Last week, Microsoft announced that they’re expanding the “preview” — formerly only available to a limited number of users — of their Office apps for Android tablets:
We want more feedback from more users to ensure that Office apps work well on a range of different Android tablets before launching the official apps. To participate in the preview, you can use an ARM-based Android tablet running KitKat or Lollipop, with a screen size between 7″ and 10.1″. Starting today, anyone can go to Google Play and download the Word, Excel and PowerPoint preview apps. No waitlist. No requesting access. Just go and download the apps!
It’s reasonable to conclude that Microsoft is at least somewhat concerned about the competition from the suite of free apps available from Google, the company behind theAndroid operating system. In other words, Microsoft have a vested interested in taking their apps currently in beta and making them polished enough to be attractive to those with Android tablets. (The iOS Office apps for iPhones and iPads are pretty slick.
The Instructional Technology Group, in partnership with the Bass Library, is offering two sets of 20 iPad Airs (32GB, WI-Fi-only) and two sets of 20 iPad minis (16GB, WI-Fi-only) for instructional use in the spring semester of the 2015 academic year. Yale College faculty members interested in using the iPads for the spring 2015 semester are asked to submit a proposal by Wednesday, November 19, 2014, describing how they and their students will use the iPads in support of a Yale College course. Preference will be given to proposals that involve regular, semester-long use of the tablets.
If you would like assistance in composing a proposal or comments on a draft proposal, please send your draft to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm Monday, November 17, 2014.
The selected applicants will be provided with pedagogical and technical support to assist with the development and implementation of the proposed activities. Purchasing assistance will also be provided for proposals requiring specialized iPad applications.
Successful applicants will be expected to participate in evaluating the iPad-supported activities and sharing the experience through a blog post or talk.
Alternatively, you can send an email to email@example.com with the following information:
- Your name
- Course number and title in which the iPads would be used
- Semester in which the course will be offered
- Estimated number of students in the course
- iPad set and duration of use
- A brief description of the proposed use of the iPads
For more information and examples of instructional uses of iPads, please visit http://clc.yale.edu/ipad/.
This program is made possible through a collaborative initiative of the Library, ITS, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Matthew Regan on behalf of the iPad Selection Committee
Source: Yale ITS Monday Morning News
CLC Donates iPads to YCBA Program for Autistic Children
The Yale Center for British Art's Exploring Artism program will use the iPads to help children respond to the museum's artworks.
(Submitted by Matthew Regan, Senior Academic Technologist)
The Collaborative Learning Center is pleased to announce that it has donated a dozen iPad 2s to the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) for its Exploring Artism family program. This free program, run by the YCBA Education Department every third Saturday in September, October, and November from 10:30 a.m. to noon, focuses on families with autistic children between the ages of 5 - 12.
With these events, the YCBA aims to "create a welcoming, engaging, and inclusive learning environment." Participants in the program learn to look and respond to artwork in the museum’s galleries with a follow-up art project in a museum classroom. Looking for new approaches to supplement these activities, the program explored iPad usage during a session and observed positive reactions from the children.
With the belief that providing iPads to child participants would further enhance the program, Curator of Education Linda Friedlaender approached the CLC about using an iPad class set for the fall 2014 series. Though the request fell outside of the CLC iPad program scope, the committee decided unanimously to donate 12 iPad 2s, slated to be retired from the Bass Media Checkout Service.
Trip Kirkpatrick, CLC lead organizer, said, "This is exactly the kind of project the CLC is positioned to support. In our seven years of activity, we've always excelled at finding gaps in support services and seeing how we could help narrow them. In particular, it's wonderful to have the opportunity to connect Yale's resources and New Haven’s needs."
Jaime Ursic, YCBA Assistant Curator of Education, answered a few questions on the Exploring Artism family program and what it hopes to accomplish by using the iPads.
When and Why was the program created?
Recognizing the importance of providing learning opportunities for families with children on the autism spectrum, the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) developed and began teachingExploring Artism: A Program for Families in April 2012. The free, registration-required, 90-minute program includes a gallery-based multisensory learning experience, followed by a related hands-on art project for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. Autism is a developmental disability that diminishes a child’s ability to engage in reciprocal social interactions typical of the child’s age and stage of development, and generally lasts a lifetime. The symptoms and characteristics appear in varied ways and art has been found as a way to aid expression. Autism affects 1 in 68 children in the US and it is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S.
Self-expression and communication are intrinsic to art and are often a struggle for someone with ASD. Looking at original art objects followed by actual art-making improves the cognitive and motor skills of participants. Since many with ASD see the world as a series of "pictures," visual art allows for easier self-expression and communication. Through student-centered, multisensory experiences that include art-viewing and art-making, the YCBA has created a welcoming public program in a neurotypical social space for families with a child with ASD. (Many families often feel isolated since the majority of Autism funding goes towards research rather than support programs.)
How did the ideas of using iPads come about?
The YCBA uses low-tech assistive and augmentative communication (AAC) strategies such as printed directions, social stories outlining the day’s plan and yes/no cards for participants who struggle with communication. Keeping abreast of Autism research and studies published by the International Center for Autism Research and Education and theAutism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, we appropriated the education department’s one iPad for the Exploring Artism program.
The success and attraction of the iPad was instant for participants since the iPad was portable and acted as a digital and multimedia parallel to books/papers/maps/computer in the galleries. With iPads being customizable, apps are downloaded and organized for specific needs. For example, we looked at a painting with a flute, violin, and a harpsichord. Using the iPad, we were able to play the sounds of each instrument to the group while looking at the painting. There is an abundance of digital art making and special needs/adaptive apps that can be utilized in the galleries that break down involved learning into pieces that can be organized and taught easily to the individual.
Have you used the iPads yet?
Before this donation, we used only one iPad in the past. Realizing the difference that one iPad made with 12 participants with ASD, we began a search for funding to supply 12–14 iPads for the Exploring Artism program. This fall, the stars aligned and the Bass Library iPad Borrower program came to the rescue with 12 donated iPads. Now, Exploring Artism participants each can use an iPad and we have already begun to adapt our teaching in order to more fully utilize the apps and iPads for participants.
For our October 18 Exploring Artism session, each participant used an iPad. We began with Real Chalkboard, an app that takes the place of paper and pencil for drawing activities. We downloaded our social story into iBook and the kids swiped each page while reading it together. The swiping was much easier for those with fine motor control challenges than physically turning a paper page. The session’s theme was headwear and crowns on the sculptures in the Sculpture Victorious exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art. We used the Hats & Caps app on our iPads to get a chance to "try on" some crowns. Both participants and parents enjoyed learning from and using the iPads.
Do you want to expand iPads to other YCBA education programs?
Yes! We have trained a few docents already to use our one department iPad and some use their own iPads to supplement their lessons in the galleries. From zooming in to London addresses via Google Earth to seeing photographs of Fingal's Cave on Staffa while listening to Mendelsohn’s "Fingal’s Cave" overture, the iPads create a multimedia dimension to our gallery teaching. The iPad set will allow an entire group access to the app, the web, and whatever creative experience our lesson opens up to ... working both together and independently. Also, the Yale Child Study Center is working on methods of data collection where iPads can help us collect necessary data in a timely manner.
With the release of iOS 8 just over a week now, users wanting to upgrade should be aware of enabling the new iCloud Drive feature right away (see article below). It should be stated that the other iCloud features work as normal, and have a few new settings that users may want to take advantage of, including the "Send Last Location" security setting in Find My iPad/iPhone that will (as the title implies) pinpoint the last network location the device was seen on if logging into http://icloud.com (this will only work if the user has signed into iCloud on a iOS device). More information about the Send Last Location setting can be found on this page.
Source: Cult of Mac
Alex Heath (9:37 am PDT, Sep 17th)
One of the many new features in iOS 8 is iCloud Drive, which is basically Apple’s take on Dropbox. Unlike how iCloud has functioned in the past, iCloud Drive acts as the hub for all of the files stored by your apps in the cloud.
It’s a great idea, but most people should avoid enabling it during the iOS 8 installation process today.
That could mean a serious headache for anyone who’s not running both iOS 8 and the private or developer beta of OS X Yosemite. Unless you have Yosemite running on your Mac, iCloud Drive will do you more harm than good.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, iCloud Drive can be enabled in Yosemite under the iCloud panel in System Preferences. It can be turned on at any time in the iCloud section of the Settings app in iOS 8 as well.
It could be the case that you only want to use iCloud Drive on your iOS 8 device, and then you obviously have nothing to worry about. But the main benefit of iCloud Drive is the access it gives you to files on all of your devices, and that won’t apply for everyone on the Mac until Yosemite’s public release in October.
Ben Lerude '17, who took Cultural Studies of Peru (SPAN s247), liked the interactive aspect of Adobe Voice saying, "I thought the app was a fun way to practice speaking Spanish, and it's a really creative and cool app."
Many students found the app's simplic, one-touch recording an advantage. "It was very easy to use, had great sound quality and very good transition in between slides'" said Amen Jalal '17, who took Elemenary Italian (ITAL s110 02). Her classmate, Lily Hahn '17, had similar sentiments. "It took very little time to make each slide because there are only a few layout options in addition to the sound component, making it easy to work with."
Adobe Voice Demo
Adobe Voice's simplistic nature may, however, be its one downfall, as it has limiting functionality. While Kira Tebbe '17 (ITAL s110) found the app recorded her voice clearly and she was able to add Ken Burns effects to her photos, she points out there are some limiting attributes. "One downside of the app was that we couldn't add our own video. I wanted to throw in little clips I had recorded, but the app wouldn't allow it." Jalal had similar comments about the app who added, "The only limitations are that they don't allow you to add more than 2 photos or to add video clips and that may inhibit your project depending on its scope." While Bowie Xu '17 from Span s247 liked the theme and music choices offered by the app, he found Adobe Voice could add improvements to the post-production features which are nonexistent. "It's frustrating not being able to edit or crop a recording. If you messed up, you would have to redo it." Said Xu.
While the verdict is still out, and the app has some shortcomings, most of the aforementioned students who used the app found it helpful for their classes. According to anonymous survey feedback, 72% of the students in both classes replied the app was helpful for their language studies, with may comments highlighting ease-of-use and an active way to practice speaking the language.
Here are few examples of Adobe Voice in action.
Lily Hahn - ITAL S110
"It took very little time to make each slide because there are only a few layout options in addition to the sound component, making it easy to work with.”
Amen Jalal - ITAL S110
Ben Lerude - SPAN S247
"...[Adobe Voice] definitely mixes things up a bit and makes for more exciting projects than simply writing about a topic by hand."
Stephanie Rogers - SPAN S247
"I definitely became more analytical using the app because I began to dig deeper into the story behind the images I was showing."
Kira Tebbe - ITAL S110
"...the main learning aspect [is] hearing my own voice to hear the accent and pronunciation..."
Howie Xu - SPAN S247
"Using the program allowed us to practice our speaking skills for Spanish, whereas a written response would not."
Two sets of 20 iPad Airs (32GB, Wi-Fi-only) and two set of 20 iPad minis (16GB, Wi-Fi-only) are available for instructional use in both the fall and spring semesters of the 2014-15 academic year. Yale College faculty members interested in using the iPads for the fall semester are asked to submit a proposal by Friday, August 15, 2014 describing how they and their students will use the iPads in support of a Yale College course (professional school courses are not eligible). Preference will be given to proposals that involve regular, semester-long use of the tablets.
The successful applicants will be provided with pedagogical and technical support to assist with the development and implementation of the proposed activities. Purchasing assistance will also be provided for proposals requiring specialized iPad applications.
Successful applicants will be expected to participate in evaluating the iPad-supported activities and share the experience on the CLC website and at a CLC-hosted event.
Alternatively, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
1. Your name
2. Course number and title in which the iPads would be used
3. Semester in which the course will be offered
4. Estimated number of students in the course
5. iPad set and duration of use
6. A brief description of the proposed use of the iPads
For more information and examples of instructional uses of iPads,
please visit http://clc.yale.edu/ipad/.
This program is made possible through a collaborative initiative of the Library, ITS, the Center for Language Study, and the Yale College Dean's Office.
The Collaborative Learning Center Committee
“I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.”
Shakespeare - A Midsummer's Night Dream
The May/June 2014 Alumni Magazine reviews an interactive Shakespeare book series for iPads called WordPlay for Shakespeare (The New Book Press). What make this neoclassic version of Shakespeare so unique is that it not only shows the play text on one half of the screen, but video of actors performing the play on the other. The Yale Alumni Magazine is profiling the innovative book because the publisher and CEO is a Yale alum, Alexander Parker '88. What's more, several of the actors are Yale School of Drama graduates, according to the article. The book also includes other features such as a translator into "modern vernacular" (CliffNotes, if you will), highlighting, note cards, and word search. The book series, which currently include Macbeth and A Midsummer's Night Dream, received a good review from Christopher Arnott in the article and can be downloaded from the Apple iBookstore.
Take a look!