April 2016 Meeting

Today we had a really good turnout and three presentations: Tony from Ed Media, Heather from Academic Technologies, and Jermain from ITS.

echo Tony gave us an update on Echo360, which is our lecture capture software.  In the past, all recordings would be pushed to Blackboard and a separate link would be created for each.  Recently, there was one link that a Professor would manually have to post and the students could click that to access all the recordings.  Now, with this new feature a new content area will be automatically added and accessible within Blackboard.  Echo users simply let Ed Media know via a Help Desk ticket and it will be created and it will house the necessary link for students to access any recorded content.  It’s simple and makes life easier for all parties involved.  Please contact your Ed Media office for further details.

Heather was our next presenter.  She talked about OER, or Open Educational Resources.  Open Educational Resources are free, openly licensed documents and media that professors and students can utilize in their course work.  oerIt is becoming a very popular tool especially among higher ed institutions.  The cost savings to students, who spend $1100 a year annually on books, etc. for their course is immense.  The Pace library has assisted with putting together a nice list of these resources that are out there.  You can find that info by clicking here.  OpenStax is a popular one, and we have a past blog post that talks about that more in detail.  You can find that info by clicking here.  For more information on OER please contact Heather: haskildsen@pace.edu

Jermain was our last presenter.  He talked about Starfish which is a new student centered retention tool that Pace is piloting and will roll out this upcoming Fall to all users.  Starfish is a robust platform which allows many different areas to track student progress at different levels.  This includes, but is not limited to, advising, counseling, the writing center and more.  Kudos, concerns and notes can all be input into the system to assist the student in navigating their way through their time here at Pace.  Students can even make appointments with their advisors and more using the direct Outlook integration.  The nice thing about it is that you can set certain permissions so some items may be visible to certain users and hidden to others.  So there is a nice level of transparency, but some tweaking that can be done to keep certain things seen by only those who need to.starfish

Overall it sounds like the pilot has generated a lot of great feedback and this new tool looks to be a great one stop shop for student information.  According to the Starfish website: “Staff can take action through early alert, appointment scheduling, and case management software.” – See more at: http://www.starfishsolutions.com/

For more information on Starfish and the roll-out at Pace please contact Jermain: jsmith@pace.edu

We have one more meeting scheduled for the Spring 2016, so please join us.  It will take place on Monday May 9th from 12:10pm-1:10pm in M16 (PLV) and E319 (NYC).  Please reach out to us or leave a comment below if you have any questions, ideas, or topics you’d like to see a presentation on!

March 2016 Meeting

Today we had a presentation by Rob from Swivl.  swivl_robot

Swivl is a robot and software package which allows you to record your lecture, meeting, interview etc.  The possibilities are endless.  The robot can be used with many tablets and smartphones via Bluetooth, the downloaded app and an included audio marker which serves a dual purpose both as your connection to the robot and as your wireless microphone.  swivl_capture_app

Essentially it follows you around (within a reasonable distance) and records your in class lecture to then make it available at a later time.  This can also be an ideal option for flipping the classroom and recording a lecture before class for the students to view.  Taking it to another level, we have some Professors already testing it out for use in the science areas doing lab experiments.  Because it can be charged before being used, the Swivl can also be used in other unique locations with up to 5 hours of battery life.  So you are no longer tied to the podium – or even the classroom- to use this device.

Currently we have one available on each campus in Dyson.  Please contact Martina Blackwood or Rich Miller for more details or leave us a comment below.  Click here for more information on Swivl.

Our second presenter was Gabe from ITS.  He gave us an overview of our new blogging site which is now Edublogs.  You can click here to find out more about them and how to start your own for your area or your next project.edu_blogs

Edublogs has a variety of custom options and our Mobile Tech Blog has undergone a little bit of a makeover which illustrates this.  It has a similar feel to our old system, but allows for a lot more user friendly and secure experience.  This includes mobile friendly sites, numerous themes/plugins (managed by Edublogs), privacy controls, and single sign on integration using your Pace credentials to name a few.  Check out the blogs out there across the University as this is a growing trend to share information via a simple online platform.  And feel free to request one of your own for your department via the Help Desk.  This new and improved blogging tool looks, feels and functions like a website and is simple to maintain.

web_inarOur last presenter was Heather from ITS.  She wanted to make everyone aware of the Webinar Wednesdays series that Academic Technologies offers.  Every other Wednesday there is a webinar which covers a pertinent IT tool.  If you cannot make the exact date and time, the sessions are recorded for future reference.  You can get more information on Webinar Wednesdays by clicking here.  We encourage you to sign up for them live if possible, but watching them afterwards really comes in handy as well.

Our next meeting is on April 20th @ 12:20pm in the PLV (M16) and NYC (E319) VC rooms.

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.

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.

Tuesday 10/25/11 iPad Meeting Overview

Pace University was fortunate enough to have Devin McLaughlin, an Apple Rep join our iPad meeting on 10/25/11 to discuss a few questions that many faculty and staff share as well as discuss iOS 5, the latest software update for iPhone and iPad.  Here is a recap…

Ipads in the class

More and more professors want to integrate iPads into their courses and curriculum for many reasons.  iPads have proven to not only make courses more interesting, but offer a new technology that our generation is jumping into (social media, mobile software programming, apps, etc.) all with great ease.  Pace is among many universities looking to make this transition easier by offering a limited supply of iPad carts to reserve for classrooms looking to take advantage of all they have to offer. (Availability TBA)

iOS 5 Update 

As discussed during the meeting, in order to take advantage of many of the new features that Apple iPad have to offer, it is recommended updating your current device to the new iOS 5.  If you don’t know how to update please click the following link for step by step directions. (http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20119358-285/how-to-install-ios-5/)

Important: always make sure to manually backup your information before performing the iOS 5 update. If not, there is a possibility that your information (music, apps, books, notes, etc)

Best of luck updating everyone!  If you run into issues you may always submit a helpdesk ticket and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible. Here is a quick video from the Apple website that shows just what the new iOS can do for you. (http://www.apple.com/ios/gallery.html#video-ios)


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.

iPad Meeting Highlights

Here are some highlights from the iPad  meeting which took place this month.

iPad 2.0

The new iPad was released March 11, 2011. Here’s how it compares to version 1:

  • 33% thinner, and slightly lighter than the iPad 1
  • 10 hour battery life
  • Resolution is the same as the first one
  • Equipped with HD video
  • Faster and “snappier” than the original iPad
  • More sensitive to rotation
  • Upgrading to the radio feature will allow for a better signal Continue reading

Schedule for Spring 2011 Group Meetings

Hello all, and welcome back to a new semester!

These are the dates of the Spring 2011 user group meetings:

  • Feb. 16 (10:00-11:30 AM)
  • March 10 (10:00-11:30 AM)
  • April 6 (9:30-11:30 AM)
  • May 12 (10:00-11:30 AM)
  • Feb. 15 (10:00-11:30 AM)
  • March 9 (12:30-2:00 PM)
  • April 7 (10:00-12:00 PM)
  • May 11 (12:00-1:30 PM)

EDIT: The Pleasantville March meeting has been changed to March 9, 12:30-2:00 PM.
EDIT: The April meetings have been changed to April 6 (9:30-11:30 AM) in NYC and April 7 (10:00-12:00 PM) in Pleasantville.

EDIT: The April 6 meeting from 9:30am – 11:30am is located in room w510.

Features Of iOS 4.2

The recent upgrade provided by Apple for the iPad has made this revolutionary device more useful. Here are the features and recent changes.

  • The button that was originally used for locking your screen rotation is no longer used for that function, it is now a mute button. To lock your screen, you have to tap the home button twice and then scroll through your recently used apps, until you find an icon that resembles a lock. Tap that and you have now locked your screen!

  • One new feature now allows you to take screen shots on your iPad. By pressing the home and power off button simultaneously for a couple of seconds  you will hear a camera shutter sound, and this allows you to take pictures of the screen.
  • On this new operating system you can multi-task as well as create folders to help prevent clutter on your home screen. To create a folder, simply hold down an icon until all the icons shake, then put your finger on an app and then drag it on top of another app to create the folder. Folders are automatically named for you , but you can change the default name of each folder. The picture below allows you to see what the folder feature will look like while you’re creating a folder on your iPad.

  • Wireless printing has been added. Please note that only certain HP printers are compatible with this feature.  Click here for additional information.
  • Air Play is now available which will allow you to steam media wirelessly to a Apple TV.
  • A new feature called Find My iPad which is an app through Mobile Me, will allow you to find your iPad, iPhone or iPod anywhere. Click here for the link on this application.

Have you started using any of these awesome new features? What features would you like to have on your iPad?

Volume Apps Purchasing Now Available!

There are several apps now available at a discount through the Volume Purchase Program. ITS currently offers:
Wyse PocketCloud

If there are other apps that you would like, you can search to see if it is currently part of the volume purchasing plan through Apple by going to http://volume.itunes.apple.com/us/store and searching for your preferred app.

If it is available through Apple, please then contact the ITS Helpdesk for further assistance in obtaining the app.