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!

December 18, 2012 iPad Meeting

Hello, iPad users and welcome to the last post of the Fall 2012 semester! Boy did this semester fly by or what?! In our last meeting we had representatives from Doceri, a great app for the classroom, come stop by and talk about it. By the end of the meeting we asked ourselves, Where do we go from here? And I think you will like the answer!

First representatives from Doceri came by to talk about this great app that professors can use for their classroom. Doceri is an iPad app that includes an interactive whiteboard and a great screencast recorder. First you can create a free account with Doceri online or on the iPad. Once you get started that is where the fun begins. You will be able to create any sort of lesson plans for any subject whether it be Math, History or just plain old English. Once you have settled in, you can then bring your created lesson plans to class and be able to show your students. Not only will students feel more like they are included, but they will enjoy hearing lesson plans and watching it visually happening on the screen.

 

Another great feature about Doceri, is that it actually allows you to connect to a computer to be able to project your iPad! If you are tired of just having your back towards your students while writing on a whiteboard, Doceri can change that! Included is the option to have a computer connect to your iPad and that is where you can have an interactive Whiteboard come to life. You can have the projector, showing your students what you are writing in real time. So if you are explaining a math problem you can write your explanation on your iPad and it will show the students at the same time. There is no more need to have your back towards your students ever again!

For more information about this free app, head over to Doceri’s website! Once you have tired it let us know what you think about this app!  You can also search for some great demo videos on YouTube and follow them on Twitter.

Finally, we discussed one last question which was “Where do we go from here?” Some of the responses from people at the meeting said they wanted us to talk about other technology outside of the iPad. Maybe we can discuss some tricks and tips for Android tablets or maybe we can discuss anything about the new Microsoft Surface. If you would like that let us know! We want to gauge interest in new technology to expand even further!

After another successful semester, we hope to see you again next semester! Dates and times of our meetings in the Spring will be posted. Keep checking back for updates!

From everyone here, we wish you a wonderful winter break! See you back in the Spring!

May 8th, 2012 iPad Meeting

Hello again iPad users,

We just had our last iPad meeting of the semester and this one got us excited for what the iPad has in store for future semesters. The theme of the meeting was using the iPad in the classroom. Even though a lot of students on our campus may not have an iPad, maybe the experiences shared by the professors at Seton Hill University might have changed some minds about investing in one.

Our guests were professors and directors from Seton Hill University. Melissa Alsing who is the director of IT and Dennis Stern, who is an English professor at the university, talked about everyone on campus having an iPad and MacBook in their own hands. This program is called the Griffin Technology Advantage. He talked about the integration of iPads in the classroom and he talked about ways he used them in class. You can watch some videos here explaining how professors and students love using the iPad and how it helps them in class. Two other guests from Seton Hill were Kathy Harris and Mary Spataro, who both work in Education/Teaching. They described the experience of using iPads in class as encouraging. They enjoyed the fact that students were more engaged and more motivated to do well.

One main question posed was whether or not there are useful apps that students can really utilize in class? The answer is yes with apps like Blackboard or even simple note taking apps. One of our other guests from Apple, Steve Prekop asked a very important question which was, “Are there any classes on making apps? Taking classes like these no matter what skill level can be a great thing to take as  you may come up with the new coolest app that everyone uses on the iPad!”

We hope after reading and looking around Seton Hill University’s website that this might convince you to get an iPad. The model that they have adopted of an “iPad 2 for Everyone” is nothing short of a brilliant way to set their students up for successful college careers. iPads are great for classes as you feel more engaged and more excited to learn. There are many subject specific apps that help you reinforce what you already know, as well as give you the tools needed to take the next step in your course.

This was a very successful semester and we hope to see you come September with your iPad at our kick off meeting (date, time, and location TBD). If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them here or bring them to the next meeting.

8 Steps to edit your ePortfolio on the go!

By Samantha Egan

Editing Your ePortfolio On-the-Go:
How to Add Content From Your iPad and iPhone!

 

Who isn’t “on-the-go” these days? Make the most of your downtime on the train, plane or wherever your busy day takes you, to update your ePortfolio (step away from the Angry Birds, please)!

Editing on the iPad:

Step 1: Log in to ePortfolio
Step 2: Exit Safari, and go to “Settings”
Step 3: On the Menu bar click Safari and turn OFF JavaScript
Step 4: Exit Settings
Step 5: Go back to Safari
Step 6: When you are back onto ePortfolio click “edit this page”
Step 7: There will be radio buttons that allow you to click and then click an empty bar to place it in that area
Step 8: For editing, just click “Edit” or if you would like to move any section, use the arrow keys located right next to the heading of each section

While you do not have all of the editing options on the iPad that you would on a laptop or computer, these steps make it possible to upload your files to your profile page.

Uploading Images From The iPhone

Did you just snap a great photo from your iPhone that would look great on one of your pages? Waste no time in getting it up there with PortfolioUP- a free application to upload images.  Images are loaded directly from the smart phone to the “My Files” section of your ePortfolio.

Be sure to have your iPhone updated to iOS 4.3 before you download the application.

Step 1: Download “PortfolioUP” from your device’s app store: http://itunes.apple.com/app/portfolioup!/id398444044

Step 2: Go to “authentication settings” to add details like your Mahara URL, username, and password.  Click “save” (you will only need to do this one time)
Step 3: Take a photo, or choose one from the images on the phone
Step 4: Review the photo in preview
Step 5: Input image title and description
Step 6: Click upload

Step 7: Click OK
Step 8: Now acquire another image!

 

iPad Meeting April 11, 2012

Hello again iPad users! We just had our second to last iPad meeting (How quickly the semester flew!!) and it was a meeting that you didn’t want to miss. In this meeting we discussed many things from the latest cool app to even studying at Yale or an easier way to follow the ongoing election process! You are going to have to read some more to find out how to do that.

First Professor Nancie Taylor from Pleasantville discussed how she uses the iPad in the classroom and how other professors can as well. First she discussed how students can use different apps to hold their information.  The first app was the popular app called Dropbox, which is cloud storage (FREE) that allows students to save files through the internet instead of carrying around a Flash Drive.  These files are then accessible anywhere with an internet connection.  Also there was an app that allows students to access lectures from Yale and even Princeton! If you want to see what the classes are like at these schools you might want to check them out and this is available any day at any time! (Please contact Professor Taylor for the exact name of the app).  The last app talked about was Mobilecho. This app allows for easy & safe file sharing between a group of people in an organization. And the best thing about all these apps is that they are ALL FREE! You can contact Professor Nancie Taylor (ntaylor@pace.edu) for more information about these apps!

 

Our second presenter at the meeting was Dr. Christopher Malone who works in the Political Science department on the NYC campus. Have you ever wanted to follow the election in the easiest possible way? Well there are and here are some great apps that he talked about. One app that can be very useful to students is Election 2012 which only costs $1.99. In this app, students are given a visual representation of the elections and how each state voted. This shows if New York went Republican or stayed Democratic or if you want to find out how much each state is worth. Also the one great thing about this app is that it keeps a historical data which gives users access to older elections and this gives users a great visual on how the USA has changed when voting over the years. Also Dr. Malone talked about some great free apps that gives users the edge in regards to the election. One that was mentioned was the Washington Post which posts news articles about the election. Another app was called Twatcher 2012  Elections which follows ALL the tweets of the current candidates! Again, the best thing about the latter 2 apps is that they are free!

 

Finally, even though Dr. Barry Morris could not make it, he recommend a great free app called Skitch. What this app does is allows students and professors to take a screenshot of a webpage and to annotate on the page! You can underline, change colors or even draw arrows to a specific place on the page so for all the professors out there that have an iPad you can easily show students what you are talking about.

 

 

 

Our last meeting for the semester will be held on Tuesday, May 8th at 3:30 in the PLV & NYC videoconferencing rooms. We hope to see you there.

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!

iPad Meeting Recap

 

As you may know, October 12th was the first of our four iPad meetings for the fall 2011 semester.  During the meeting Chris Levy of ITS, discussed what every iPad user should know, he also shared special tips for new and old iPad users.  Here is a link that covers the important topics discussed at our first meeting, including some information we didn’t have time to cover.click here
Please be sure to join us at our next iPad meeting.

iPad integration in Biology Department laboratory courses

The Biology and Health Sciences Department at Pleasantville has been exploring ways to integrate iPad applications in the Biology laboratories in order to replace obsolete technologies and provide up to date interactive laboratory modules. Some of the programs that have been tested by Professors Krucher and Wier include Molecules and iProtein. Both programs allow the students to better explore the chemical and biological properties of cellular components that are being taught in Biology 101 laboratory modules.

In Biology 335, Cell Biology (Professor Krucher), as well as Biology 480, Research in Biology (Professors Krucher, Horne and Wier), a number of applications have been of great use. Some of these applications include:

iPathways– Allows for viewing cellular pathways with links to genes of interest and publications

Papers-One of the better resources to searching the primary literature with the ability to link and download research articles

Filterstorm2-An image processing program that is easy to use for editing data figures or preparing images for presentations. This program used in conjunction with Dropbox allowed for students to quickly transfer images taken in lab, upload them and then edit them on iPad or their iPhones. Below are a couple examples of figure made with Filterstorm:

Accessibility on Your iPad

Let me start off by saying VoiceOver is not an application, it is a feature that comes already installed on the iPad.  It is also the world’s first gesture-based screen reader for the blind.  Instead of memorizing keyboard commands or pressing tiny arrow keys, you can simply touch the screen to hear a description of the item under your finger, then double-tap, drag, or flick to control your iPad. VoiceOver speaks over 30 languages and works with all of the applications built into iPad, as well as many of the iPad apps already in existence.  To enable this setting all you have to do is go to your settings and in the general tab click on the accessibility button, then switch the VoiceOver feature on.

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