Topic: Tablets for the Classroom: iPad, MS Surface, and Android Speaker: Janet Temos, ETC Director, Princeton University
Time: Thursday, September 26, 12:00pm – 1:00pm Location: HRC Classroom, Room 012, Lower Level, East Pyne
Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, and the Microsoft Surface: Tablets in the Classroom. What makes the difference between a mobile device for personal consumption, and a mobile device that is effective as a teaching and research tool? Find out at this week’s Productive Scholar, where the three major tablet brands listed above will be examined.
Topics covered will include: What to consider when buying a tablet; how to transfer and work with documents created on your desktop using a tablet; how to display from a tablet to a classroom projector; how to use a tablet effectively for text creation; and finally, how not to mess up the “fun” leisure-time tablet features while also making your device a companion to professional life.
About the Speaker:
Janet Temos is the Director of the Educational Technologies Center at Princeton. She is a member of the Princeton class of 1982, and received her PhD at Princeton in 2001. The ETC helps faculty use technology in teaching and research, and includes Training and Outreach as well as the New Media Center (NMC). We also offer consulting, training and outreach in educational technologies.
To subscribe to the ETC announcement listserv, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
iBooks Author is a free app that allows you to create interactive eBooks for iOS devices. iBooks Author is simple to use and an appealing feature of the app is that media can be included in the iBook. An HTML widget allows you to create your own HTML tools to add extra functionality to an iBook. A limitation of iBooks Author is that you cannot embed a multi-page pdf into an ebook. You can create links to a website where a PDF is hosted, but you are then limited to reading the PDF when you have an active connection. I wanted to explore how to embed a pdf into an iBook using the HTML widget tool, so that PDFs can be included in the body of the book, and are not dependent upon an Internet connection. Continue reading →
Have you ever wished you could write a comment or direction on your screen while demonstrating an app? A free iPad app called ShowMe allows you to do that. As an added bonus, you can record audio (using the internal mic of the iPad) while you record a whiteboard session that you can share with students. Continue reading →
In the Lunch & Learn session on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013, Janet Temos, Director of the Educational Technologies Center at Princeton, and Angel Brady, Instructional Technologist in the Humanities Resource Center at Princeton, gave an introductory talk for new users of the iPad, Apple’s famously popular tablet.
Temos started the talk by introducing the iPad’s interface, sometimes met with culture shock by long time users of desktop computers because of the touch based interface, which has different interactions than a mouse based interface. Using two fingers versus one and gesturing, or holding down your finger for an extra second have meaning on tablet interfaces, and no easy equivalent on a mouse based interface. Temos noted that collecting many applications can make navigating that large collection more difficult, but you can create folders on your iPad to organize those apps that go together, or to make sense of the way that you work. Janet has a folder just for presentation apps. From your home screen where your apps are listed, the clean interface may make you wonder how to do such a thing as adding a folder. If you hold your finger on an app for a few seconds (a long press gesture), the apps start to ‘shake’, at which point you can move or delete them. Shaking is a visual indicator on the iPad that you can make a change to the shaking items, such as deletion or moving. To create a folder, after a long press, drop one app on to another. To add an app to a folder, after a long press, drag it into the folder. While your apps collection may span several screens that you can swipe through, the dock (the area at the bottom of the iPad screen) remains constant. To store your most often used apps for quick opening, store them on the dock. When you are all done, hit the physical home button on the iPad to exit the ‘shaky’ editing mode.
Managing app processes and settings
Do a double press on the physical home button to see what apps are in memory. You can press each icon to remove the app from active memory, which relieves the processor from having to manage that app actively. You can customize the iPad dramatically via the Settings app. Add email accounts, join networks, and change your sound settings, among many other options. Temos suggests that you explore the settings and their effects to get deeply familiar with your iPad. You can also change the setting of each app here.
The iPad’s virtual on-screen keyboard works when a Bluetooth keyboard is not present. Long presses on this keyboard’s keys often give shortcuts to alternative characters and strings. A long press on O, for instance, gives many alternative versions of the O such as various accented versions.
You can manage and add to the installed apps on your iPad via the App Store. You must login to your iTunes account to buy, update and track apps, even the free ones. If you have to rebuild your iPad, you can reinstall previously purchased apps. You can visit the purchased area of the App Store app to see what you have installed in the past.
Temos suggested that while the iPad is a self-contained, fully working object, you can get many benefits from the various add-ons that you can buy for it.
Headphones make for a more private audio experience. A bluetooth keyboard can make your iPad into a small, highly portable laptop. A stylus can make drawing and writing on the iPad far easier than with your finger. Various dongles, ranging from $30-50 allow you to send your iPad screen to VGA, HDMI and other video interfaces, for display on a projector or a TV. You can also use an Apple TV, about $100, which allows you to show the iPad on-screen via a wireless display technology Apple calls Airplay. You can also use the Apple TV to buy and watch movies from Apple, or use your Netflix, Hulu, and other media services.
Security and cloud storage
Temos briefly mentioned that by default, you need only ‘swipe to unlock’ a running iPad, which is the default, but that you can set a password as an extra layer of defense so that if you lose your iPad or if it gets stolen, the finder or thief would need to guess or crack your password to make use of your data. Brady told the audience that you can add many cloud storage services to get access to those files. In particular, she described how you can add WebSpace via the WebDAV protocol, which both WebSpace and the iPad support. (http://helpdesk.princeton.edu/kb/display.plx?id=9924)
No talk about the iPad would be complete without sharing various useful apps for the audience to consider. Both Temos and Brady suggested apps that might make sense for faculty, staff and students at Princeton. Brady and Temos presented various levels of detail on the following applications.
If you want to watch courses on technology, business, and productivity, including a fantastic list of popular design applications like Photoshop, this app is a great place to get your fill. Because of Princeton’s site license for Lynda, Princeton faculty, staff, and students may use it for free. (http://lynda.princeton.edu)
The iPad’s front and rear facing camera allow you to take pictures or video of yourself or what’s in front of you. You can add a grid to help you to compose your shots. Connect via USB, use email, or use Photo Stream to move the photos from the iPad to your computer or elsewhere. (http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/photo-stream.html)
Field note taking can involve documenting observations or research with video, photographs, audio, and writing down observations on a type of device or on a good old pencil and paper. The iPad has all these features built into it and there are apps out there that can access these features and keep all your notes in one place. The advantage of the iPad is that it’s portable and fairly easy to use. We decided to take a look at apps that will help with field note taking. Continue reading →