Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Class 3, Aug 31

After the news crew left (yea, this class has been getting a lot of media coverage), I noticed that approximately half the class was typing (80%) and freehand writing (20%) on the iPad as I was lecturing.  I stopped class and asked what they were doing and the vast majority turned their screens around and showed me that they were taking notes.  Some were using Evernote, some Apple Notes, and most Sundry.  Of course a few students sheepishly hid their screens so I can only assume they were doing something 'less productive' with the iPads - but that happened with laptops and cell phones too.  What's interesting is that I didn't see anyone taking notes on paper...

What eBook are we using in class?

We are using the same book I've been using for the past 3 years - only it is 'electronic' now.  The book is:

Project Management in Practice (eBook) 3rd edition, by Samuel J., Jr. Mantel, Jack R. Meredith, Scott M. Shafer, Margaret M. Sutton, Wiley Publishing

ISBN-10: 0470121645, ISBN-13: 978-0470121641. For eBook ISBN 0470499419
Paperback $79.99 (was $100 but just dropped because 4th ed released); eBook $52.50

We are currently using the eTextbook App from CourseSmart to access the book from the iPad.  We can also access the book through the CourseSmart website from any PC/Mac.  There are several limitations of the eTextbook App (re: no highlighting) that I'll talk about in more detail in a future post.

Nice story about the eReader class

Notre Dame launches eReader study, creates first paperless course

Shannon Chapla • Date: August 27, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

iPad Apps we like

  • Safari (web browser, pre-installed on iPad)
  • Mail (email client, pre-installed on iPad and configured to your ND Google Mail account)
  • Calendar (calendar client, pre-installed on iPad and configured to your ND Google Calendar account)
  • Notes (app for typing short notes, pre-installed on iPad)
  • App Store (app for browsing apps to download and install on iPad, pre-installed on iPad)
  • iBooks (app for reading eBooks, FREE download from App Store)
  • Kindle (app for reading eBooks, FREE download from App Store)
  • Barnes & Noble NOOK (app for reading eBooks, FREE download from App Store)
  • Keynote (presentation app like MS PowerPoint, $9.99 from App Store)
  • Pages (document creation app like MS Word, $9.99 from App Store)
  • Numbers (spreadsheet app like MS Excel, $9.99 from App Store)
  • iAnnotate PDF (PDF annotation app, $9.99 from App Store)
  • GoodReader (PDF reader with nice features, but does not allow 'freehand' notes like iAnnotate, $0.99 from App Store)
  • Penultimate (app for taking hand written notes, $2.99 from App Store)
  • Sundry Notes (app for taking notes, FREE from App Store)
  • Dropbox (app to sync and share your files online and across computers, FREE from App Store)
  • Dragon Dictation (voice recognition app, FREE from App Store)
  • Evernote (app to help organize content and sync across multiple computers, FREE from App Store)

When I use the iPad, it drives me crazy that I...

  • Can't highlight when using Safari
  • Can't edit certain pages with my iPad...

    • This definitely stinks, but unfortunately this is not a Google Sites problem. Rich text (WYSIWIG) editors don't work on any web site on any mobile browser (iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.). We can setup a Confluence wiki space at http://wiki.nd.edu because you can use the Wiki Markup tab on the iPad, which is not too difficult to learn. You can logon with your NetID, and access to the wiki space is easily restricted to only those in the class. Another possible alternative is http://blogger.com because it's HTML editor does work on the iPad and is user friendly, but it is not tied to ND NetID's. I tested WordPress and it is not a good option. (JonC)
    • I'm using blogger now.  It works. (ProfA)

iPad Class 2, August 26th

  • I noticed in class the other day that everyone still brought the iPads to class.  Secondly, my scanning of the room showed that at least 10 or more students were actively typing using proper technique (i.e. no 2-finger hunting/pecking) which surprised me.  I personally have not found the iPad to be a great typing device.
  • I also noticed that students were grabbing my slides from Dropbox and following along with the presentation.  This might be nice in some classes, but I personally don't like this since I also ask questions and have the answers on the slides.  In the past very few of my students printed out the slides prior to class so I didn't have this issue.  The easy fix for this is that I have taken my slides off Dropbox and will place them there one at a time AFTER the class period ends.  

Interesting uses for the iPad we weren't anticipating

  • I started sharing audio clips and videos through Dropbox.  Makes it very easy for the students to listen to something at their convenience rather than spending class time on it.
  • I also think that I'm getting more participation simply because of the ubiquity of the iPad.  For example, when I put an audio clip in Dropbox, the students immediately had access to it and were notified that it was available.  I made it available about 3 hours before class meets and I took an informal poll of the students asking who had listened to it and a significant number had (and I know many of them have classes all morning, right up to my class).  In the past when I emailed a link, I am quite certain that very few students clicked the link and I'm sure that a 3 hr notice would not have provided the opportunity for them to be at a PC/Mac to listen to it.  The iPad is very helpful in that way.  The same should be true with videos even though I haven't tried that yet.   

The eReader pilot

Last winter I was asked to sit on the ePublishing/Reader Working Group (headed by Jon Crutchfield and Paul Turner in Academic Technologies) which is responsible for investigating the use of eReader devices/technologies for our students. We have decided a pilot is the best way to move things forward. To that end, I’m teaching a 7-week module of Project Management starting in Mod 1 this fall and I’ve volunteered myself and my students to serve as test subjects.

The Purpose (Mission)
The course's learning objectives include the need for students to become proficient in using tools and technology to aid in project management. I have added emphases below. Students will:

  • Learn what it means to manage projects
  • Increase students' understanding of project life cycles
  • Discuss budgeting and cost estimation of projects
  • Apply software tools and applications to project management
  • Assess risk and learn conflict management skills
  • Manage a real project

These are the targets we want to meet

  • Completion of all team projects
  • With respect to the iPad Pilot Study...completion of all of the following
    • A joint ePublishing Working Group report would be issued upon completion of the course (target mid-November 2010 release)
    • Consider a national distribution and/or getting ND Newswriting involved from the onset or afterwards
    • Presentations on campus for interested groups/depts/schools

This is how the University of Notre Dame will gain

  • Notre Dame will be one of the first universities to conduct a large scale pilot such as this
  • Notre Dame and all of its departments will learn from this effort and be able to improve upon what has been accmplished
  • Other universities will learn from our efforts
  • Notre Dame may be able to partner with select technology vendors and publishers to be 'partners in innovation' for education

In addition to teaching project management skills, we will also conduct research on the use of the iPads in the classroom. Several things will be assessed during the course of this pilot study
  • Measurable Objectives:
    • Technology Acceptance including Usefulness, Ease of Use, etc.
    • Technology Value
    • Actual use of the iPad

A joint ePublishing Working Group report that will be co-written with a student group.

Project Constraints

  • Time. We have only 7-weeks to conduct this project.
  • Unforeseen limitations of the iPads