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  • professorshanks 2:39 pm on May 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve been playing around with Documents to Go, and it seems to work pretty well. I looked at both the regular ($9.99) and the Premium ($16.99) and I wound up going with the premium version because it supported cloud use (Dropbox for me), which is a must for me at this point.

    In the Word to Go area I opened, edited and was able successfully save (& save as) a relatively complex document that incorporated a non-standard formatting layout, bullet notes, footnotes and pictures. The pictures and bullets were viewable in Documents To Go, though the footnotes and some of the formatting features were not. But when the altered files were reopened on my computer, the formatting and footnotes remained intact and unaltered.

    The Excel and PPT files that I played with all seemed to open with no problem and most of the general functionality was there.

    ***The PPT app also enabled you to take notes with each slide, thus potentially making this a way for students to follow along with a lecture, at their own pace, taking notes as necessary. This could be a very useful App to support classroom instruction.***

    In all of these cases, this is an App that is NOT intended as a direct replacement for the word processors, & spreadsheets in our lives, although it does support the activities that we spend 95% of our time performing on these programs.

    As I mentioned in our meeting, I’ve used other versions of this App on my Blackberry (and before that on my Sony Clie-a PalmPilot clone) for several years and have found it to be very well thought out and useful. I think it is worth every bit of the $17 that I had the University pay for it, and would recommend it to others (provided we don’t find something better/cheaper).

  • professorshanks 2:56 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Not that I don’t love correcting random people, but is there anyway that this blog could be closed entirely to outside viewers? It seems to me that the sort of conversations that we are looking to have here should be internal. I feel like this should be a space in which we can voice our anxiety/ignorance on matters relating to our new little friends, and it might not look great for us, if students &/or their parents hit this blog on an internet search and discovered that we’re all a bunch of newbies who didn’t know where the power button was until a few weeks ago.

    PS- If you Google “BCU ipad” this blog is the second hit on the list.

    • Sara 3:04 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This would be an excellent discussion. There have been at least three other universities who have emailed me with follow-up questions and thanks after finding this blog because they’re looking into doing the same thing and they found it helpful to see how other campuses are handling iPad pilots.

      • shankss 3:08 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        If we do opt to keep it visible to outsiders, we all need to operate with an awareness that our thoughts may very well be read by incoming/prospective students and their parents.

    • Heather 3:06 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I agree. Is that possible?

    • Tom Kleen 3:09 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Power button? What power button?

      • Sara 3:17 pm on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I just give it a good thunk on the side – that works with all computers, right? 🙂

  • professorshanks 5:00 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    After playing extensively with both iAnnotate PDF and PDF Expert, I can firmly say that iAnnotate is vastly superior. I have not found anything that PDF Expert can do that iAnnotate can’t, and iAnnotate has a lot more options for how to mark up a text. Combined with a Dropbox account, this is a VERY useful app.

    At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, this app has made me a better grader of student papers. I’m using a more visually accessible style of commenting, my comments are becoming more targeted and refined, and the simple fact that it is so easy to pull up prior versions of papers means that my comments on rewrites have become much more precisely tailored to the specific issues each student seems to be struggling with.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s made me enjoy grading papers, but it has made me feel like I’m doing a better job while I grade them.

    • Heather 7:59 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the fipeld test. Are you able to grade in Word docs?


      • Heather 7:59 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Oops..that should be field.

      • Shanks, Sam 10:43 pm on April 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Nope, only PDF’s. I have my students convert to that format before they submit their papers.

    • Alex 5:20 am on April 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Dropbox sync and PDF forms support are just a few things that PDF Expert does and iAnnotate doesn’t. These two alone made a huge difference to many people.

      Also, I would really like to talk with you about what annotation functions in iAnnotate you found superior to PDF Expert. Just want to get your detailed feedback if possible and understand how we can make our product better. You can reach me at alex (at) readdle (dot) com.

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