At a recent LSU faculty development workshop, CxC associate director, Rebecca Burdette, and CxC Studio 151 manager, Kevin DiBenedetto, shared how faculty members can get the most out of their iPad when working on teaching materials, responding to student work, and doing general business tasks.
While there isn’t a singular app that will do everything for you, there are a group of top iPad apps that will greatly increase your productivity. Here’s the brief recap of what was discussed.
Dropbox.com – file storage solution that allows you to store and access your any files from anywhere on any device, including your desktop.
- Free account and quite a bit of storage (Cool tip: For every referral to dropbox, you receive more storage!).
- Allows you to share files and folders for group projects.
- Does require internet access, but can access file when offline. Simply open the file you need while connected to Wi-Fi and it will be there when your Wi-Fi is not, which is great for when you are traveling. Note: you can only do this with one file at a time.
- A must-have app to access files with the below applications. It is the ideal app to gets your files onto your iPad.
Google Drive – stores converted files (not true MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint files) and enables document creation and real-time document collaboration on any device/desktop.
- Free app in which you can start and edit files in Google Drive, or upload existing files, but these files are converted to GDrive files which are slightly different from Microsoft files and may result in loss of some formatting.
- Real-time collaboration is the greatest benefit to this solution. It allows you to work in groups on a document without having to constantly email the latest version to collaborators.
- Does require internet access, but can download multiple documents to review offline.
CloudOn – enables you to create and edit Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint using MS utilities.
- Free app, but not for long so get it now!
- Features most major MS utilities, including track changes.
- Enables you to create, edit, or mark up a file and quickly send via email or save to Dropbox and GDrive.
Notability – easily annotate PDF files.
- Costs $1.99, but price is climbing fast!
- Gives you the ability to mark-up PDFs by typing text, handwriting notes, drawing, and adding voice annotations directly into the PDF.
- Once annotated, you can easily email your mark-ups directly from within the app.
SlideShark – free app for viewing and presenting PowerPoint content.
- Only for playback and presentation, not presentation design/development.
- Does a great job of maintaining most formatting and animations. (Be aware of non-traditional fonts as they may not convert well.)
- Allows you to use your iPhone as the clicker during a presentation.
- Has a built-in laser pointer and strong presenter view utility.
- If you’re going to present from your iPad, you’ll need a specific cable to plug into classroom media centers or projectors (about $30 from the Apple store).
Prezi – free cloud-based presentation software that goes beyond slide-based presentations and opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides.
- The iPad app allows you to access and edit old presentations or create new ones.
- Now allows you to import old ones and it converts a PowerPoint for you. Just be careful at the conversion with settings, fonts, etc.
- Can import a PowerPoint into Prezi, but cannot import a Prezi into PowerPoint.
Evernote – free, robust note-taking and note collection solution that syncs across all devices and desktop.
- This is not for MS documents; think about it just like you would a traditional notebook.
- Ability to search text within note, not just document title (which you cannot do for documents with Dropbox or GDrive).
- Great web clipping tool that enables you to save the URL, the whole page, or a portion of the page. Perfect for those important web pages that might not be there when you need to go back to them.
Penultimate – free app that allows you to take handwritten notes as though you’re naturally writing on paper and saves notes to Evernote.
- Evernote sync allows you to run searches on your handwritten notes.
- Does not translate your handwriting into typed text.
Diigo – free, dynamic collaborative research/social bookmarking app and desktop browser add-on that allows you to store and share website bookmarks, highlights and notes.
- Powerful tool for conducting research online and collaboration between students or colleagues.
- Ability to see others comments and notes on marked webpages.
- Can save URL or full page content for later access.
- Able to access bookmarked items when offline.
TED – free app to view TED talks
- Easily search TED talks
- Build playlist for future viewing
Lynda – free app to access thousands of tutorials on software and professional development topics
- Robust training resource
- LSU pays for services for all LSU students, faculty, and staff to be able to log in for free with their myLSU credentials. Be sure to select “Web Portal Access” when logging into the app.