USF, iPad and the Cloud
The college of education at the University of South Florida recently launched an initiative to advance pre-service teachers knowledge of emerging technologies in the classroom. The iteach initiative recently focusing on Apple products, has provided it’s students with workshops from Apple certified educators focusing on multimedia creation and optimizing lessons for consumption on the iPad. Workshops provided hands on experience using Apple’s iLife suite and Dashcode as well as other educational technologies. At the university level USF has made decisions to benefit the students as a whole but also benefits students who are iPad users or are thinking of buying an iPad.
One of these changes that USF IT has made is providing students access to an apps portal. Now students can access a wide array of popular programs such as Adobe CS5 Master Collection, Atlas T.I., Maya 2010, Mathimatica 7 and many others from any computer with an Internet connection. The university uses a citrix system that students can connect to by pointing their web browser to apps.usf.edu.
A benefit of using the apps portal, besides access to expensive software, students can begin working on projects on a machine on campus and still access their same project at home on their personal machines. Imagine you begin building a website for your communications class while on a campus machine and being able to finish your project at home. Or say you begin qualitative analysis project in Atlas T.I., which you couldn’t afford to buy, you can finish it anywhere anytime you are connected to the apps portal.
All of the applications available on the USF Apps Portal can also be accessed on the students iPad. Click the link below to configure your iPad to use the apps portal.
Some applications do not lend themselves to working nicely on the iPad. You may not want to create complex vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator thru the portal, but you can easily edit your documents, write programs, or analyze data on the iPad.
The apps portal is essentially just allowing students the ability to screen share to a server to access the applications. You will want to have a reliable and fast Internet connection to use the portal. The university provides storage space for students to save their files on the server. Students can have up to 4GB of storage space to save their files and create websites. USF has also been a Google University for the past few years. Now that Google has opened up Google Docs to editing on the iPad, this also provides students another avenue to create and share content on their iPad.