Category Archives: Mobile

App-lying Mobile Technology in the Classroom – iPad Pilot

The beginning of the semester brings an exciting new effort for the use of iPads in the classroom.  The Provost’s office, CELT, and CTS are jointly sponsoring a pilot that will allow faculty accepted into the program to experiment with how the devices can be used for teaching, learning and other innovative uses.

In her vision and goal for starting the program, Provost Lorrie Clemo said she is looking to “take a major leap into the mobile world by rolling out wireless gear and a rigorous professional development program through CELT on teaching with mobile technologies. We strive to use technologies across the college in the same way that students will be expected to when they graduate. Our goal is to apply the latest in mobile technologies to the teaching and learning environment to help students become more engaged, more collaborative and more creative.”

In August, an announcement was sent to all faculty encouraging those interested to submit a proposal with a brief description on how they plan on using the device.  A representative from each school and college reviewed the proposals and selected ten people to participate. Winners were announced at the Provost’s Faculty Retreat.

John Kane, the director of CELT and an advanced user of the iPad and apps, spoke of the winners as “a group of faculty from a diverse set of disciplines who will examine how mobile devices may be used to enhance student learning.”

Among the planned uses of some of the proposals are field exercises in geology and archaeology, creation and use of e-books, multimedia creation, gaming, digital drawing and painting, creation of iOS apps, and controlling the classroom computer so students can participate in exercises that are displayed on the projection screen.

David Kahn, the technical lead for the pilot, prepared each iPad with a base set of commonly used apps.  Faculty may also install other apps to assist them in pursuing their goals.  David has worked with a few other departments in their efforts to use iPads, but is “eager to see what the faculty, CELT, and CTS can achieve during this pilot iPad program on campus.”

In addition to the learning outcomes,  another of CTS’s goals of the pilot is to determine what level of support will be needed to continue the use of iPads beyond the pilot group.  Sean Moriarty, Chief Technology Officer, commented that CTS will “gain a better understanding of the requirements of supporting these new tools, from acquisition and provisioning with apps, education and training and to the infrastructure and wireless requirements to effectively use these tools.”

At the end of the pilot, faculty will share their experiences with the broader campus at campus events such as the CELT sponsored Winter BreakOut.

Wi-Fi Overhaul Being Planned

Last spring, CTS worked with our Campus Technology Advisory Board to survey the campus on their satisfaction with the services we provide to the campus.  The results of that survey indicated that the campus wi-fi needs to be more reliable and easier to use. Since then, a re-design of wi-fi has become one of our highest priorities.

Currently we are in the planning stages of the re-design.  We are working with Cisco, Gartner and other Universities to learn how we can make the wi-fi easier to use for employees, students and guests of the College, while also maintaining a level of security that protects sensitive data and network resources.  CTS will have a plan to move forward by the end of the year.

In addition to the user-interface changes, we will also be expanding wi-fi infrastructure.  When it was first introduced in academic spaces in 2003, wi-fi was an alternative to the then preferred wired connections and was available in public gathering spaces, not individual offices.  Obviously, wi-fi is the preferred connection now and we will be expanding wi-fi coverage beyond the originally designed spaces to include offices.

 

Wi-Fi Installs Completed for Residence Halls

Over the last two years, CTS has been aggressively equipping residence halls with wi-fi.  This summer ended that project with the completion of Onondaga Hall.  Over 200 access points were installed throughout the ten-floor building.   All residence halls now have wi-fi coverage in individual rooms as well as public gathering spots such as lounges.

iPhone Spring Cleaning

With the release of the new iPhone 5S just around the corner, you may be stowing away for the latest & greatest offering from Apple. However, those who are content with their current iPhone model may want to take steps to keep it fast and ready for the new iOS 7 (Apple’s latest Operating System for the phone). The folks over at LifeHacker put together a Spring cleaning list for those iPhone users dissatisfied with their sluggish system. One of the quickest ways to improve speed is often to simply reboot (“turn it off & on again”). This clears the system memory and often results in quicker speeds!

Mobile Office Apps

We’re often asked about Office apps on the iOS and Android mobile operating systems. While an official Microsoft Office app does exist for most mobile systems, it requires an active Office 365 subscription. For those users who don’t have that subscription (probably you, if you’re reading this), there are several great alternatives.

I recommend the official Google Drive app, available for iOS and Android systems. It allows you to access all of your LakerApps files stored on Drive, including spreadsheets and presentations. Best of all, it’s free!

Alternative apps can be found under the “Productivity” category on the Google Play and iOS App Store. A popular iOS alternative is Pages ($9.99), an Apple made app. On the Android side of things, expert Office aficionados prefer Quickoffice Pro ($14.99) for an expensive experience.
Drop us a line in the comments and let us know what mobile Office you prefer!