Tag Archives: learning

Lunch & Learn: iPad for Beginners with Angel Brady and Janet Temos

Lunch & Learn

Lunch & Learn

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.

App store

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.

Hardware add-ons

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.

The Orchestra (TouchPress)

This app allows you to explore the orchestra in innovative ways, including written explanations of instruments from musicians, a follow-along version of theĀ  score, and simultaneous shots of players and conductor during the performance. The app focuses on works by Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Debussy and others. http://www.touchpress.com/blog/2012/12/our-creative-director-waxes-lyrical-about-orchestra/


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)

Camera App

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)

Note taking apps

Angel Brady presented a set of apps specifically for taking notes in the field, including Evernote, Notability, and others. She detailed her findings in this post at http://blogs.princeton.edu/etc/2013/02/20/field-note-taking-with-the-ipad/

Free FSI Language Courses

fsi_logo.pngThe Foreign Service Institute has made their language courses public domain on the Internet. This is a great resource that provides audio and text material for a wide variety of languages (even for languages like Sinhala and Yoruba, which are hard to find free resources for learning).

If you would like to see what languages and materials they have available, click on the link below:


List of Language Learning Materials that Are Free on the Internet

The Humanities Resource Center has put together a list of free online language learning materials that patrons can use to help them learn a new language. Most of the sites require you to create a user account. This list will be updated as new sites are launched. Click on the link below to view the list. Happy language learning!


Free Web Based Language Learning Lessons

smartfm_logo.pngThe website smart.fm offers free lessons about different subjects, but a subject where smart.fm has a lot of lessons is language learning. On smart.fm, you can hear audio, run through a flashcard like application, do word matching, learn meanings of words in full sentences, and word typing. You are given instant feedback and you are given a performance score at the end of your lesson. You can also create a free account to save the lessons you have completed (or create goals with time frames). If you create an account, you can build up the number of words you learn in a lesson.

To learn more or try out smart.fm, click on the link below:


Brief Review of Language Learning Apps for iPod Touch and iPhone

ipod_touch.jpgI recently combed through the Apple App store to look for free versions of language learning apps that were good to use with language studies. Here’s a list of apps I downloaded and tried out on the iPod touch (with reactions listed under comments- images by Sir Stig-CC licensed):


Name of App Paid Version Available Comments
24/7 Tutor Lite Yes,  $7.99 I liked the content, but the organization is a little boring to somebody that has used language learning software. Audio, quiz, flashcard, puzzle components.
Arabic pod 101 (pocket Arabic Yes, $4.99 I liked the content but the layout was boring. If iPod has recording abilities, can record
audio in some of the exercises, has audio. Can add words to word bank (words that are already in lessons).
Hiragana Lite No, only free version in App Store Very basic flashcards. Drag flashcards across screen, drag them up to see the answer.
Touchcards Yes, $.99, and $1.99 Good for creating new lists of vocab. Can import from Quizlet, Studystack, and Google Docs. Interface is not appealing
7 Jours Yes, $4.99 This app is suppose to allow you to learn French through News on TV5Monde, but it never loaded after it asked for my location. It looks promising though (video, audio).
CherokeeLite Yes, pay to upgrade to get more words I liked the simple basic layout of this app. Has audio.
Michel Thomas Method Yes, $4.99 (Hour1, Hour 2, Hour 3-$14.99 (4-8 hours) I liked this app. It has the audio from his series and I like the
flashcards that go over the audio lessons. If you are a fan of his other products, you will like this app. Easy to use and nice layout.
ChineseBiz No, Only free version in App Store All text. The layout is slightly confusing, and it has a dictionary. Mainly flashcard review. No audio.
ChinesePod No, only Free Verso in App Store, but you can purchase package lessons I don’t like that it prompts you to log in to an account you can create to save (but you can use without an account). Content is good, but the delivery of content in the podcast may feel like it’s dragging on.
iPronunciation and Translation No, only free version in App Store This app is a simple look up word dictionary for 53 languages and it pronounces the words you look up. Audio for pronunciation did not work.
German FlashCards Lite(Declan Software) Yes, $14.95 Other languages available. Good for word review (audio, phrases, and spelling). Did not like the layout. Has audio. Paid version you can add more word lists.app is a little pricey for what it can do compared to other apps.
MemWords- Memorize Words- In Spanish Yes, $6.99 I liked the content and layout of this app. Has a dictionary ,flashcards, audio, and games. Set to only learn 20 words a day.
Gengo Lite Flashcard No, only free version in App Store You have to guess what the word means in each flashcard, no formal text word is shown to you. Has audio and images. I would not recommend for beginners.
AccellaStudy Essentials by AccelaStudy Yes, $4.99 I like the layout of the lessons. It has audio, flash cards, spaced repetition, quiz, audio quiz,and you have access to the dictionary app inside this app to look up words. Very nicely laid out and good content.
Kana Lite No, only free version in App Store Has audio and flashcards. Also has a quiz that records your score. Not bad layout and decent for review.Has ads at the top.
Prometoys Limited-Word of the Day No, only free version in App Store Just text, random words. No audio for pronunciation. Has a  game where you spell the words you learned by dragging and dropping the letters to spell words. Not good if you are looking for  pronunciation and phrases. Basic layout.
LangLearner LLC Yes, $4.99 Flashcards and audio. The layout is not appealing, and the images are poor. Good for audio basics for getting around town and on travel.
Kana Tap No, only free version in App Store Only a multiple choice review, no audio, no images.
iReview Flashcards No, only free version in App Store Just type in text, no audio. Review using flashcard method. Layout is awkward. 
Babbel Mobile Yes, €5.99 (Lifetime Advanced and Basic package Needed to register, so I was not able to view the app.
Word Power Lite Yes, $.99 Basic info, did not like the layout or content. Had audio, and was in a flashcard format. I could not record audio and play it back. Ended up deleting from iPod Touch.
Japanese Phrases FREE (TheJapanesePage.com) Yes, $9.99 Has audio, quizzes, study bank, and flashcards. Did not like the overall layout of the app. Ended up deleting it from iPod Touch.
Study Arcade Yes, $4.99 Good for collecting information on different phrases for languages (even though language learning is not this apps focus). Since these are so many options, it’s very hard to navigate for basic use. Ended up deleting it from iPod Touch.