meetings will be posted very soon.  We hope everyone is having a great summer.

WhatsApp? & Is Office finally coming to iOS?

Man has it been a busy couple of weeks of new technology news! You have to love this industry as things are changing everyday. Recently there has been big news of a purchase of an extremely popular application and the one question many iOS users are asking: is Microsoft Office Suite finally coming to iOS?

 

Most recently there has been huge news of a very popular mobile phone application called WhatsApp? WhatsApp is an application that allows users to communicate with friends and family without having to use your short messaging service (Or the thing you call a texting plan). You can text your friends or start a group chat on the go. All you need is a wireless connection (or a smartphone) and you are good to go. This has become an extremely popular app with over 300 million users daily. Not only can this be easily used but this is free! But here’s the catch: Only the first year is free and the years after you will be paying .99 per year.

WhatsApp

Still not a bad deal for those who want to text or chat on the go but don’t have a text plan on their mobile phones. WhatsApp is available on all platforms. For more information head over to the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or the Windows Phone Store. Chat on!  The rumors are also floating that they may add a voice call feature.

 

 

There have been a lot of rumors recently regarding a possible question many iOS users want an answer to…..Is Microsoft Office Suite making it’s way onto iOS?! Well let’s clear one thing up, yes and no.

Yes Microsoft is currently in the process of coming up with an application for iOS users who want to edit their essays on PowerPoints on the go. But there may be a long wait for this. We still don’t know when exactly Office will arrive on iOS or Android devices but we do know that Microsoft is working on it.

Well that’s the latest big news in the technology world! Told you it was a busy couple of weeks! If you have any stories that you want us to write about feel free to leave us a comment. Also our next Mobile Technology User Group meeting will be happening on March 6th, 2014 @ 3:30pm in E319  in NYC and Miller16 in PLV.  We hope to see you there!

A Student Perspective

As promised, here is Heather Askildsen’s personal account of how the iPad has been such an asset in her education here at Pace.

Taking two iPad classes at Pace has given me the opportunity to make technology work for me in the classroom and beyond.

When I served as the News Editor at the Pace Chronicle, my iPad was central to my success. Newsstand and NPR’s app gave me round the clock access to news. Also, just being able to check my email between classes helped me to conduct outreached faster and more effectively. I was able to coordinate interviews and touch base with my fellow staff members on the go. No matter how busy my day was, I always had time to fire off or respond to an email.

Being able to record interviews was perhaps the most useful feature. My notes were more accurate and the iPad’s unobtrusive design helped to lessen the stigma of being recorded. And to be perfectly honest, bringing my iPad to an interview seemed to have a positive effect on people in general. It gives you a certain cache, I guess. Instead of fumbling with a pen and a Five Star notebook, I could conduct the interview with my research, my questions, and my notes all in front of me. This not only helped me to be more methodical, but also seemed to inspire confidence in my ability.

The iPad has also helped me to be a more efficient student. The inClass app lets me keep all of my academic and extra-curricular materials all in one place. I can take more detailed notes which can be shared digitally with other students and automatically synch due dates with my Google calendar. Apps like Notability made the process of collecting peer feedback easy. Instead of quickly scribbling down notes, my classmates could simply email my work back to me with their critique.

Overall, my experience with the iPad has been extremely constructive. It allows me to keep everything I do in one place.

March 20, 2013 iPad Meeting: Could the iPad be Facing Competition?

Hello iPad Users!

 

Today, during our iPad Meeting we were introduced to another kind of tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro. Could this tablet be the future competitor of the iPad? We may not know, but this new device brings a lot to the plate.

The Surface Pro basically functions like a laptop, but is smaller and more portable. It has many great features like: Windows 8, 64GB to 128 GB of storage, HD Display, Pen Tool, Intel Core Processor, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, 5 hour battery life, Two 720p HD LifeCams front and rear facing with True Color, USB and Mini Display Ports, and many Apps. Some additional features include keyboard. There are two kinds that a user can attach. One is touch sensitive and can also act as a cover for the tablet while the other one is similar to a regular keyboard that you would attach to the tablet. However, there is an on-screen keyboard as well.

The Surface Pro is touch-orientated, which is great for multitasking because it is easier to navigate between Apps. Additionally, it allows a user to place two open Apps side by side on the screen so that the user can view two things at once on one screen. The other cool thing you can do with the Surface Pro is draw or write on documents by using the writing tool (Pen). This is great for note-taking. Normally on other devices, when we draw or write it looks like a bunch of scribbles, but with this new device the writing looks clear and realistic. One useful program mentioned for note-taking was One Note. One Note automatically saves your work to the Skydrive, which is storage in the cloud, so the user does not have to worry about whether or not they saved their work. They also don’t have to worry about on what device they saved their work and where on that device the work is located. The great thing about cloud storage is that your work can be accessed anywhere and on any device, and shows when changes were made to a document. Other Apps besides One Note, like Word, can be used with Skydrive, too.  Lastly, there are many Apps that can be downloaded onto the tablet , but since the Surface Pro functions like a laptop a user can install any other program they want like they would on their desktop or laptop. The Surface Pro could be the replacement for laptops because of its functionality.

However, the Surface Pro, like any other tablet, does have its disadvantages. The number one issue being cost as it starts at $899.  Yes, many people would feel they can buy a laptop for this price, but since the tablet possesses similar functions of a laptop,  Microsoft feels it should be valued at the same price.  Though, if price is a concern, Microsoft has another tablet called the Surface RT, which starts at $499, but has less features and storage available. Both these products can only be found in Microsoft stores.  Another issue is the weight. It is two pounds, one more pound than the iPad, making it difficult to hold  for a long period of time. Though, it is more weight to lug around, the Surface Pro is still lighter than lugging a laptop around. Also, one more pound is not going to kill you, so don’t let that affect your decision about buying this product. The last issue is that the Surface Pro is not meant to be used for games. It does support minimal game use, but if this is the only reason you want to buy this device than you should reconsider. Games are better supported on an iPad. Whether Apple likes it or not, the Surface Pro sounds like the next best thing.

Also, during our meeting we discussed several Apps. Those being: Dropbox, Box, SpiderOak, 1Password, Evernote, Penultimate, and Video Pix. Dropbox and Box were previously mentioned in another blog, but I will briefly explain them again. SpiderOak is basically the same concept as Dropbox and Box, but is a more secure way to store your files on the cloud. Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, documents, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you saved to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website! The Box.net App  lets you access your Box.net account directly from your iPhone. Open documents, images, music and videos, anywhere. Also, use it to stream music that didn’t fit on your device, to read PDF, Word or Excel documents on the go, or to access any other files you have stored on Box.net. For more information on these applications, follow this link: http://ipad.blogs.pace.edu/2013/03/07/battle-of-the-boxes-dropbox-vs-box-net/.

Another App were discussed was 1Password, which stores all your passwords in one secure place. 1Password for iPad can store website passwords, credit cards, secure notes, and more, and make it all available at the flick of your finger. Everything is protected with the last password you need to remember. When you touch a website login, 1Password takes you to the site and automatically fills in your credentials for you. You don’t have to remember your password or even the URL for each site. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Also, passwords are encrypted, so even if someone does gain access, you are still protected.

The next Apps discussed were Evernote  and Penultimate. Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. You can take a photo, screenshot, or record some audio and save it. Save entire webpages to your Evernote account with the web clipper browser extensions . Share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates. Penultimate is the original and easiest-to-use handwriting app for iPad that combines the natural experience of pen and paper with the flexibility and syncing of Evernote. Lose the paper, keep the handwriting, and remember everything.With Evernote syncing, your notes are searchable and available on any computer or mobile device you use. The last App discussed was Video Pix. VideoPix is a Slow Motion editor, Video Frame Grabber, and an enhanced video player all with a simple and powerful user interface. However, this App eats up storage,  but with applications like Dropbox you can store your work there. Also, these videos can be uploaded to Youtube, but be sure to specify that the work is being used for educational or personal purposes or you can face copyright issues.

The next iPad Meeting is on April 15, 2013 at 12:20pm- 1:15pm in the VC Rooms.

iPad 4 vs. iPad Mini

“What is the difference?” is the famous question many customers ask when going to purchase an iPad. One would say there is no difference; it is simply just a miniature version of the iPad with the same functions and performance. However, don’t let the smaller size fool you. Though both iPads deliver the iPad experience, there are some differences that people will overlook.

In this blog, I will help you better understand the differences of these products by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of an iPad and iPad Mini. However, some of these differences are based on user preferences, so you can decide what product is best fit for you. The iPad 4 is “bigger, faster, and stronger,” better for productivity, has better photo and video manipulation, and better for web browsing. It has a 9.7-inch “Retina Display,” (you can’t see the pixels) and has more than four times the graphics power. The iPad Mini, 7.9-inch screen, does not have retina display so you can see the pixels; the screen has the same pixel count as the first-generation iPad (1024×768). This means the graphics on the iPad Mini will have a fuzzy display.

Here’s a screen comparison to illustrate what I mean:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, rumor has it by next year the iPad Mini 2 will have an even better retina display than the iPad 4. Next, the iPad 4 has twice the amount of processor power than the iPad Mini, and is much stronger as well. With the bigger display on the iPad 4, it makes it better for getting tasks done because an individual can comfortably view web pages without having to zoom in, like they would have to with the iPad Mini. Many customer reviews claimed that the iPad Mini was hard on the eyes. Also, the bigger display is good for software like Pages or Numbers because there is extra space to get work done and a great way to replace laptop use. The smaller display on the iPad Mini is fine for many tasks like watching movies, reading books, music, or playing casual games. Aside from productivity software, the bigger display really helps out if you are planning to do a lot of photo or video editing with the iPad, and with the retina display it allows the user to work with higher resolution photos.

Nonetheless, the iPad Mini does have its advantages as well, those being cost, size, and weight. The iPad Mini is small enough to hold with one hand comfortably, and only weighs 0.68 pounds compared to the 1.44 pound iPad. Many customers complained that the iPad is heavy, which makes it tiring to hold for extended periods of time. Additionally, with a smaller size it is a lot easier to type with, and many people have said this is helpful with emails. The iPad Mini is more mobile than the iPad, easily fitting into a purse or the side pocket of a backpack, making the iPad better for traveling, especially since one will not have to feel like they are lugging around extra weight. Furthermore, the iPad Mini even has access to Siri, Apple’s “intelligent assistant.” However, the number one reason to go with an iPad Mini is the cost. The iPad 4 starts at $499 while the iPad Mini starts at $329, which is $170 in savings or about one-third off the price. For those who want an iPad but feel the price is just a little too high, the iPad Mini is a good choice.

There is no clear perfect choice when picking out the right iPad. For many people, the iPad Mini will do everything they need an iPad to do and they will barely even notice the difference between the two tablets. For others, the bigger screen, sharper graphics and faster processor will make all the difference in the world.

 

Pace Mobile App and iOS 6 both available!

Pace Information Technology Services (ITS) is proud to offer our Pace Mobile application to students, faculty, and staff. Over the past few months ITS has been creating and implementing a Phase I build of our Pace Mobile App. Our current application offers a variety of modules for the iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices and so far has had 2199 downloads in the first week alone!.

 Below is the summary of what you will see when you download the app:

(Please note: These may vary across platform builds.)

 

  • Videos (links to Pace’s YouTube)
  • News (links to Pace’s Pace Pulse publication)
  • Contacts (provides key University contacts)
  • Links (links to m.pace.edu)
  • Images (links to Pace’s Flickr account)
  • Blackboard Learn (links to Blackboards Mobile Learn App)
  • Maps (provides building locations and additional building information)
  • iTunes U (links to Pace’s iTunes)

For more information and updates visit the following site: Pace Mobile App.

We would love to here what you think about the app, please send comments and suggestions to itshelpdesk@pace.edu

 

 

(Picture Credit: Apple)

Apple has come out with iOS 6 for all iPhone and iPad users! There are many updates to maps, Siri and even better Facebook and Twitter integration.

For more information about the new updates head to the Apple Website .


March 21, 2012 iPad Meeting

Hello iPad Users!

We  had our second meeting of the semester between the NYC and PLV campuses via video conferencing. We had some guest speakers including our Apple Representatives. Here are some of the highlights of the meeting.

Mr. Devin McLaughlin, an Apple Representative, was up first and he was there to discuss many things. First we were introduced to the new iPad, and we learned that there are some improvements from the iPad 2. The new iPad has a better camera on the front and back, coupled with better resolution which will enable you to see more details on the iPad. And one of the biggest changes to the new model is a feature named Dictation. Dictation allows you to speak instead of type. Now whatever you want to say is what you are going to see typed out on the iPad. Pretty Cool Right?

Also Devin recommended some apps that would be very useful to students and staff such as the app named  Reflection. Reflection is a app that allows your iPad to be shown on a Mac computer. This will be easier for some people because you can now use a mouse. You will control everything on your iPad from your own computer!

Our next guest speaker was Mr. Peter Hoffman, a representative from Kno.com. Kno.com, pronounced (know), is a website that allows people to access  digital textbooks. Kno allows  people to access publications including textbooks in an electronic format. You can take notes on a digital sticky note and you can highlight certain parts. What is great is that it is integrated with drop box so you can share content with other people! Also students can benefit from electronic Flashcards and  a feature named “QuizMe”, which can help students to prepare for exams. Faculty can also submit their own documents such as pdf documents and PowerPoint presentations through Kno to make it available to their students.
Kno has a FREE app on the iPad, so feel free to download it now!

Our next meeting will be on April 11, 2012 at 1pm. Everyone is invited even if you don’t own an iPad! If you love technology and discovering the next cool app come aboard!