Yes, There Is An App For That!

The November, 2011 edition of In Touch With IT announced a program to award loaner iPads to members of the campus community who had ideas for using iPad Apps to facilitate doing activities in their department or office. Seven successful proposals were submitted. They were submitted by Robert Bohrer and Rhonda Good , Provosts Office, for project management related to the move of academic departments in McCreary into temporary quarters while HVAC work is done in the building; Ronalee Ciocca, Musselman Library, for providing a tool for mobile access to library resources while doing in library research; Christine Hartman, Finance and Administration, for exchange of materials for members of Trustee Committees; Justin Kleiner, Campus Recreation, to explore Apps to assist with organization and record keeping, Marta Robertson, Sunderman Conservatory, use Apps to provide music students with instant feedback on their submitted materials; Timothy Sestrick, Library and Sunderman Conservatory, to provide percussionists with videos for instant feedback after performances, Divonna Stebick, Education Department, to explore Apps to help students develop critical thinking skills. In addition, Rod Tosten, VP for IT, and Gavin Foster, Assoc. VP for IT, as well as Larry Hower, Computer Systems Coordinator, have been field testing iPad Apps of a general nature to explore their capabilities and also provide support to the program participants.

On April 30, IT held a general campus meeting of people interested in iPads to hear the reports from program participants about their use of the iPads and the Apps that they used. The following is a brief summary of their reports

Justin Kleiner: Used the following Apps: First Aid Lite, Web MD, KD Test Score, and SCAT2 for on the scene treatment and evaluation of injuries at intermural events; Dropbox and GoogleDocs gave quick access to forms such as waivers, access to emergency action plans, and other documents and forms; Dropbox also was tested for quick, on the spot communications; Facebook and an App named vloop showed examples of the campus recreation program at the department table for Get Acquainted Day; the camera App and the editing App, Videolicious recorded videos of IM officials at games and provided feedback for training.

Ronalee Ciocco: The iPad was used by library patrons doing work in the library. On the average there were six checkouts of the machine per week. After doing their work the users would transfer their work to their computers. Many reported while they benefitted from the convenience of the machine, they found it difficult to transfer the material. A member of the audience pointed out that Outlook Web Access is available on the iPad and can be used to e-mail materials between the iPad and the users mailbox.

Timothy Sestrick: Because being a percussionist during a performance is a demanding activity, one does not have a complete awareness of all of their activities. Tim used the video capabilities and portability of the iPad to record performances and then upload them to YouTube for the performer to see the performance and critique it with Tim. He also was able to use an App to give the performer an annotated music score of the selection that they performed.

Christine Hartman: The Board of Trustees is striving to become “paperless” when preparing for committee meetings and distributing reports. Christine worked with a pilot group on sharing documents and comments over the internet. She used the iPad because of the convenience of transferring documents between computers. It is especially convenient to share documents between iPads.

Divonna Stebick: There were two purposes for Divonna’s participation in the program. The first was to have students in Education 340 look at the instructional implications of using this convenient technology. The second was to help Gettysburg College Students be better critical thinkers and writers. The Apps she used were EduCreator, Ever Note, Good Reader, Video Listen, File App, Typeon PDF, and Kahn Academy. The last App displays videos that focus on developing problem solving skills in mathematics.

Robert Bohrer & Rhonda Good: Rob used the following Apps: Meeting Boss for setting up meetings; Espirit for memos; Good Reader for comments on documents; and App Advice for information on iPad Apps.

Marta Robertson: Joining the project after its start, Marta has only been working with the iPad since Spring Break. However, she has a third generation iPad that has a microphone. She using the App Good Reader in Music 314 and 218 for attaching sticky notes to assignments students submit. Because of the microphone she can dictate her comments and the speech recognition software will make a sticky note. She is currently investigating the possibility of attaching verbal sticky notes.

In closing the meeting Rod mentioned that the vast popularity of the iPad means that there are a lot of Apps available that are not worthwhile. He also said that some are “Trojan Horses” designed to steal information and identity information. Also because much of the data is stored “in the cloud” users should be very careful about storing confidential records. He recommended using codes or some other device to hide the identity of individuals mentioned in these records.

The Critical Question

By Don Speelman, Computer Support Specialist V

To do or not to do Backups? That is a good question. The College does not backup Pictures, Music or Videos. Would you be lost without your Pictures? If the Pictures or Files are at only one location you have a good chance of losing them. You should have at least 2 locations where Files are stored. We will use pictures as example. With the coming of the Digital Cameras the old photo albums that we kept pictures are long gone. If you are like most of the people I know all of your pictures are stored on a computer somewhere. And just like a house fire would destroy all your family memories in a Photo Album, a hard drive failure of some type could have the same affect unless you have done the right thing and did backups. Hard Drives will fail sooner or later. It is just the matter of when that is the unknown. Physical failures or a nasty virus can make your pictures become inaccessible. There are multiple ways of doing backups. You can do a local backup to a USB device, be it a 2gb Flash drive or to a 1000gb external Hard drive. This can be simply done by coping the files to the device or using an automated backup program that usually comes with external drives. Another way is to go to the “Cloud Storage”. If you have a high speed internet connection you can save your files to the Internet storage space, such as Dropbox, Amazon CloudDrive, and Windows Live Skydrive to name a few. There are many others to chose from. The advantage of Cloud Storage over the local drive is that the files can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. The down side is that it is on the internet and there is always a chance the files or pictures could be seen by unwanted people. You should always be careful what you put on the Internet.

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