Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reports from the field

As I've noted on a few occasions, my job as the professor of this course is to teach Project Management skills and methodologies.  I am not teaching them how to use an iPad other than occasionally showing them a specific way to do something if I get a question.  So far the students have been finding their own PM-related 'uses' for the iPad including using some Gantt chart (e.g. SG Project) and Mind Mapping (iThoughtsHD) apps.  I also have mentioned in prior posts that all student teams (4 or 5 students) are assigned a 'real world' project.  The projects this semester range from redesigning the layout of an ND student website to crafting a social media strategy for a travel agency to conducting a feasibility study for the Center for the Homeless.  I am often in touch with the project sponsors during the semester and I received some interesting feedback (summarized below) that I wanted to share. 

"I just wanted to let you know that all of your students showed up to our first meeting with their iPads.  One student used a paper pad to take notes while looking at [the website to be redesigned] on the iPad.  Two others took notes on their iPads as we spoke and emailed them out to everyone at the end of the meeting.  The others took some notes (and checked email) while in the meeting and I noticed one was asking questions that he had written on his iPad."

I think it is too early to say there are productivity gains/efficiencies but it seems apparent that the students removed at least one step by eliminating the transcription step from paper to electronic.  Incidentally, the first small assignment was to submit the minutes from the first meeting.  My assumption is that this was a very easy task for this team - hopefully they spent a little collaborative time on content, and then some on reformatting and clean up, and submitted it to me electronically (which some teams did through Dropbox and others emailed). 

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