Spring 2014 – Final Meeting

Our final Spring 2014 semester meeting occurred as the semester was winding down in May.  Time really does fly.

Our presentation was from Dr. Barry Morris.  He is a Professor of Communication on the NYC campus.  He shared with us some very creative videos that his students made in his course.  They were related to a tool called Duolingo. Duolingo is something that allows you to learn new languages.  The best part?  It’s free and they claim it always will be.  That’s always a plus; here is some more info on how that part works and keeps it free vs. a paid service.  The fact that you can take it with you on the go as well as utilize offline lessons is another big plus.  There was a study done to gauge its effectiveness.  The results can be found here.  Some pretty impressive stuff and the reviews of this tool are very solid.  This is definitely a resource that I wish I had when I was in high school and college and learning a foreign language.Capture

Click here to get more info on their website.  Click here to download their app from the Apple store.  Click here to download their app from the Google store.

The semester is over, but technology keeps on evolving.  There are rumors of iWatches, iPhone 6’s, iPhone Airs, Android watches, iOS 8 and more.  The tablet market is definitely advancing very quickly and new apps are being developed and released daily.  It’s an exciting time and we hope you will stay tuned to our blog.  We hope to see you at our fall meetings.  More to come in an upcoming blog…Happy summer!

April 9th User Group Meeting

Our recent meeting consisted of two main topics: using the iPad in the Art classroom as well as the use of Blackboard Collaborate on the go.

artProfessor Jane Dickson first discussed with us how she uses the iPad in her classroom.   She primarily uses Google searches to find different historical pieces of art to show to students as they are working during class.  She also will use the iPad to locate other historical pieces of art that some of the students art reminds her of so she can show them the comparisons.  It also allows her the freedom to feed the students more information on the fly and then allow them to come back later on and look up more historical information that may peak  their interest regarding a specific work of art or artist.  In addition to Google image searches she also uses different artist websites, institution websites, etc.  She hopes to continue to use the iPad and expand her usage to best meet the needs of her students.


Our second presentation was by 2 of the ITS e-Terns from the Academic Technology office.  They presented on Blackboard Collaborate.  Collaborate is an online learning and collaboration platform allowing faculty and students to meet from anywhere…anytime…and be able to do just about anything.  Their focus was on the use of Collaborate as a user and on the go, which many of us are these days.  Because of a robust app, you are able to join Collaborate session from your smart phone or tablet anywhere you have an internet/4G type connection.  They demonstrated the use of two way audio, the recording feature, instant polls, chats, and more.  You never have to miss a class or meeting session again with the option to login using this app.  Check it out in the app store.

Our final meeting of the semester is on Thursday May 8, 2014 at 3:30pm in the VC rooms.  We hope to see you there.  If we don’t see you, best of luck as the semester winds down!

March 6, 2014 Mobile Technologies User Meeting

Hello Mobile Technology Users! It is that time again, time for our monthly meeting! In this meeting we had one of our Environmental professors, Claudia Mausner, come discuss her experiences using an iPad for her classes. Also we discuss the Surface RT and how it can be used daily. So sit back and enjoy this meeting recap.  Then decide which tablet may be right for you…

First we had Claudia Mausner discuss her first time using an iPad. At first she said that her experiences with an iPad was not pleasant. She felt that the iPad was not user friendly. But as the semester has progressed on, she has now become accustomed to the iPad and what is has to offer. Claudia has been able to use the iPad to record videos for her students at the Wasterwater

Treatment Plant. Here is an example of it via Youtube. Feel free to check it out and spread the word! Let’s make this go viral.

Next she discussed what other things she has used. An app that she has used is SmartOffice 2. SmartOffice 2 is the equivalent to Microsoft Office Suite. Claudia discussed that she was able to type documents, take notes and easily save it to her DropBox account or just send it as an email. She said that it was extremely functional and something she has used on a daily basis since using the iPad. For more information about this app, head over to the App Store for SmartOffice 2 .

In the end Claudia has felt that the iPad has really helped her throughout the semester and she has really gotten used to it. Of course there are some minor things that still bug her, but overall her experience with the iPad has gotten better and now she has fully gotten the iPad experience. Has this convinced you to get an iPad?? If not read all about the presentation of the SurfaceRT below.

Next we discussed the SurfaceRT. First we discussed Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is an application that comes installed on Surface RT, Surface Pros and all PC (Laptops and Desktops). OneNote is a great application that acts as your binder with many different dividers. OneNote allows you to keep many “Notebooks” that allow you to keep notes. The great thing about this application is the functionality. It allows users to use their hands as their note taker. You can use your hand to highlight, cross, or just write like you would on a paper. Also this allows you to type like a regular keyboard. Finally we discussed the SurfaceRT itself. The SurfaceRT has great features, including acting like a regular PC and having the full Microsoft Office Suite installed. But the main downsides are the lack of apps (but they are coming) and also you are unable to install your own programs outside of the Windows App Store. The SurfaceRT currently runs for $350. For more information about the SurfaceRT and other great features head over to Microsoft’s SurfaceRT site.

We hope that we see you for our next meeting on Wednesday, April 9 2014 between 12:15-1:15. Remember the meetings are located in E319 on the NYC Campus and Miller 16 on the PLV Campus.

We hope to see you there!


February 12th Meeting Recap


Our recent meeting consisted of an app presentation by Josh from Daedalus.

The basic function of this app is it gives professors the ability to create “chalk and talk” videos by writing directly on their iPad with a stylus or their finger.  This is something that would seem to be ideal in the math and science fields for problem solving.  And not only is the writing recorded, but the professor has an option to provide voice over as well.  They do limit each to 4 slides bc their philosophy is students fare better with receiving these types of tutorials in shorter increments, so a 10 minute time frame is the recommendation.

The Professor can enroll his/her students in the course which is created on the back end of their site.  All recordings are stored on their site and accessible via laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones for the convenience of the students.  Josh also mentioned that they are looking for ideas for expanding, but that currently all features are free.  The link below gives more information as well as a link to download the app.  Try it out and let us know what you think.

Here is more info about the app.

Our second presenter was Martina from Dyson Instructional Technology.  She introduced the Turn It In and Qualtrics apps to us.  Both of these tools are commonly used at Pace already, but now having a mobile app version makes it even easier to use.

Turn It In is the plagiarism checker used by many universities.  It is already built into our Blackboard ecosystem and now Professors can get their students papers on their other devices via this app.  It makes the process of grading an anywhere type of thing as opposed to needing an actual computer.  A few of the main features of the app include the originality report, quick mark comments, voice comments, and more. The best part?  Let’s say you are traveling to work on the train or will be somewhere without Wi-Fi.  No problem.  Just sync the papers before you leave home to the app and grade off-line.

More information here:  http://turnitin.com/en_us/features/ipad

Download app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/turnitin/id657602524?mt=8

The second app was our survey tool that we use at Pace.  Qualtrics is a robust, but easy to use online survey tool.  The app allows you to download and manager your surveys.  They pride themselves on the simplicity of using their service, but also with the number of additional features that you can utilize as you see fit.  Below you will see a link to a short YouTube video which will tell you more about the features:


Download app here:


Our next mobile technology user group meeting is on March 6th, 2014 @ 3:30pm in M16 (PLV) and E319 (NYC).  See you there!


Welcome to the Spring 2014 Semester!

Welcome back to the Spring 2014 Semester. With a new semester upon us that means the Pace University Mobile Technology User Groups will be back up and running! So please feel free to join us for these meetings.

Spring 2014 Semester Meeting Dates

Wednesday, February 12 2014: 12:15-1:15
Thursday, March 6 2014: 3:30-4:40
Wednesday, April 9 2014: 12:15-1:15
Thursday, May 8 2014: 3:30-4:30

Our meetings will take place in room E319 on the NYC Campus and Miller 16 on the PLV Campus.

We hope to see everyone there!

CourseSmart and Our Final Fall 2013 Meeting

Yesterday was the last user group meeting of the semester.  We heard from two representatives from CourseSmart.  CourseSmart is an e-textbook and digital course material provider.  They have relationships with many of the major book publishers.  So one of the initial major benefits here is it allows students and faculty to utilize e-texts and go paperless which is always a good thing.

Another benefit is it allows for you to have the content at your fingertips essentially at anytime on your device(s).  The best part is you can even access items to review offline which is a real plus.  Their product is optimized for mobile viewing which is obviously the trend we are moving towards in higher education.  The features are really great and include such things as easy copy/paste to retain as notes, highlighting and making notes, bookmarking, as well as sharing notes to name a few.  There is also a full assortment of teacher material which you may recognize as “exam” copies.  And if they don’t have the book you want, let them know and they will try to acquire it.  They have various pricing models and are currently working with other University’s with a successful subscription based model.  They also have a new analytic tool which has promise.    Please check them out here:


The integration with Blackboard is seamless and very easy which is vital in introducing a new tool since Blackboard is the lynchpin for many Professors, Students and their courses.  Please click on the link below for a demo with further information about CourseSmart, Blackboard integration, etc:


Did I mention that they have 24/7/365 support?  This is a huge plus and something I see many users really taking advantage of.  And their customer support speed and efficiency is top notch: 98% of issues are resolved within 24 hours & 90% of issues are resolved during first contact.

Please check out the links above and feel free to contact us with any questions about CourseSmart; we can answer them or put you in touch with the representatives who can.

Since today was our last meeting of 2013 we just wanted to thank everyone for another great semester.  We hope this user group continues to grow and we hope the meetings were both informative and interesting.  If you have any ideas for future meetings please feel free to share them with us.  Be on the lookout for Spring 2014 dates for our meetings.

We wish you a Happy Holiday season and we will see you in 2014!

Mobile Technologies User Group October 29, 2013 Meeting

Well we are back in the swing of things here and what that means is that we just had our second Mobile Technologies User Group meeting. If you didn’t come, you missed a lot but everything is good as we will talk about what was covered.

First off we had Peter McDermott, a professor here at Pace University talk about Digital Literacy. First Peter talked about his online class he was teaching. Then he discussed what types of applications and programs he used to make the class more interactive. Peter said he wasn’t too big on using Blackboard to try and get his class to be more fun. Skype was the first application he discussed. Peter felt that when you get face to face interaction, that you can better communicate and make sure students have a better understanding of things covered in the online class.

Next he talked about a program called Glogster. Glogster allows you to create a digital poster. What that means is that you can post videos, photos or anything else you want on your poster! That allows for better presentations and better interaction especially with online courses. This can be great if you want students to be creative when needing to present a project or just a topic.

Next was a program called Tar Heel Reader. What this program does is allows you to come up with your own stories like a book. But what differentiates this from other programs is that fact that you can allow for audio recording! It’s great if you want to present a story that you have created and wanted to share and want people to read along. Again another great application to use in the classroom.

Here are some other tools that were mentioned during the presentation which you can click to find out more about: DrawTo, Queeky, and Animoto.

Next we had Professor Barry Morris talk about the Google Chromebook. This is a great segway to discussing other technologies out there. Professor Barry Morris found that using a Chromebook is better for people who just want to use it for Internet Browsing and using the Google applications available. He says though that the Google Chromebook is very light to carry and that it if you are on the go type of person that this would be great for you. He himself thought that the Chromebook wasn’t sufficient enough to replace your iPad or you computers so you might want to hold up on a Chromebook. But Chromebooks are really affordable ranging from $200-$350.


If you would like to discuss anything else please feel free to leave a comment below. Our next meeting will be Thursday, November 21, 2013: 3:30-4:30 pm between  E319 on the NYC Campus and Miller 16 on the PLV Campus. We hope to see you there!

Top Hat – Student Response and Engagement System


Hello Mobile Technology Users!

In the meeting on Tuesday, September 17, we discussed a student engagement system called Top Hat. Students are constantly glued to their devices making it hard for professors to gain their student’s attention. With this application, professors no longer have to worry because Top Hat will allow students to stay on track and provide them with a  positive learning experience. It is not limited to one device, so students can bring any device they wish to class (laptop, tablet, etc). Top Hat has many exciting features that allows students to be more interactive in a classroom setting.  Professors can present information through demos, and then quiz their students on the material with over 7 types of questions. When the students answer the questions, their grades are automatically generated in the professor’s grade book in Blackboard.  Anonymous discussion boards can be applied so that students are not embarrassed to participate, and professors can see what topic the majority of the class does not understand.

The features do not stop there because Top Hat is constantly improving, and has recently added more features. They are integrating with Pearson textbooks so that it can automatically generate questions from the material in the textbooks.  Additionally, Top Hat can be integrated with Blackboard as well.  Nonetheless, it does not stop in the classroom; it can still be accessed after class to review the material, which if needed can be downloaded from the application.  Professors can even assign homework, too. Lastly, Top Hat offers Tech Support for professors and students. For more information, here is the link to the Top Hat site:  https://tophat.com/

Furthermore, we are looking for users to test out this application so if interested please contact: Beth Gordon at bgordon@pace.edu or Martina Blackwood at mblackwood@pace.edu for more information.

As always feel free to leave comments, make suggestions, or inquire about presenting at a future meeting.  The next meeting is on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 from 3:30-4:30 pm in  E319 on the NYC Campus and Miller 16 on the PLV Campus.

We hope to see you there!



Welcome Back to Fall 2013 Semester!

Welcome back to the Fall 2013 school semester! We hope everyone had a wonderful and productive summer!

It is that time of year again to start having our meetings. Since it is a new semester we have a new group name: Mobile Technologies User Group. We will still talk about iPads, but now we will also go beyond iPads; this will give us a broader range of topics to cover during our meetings.  Feel free to contact us with any ideas to discuss or present.

Here are the dates for the upcoming meetings:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013: 3:30-4:40 pm
Tuesday, October 29, 2013: 3:30-4:30 pm (Updated 10/18)
Thursday, November 21, 2013: 3:30-4:30 pm
Tuesday, December 10, 2013:  3:30-4:30 pm

Our meetings will take place in room E319 on the NYC Campus and Miller 16 on the PLV Campus.

We hope to see you there!

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!