Feb. update

If you scroll down to my last update, you'll see I was using the iPad frequently for Greek Archaeology slide show presentations in January. I'm doing this less now: it is nice to be able to annotate the slides occasionally (using Doceri), but since I don't put a lot of annotation on each slide, it becomes cumbersome to wait for Doceri to pop in and out of "drawing mode." Additionally, I had a problem a few weeks back where Doceri suddenly told me that my password was incorrect, which threw me through a loop because I don't remember ever entering a password, and I certainly haven't changed it, but now suddenly it is "incorrect" so I can't use Doceri and I haven't had the time to fix it yet.


I have started using the iPad more often in my smaller class particularly because that room does not have a computer, only a large monitor. I hook the ipad up to the monitor via cable. It doesn't do anything more or less than hooking up a laptop would, but I much prefer the ipad simply because it is smaller and more portable, and because it runs on flash memory, which means that it starts up  faster than a laptop (or at least my laptop, which is not a Macbook Air). I use SlideShark in this class, and it works well for my purposes - all I need in this class is a slide advancer and a laser pointer. Also, the "presenter mode" of SlideShark is helpful (you are not able to do presenter mode in Doceri).


Anne Feltovich

iPad for Seminar Classes

Posted by Gary Wyckoff

In the fall, I used the iPad and Doceri to display and annotate Powerpoint slides for large classes.  It worked well, allowing me to move around the room and face the students rather than the whiteboard.  This spring, I am teaching small seminar classes in which we all sit around a big table, so movement isn't an issue.  I still use the iPad, but with small classes I am more likely to add text to the slides during class, or ask the students to do so.  I used to use a wireless keyboard and mouse for this, which controls the desktop computer in the room.  Since the iPad's on-screen keyboard is so bad, I now have to make a decision for each class: do I want to add text to the slides (in which case I ought to take the keyboard and mouse) or do I want to annotate them (in which case I ought to take the iPad)?  I've got to get an external keyboard for the iPad -- that would give me the best of both worlds!



iPad for teaching archaeology

Posted by Anne Feltovich

I've been using the iPad to annotate images when I teach material culture. For classrooms with a computer/projector, I use Doceri with a padlette and stylus. It works well when I want to draw on a slide (e.g., I used it to draw attention to stylistic features on Cycladic figurines), but is very cumbersome for the times when I don't want to draw on slides, so it is a trade off. When not drawing on slides, I use a slide advancer and make more eye contact with my students as I walk around the room. The ipad keeps my focus downward, not at the students, so that is a drawback.

For a different class, where I have a largescreen monitor but no computer, I use SlideShark because I have to be physically hooked in to the monitor via HDMI cable. SlideShark doesn't have an annotator, but it does have a handy built-in laser pointer (which Doceri does not have). This is fine, because I don't need to annotate for this class, but I do like the laser pointer. I wish Doceri had one.

Anne Feltovich - January update.

Finally, Success!

I've been focused on using the iPad in the classroom, to control and annotate Powerpoint slides as I walk around the room.  After much effort, Getchen Maxam finally managed to clear a firewall that prevented Doceri (the program which links the iPad to the desktop in the classroom) from working.  And after considerable practice, I finally mastered the iPad to the extent that I can teach and use the iPad at the same time.  It works pretty well, and the real payoff is that I spend less time looking backward at the slides on the screen, and more time looking forward at the students, gauging their reactions to what I'm saying.  So far, I am only able to use the iPad in one classroom (KJ202), which has the firewall configured appropriately.  I'm going to ask Gretchen to configure my other classroom accordingly, but eventually the whole imaging system really ought to be reconfigured so the iPad and Doceri work in all the classrooms.

Two additional notes: 

1).  I tried using the iPad to do e-mail the other day, and the on-screen keyboard is just terrible!  It kept capitalizing the first letter of each line, whether or not I'd finished a sentence.  To do any serious typing, you really need an external keyboard.

2).  I was a little worried about dropping the iPad as I walked around in the classroom, and I read in an e-book ("How to Lecture With an iPad") that you can get a litte strap that hooks over diagonal corners of the iPad and allows you to hook a finger or two behind the iPad to hold it securely.  It's called the Padlette.  I ordered one, and will report on its usefulness next time.  It was about $20 on Amazon.  The web site is www.padlette.com.  It looks like it could be quite useful.


--Gary Wyckoff


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