My latest at NITLE’s Techne blog: iPad Apps for Teaching and Learning at Small Liberal Arts Colleges?

August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Originally posted on August 19, 2010 at NITLE’s Techne blog,

It seems like every day there is a new story about iPads being handed out on campuses. Here is today’s Chronicle story: Williston State, in North Dakota, Gives iPads to Its Full-Time Professors.  One quote caught my eye, “Mr. Grunenwald isn’t sure how he will use the new tool in his teaching.”  My colleague Ruben Ruiz asked much the same question in a recent discussion on our nitle-it email list.  His query about translating the iPad’s popularity into practical classroom engagements initiated a discussion of managing iPads lent out by institutions.  One question prompted by that discussion is, “What apps do you put on it?”

There are now over 18,000 apps available, a number that was the topic of a recently closed NITLE Futures Market.  So, how do you cut that list down to the best apps that faculty or students would want to use if you were giving them the iPad (as opposed to those who make the decision to buy it themselves).

This morning, I set up a uservoice forum to try to answer that question. I’ve seen many lists of iPad apps for higher ed, e.g., Profhacker’s 5 iPad Applications I Can’t Live Without (and Why), those listed on Bret Ingerman’s iPad Talk at Vassar, and the apps list on the Teach with your iPad wiki.  But, I’m trying to find out if there is a good standard starter set, particularly for small liberal arts colleges.  Our forum, iPad Apps for Small Liberal Arts Colleges, allows users to both suggest and vote for their favorite apps.  Users can allot 1-3 votes and even reallocate them later, as new apps are added.

Thanks to those who’ve contributed, since I first opened it this morning.  There are six apps listed as of this writing:

  • Evernote
  • Dropbox
  • iAnnotate pdf
  • eclicker host
  • Popplet Lite
  • Goodreader

It’s too soon to draw any conclusions, but I will note that while eclicker and perhaps Popplet Lite focus on classroom interaction, I think the rest are more for the individual user and probably relate to productivity.  Please take a look, add your favorites, and cast your vote here: iPad Apps for Small Liberal Arts Colleges Forum.


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