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.
The University of South Florida recently released a new mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app will provide students with access to the following services:
Directory: campus directory with contact information for all USF System faculty and staff
Athletics: news stories from USF Athletics
Events: major university events pulled from the USF Events Calendar
Courses: course information from Blackboard
Maps: campus maps for all institutions and campuses within the USF System
News: news stories from the USF System
Emergency: emergency and non-emergency numbers for the USF System
Bullrunner: bus tracking and routes for the USF Bullrunner Shuttle System
Help: basic help information
Your iPhone or iPod Touch will need to run iOS 4 to download it directly to your device from the Apple Store. Below is a screenshot of the new application.
With this app students will be able to quickly look up information about their classes. The app will even show them on a map where their class is on a campus map. Students can even see the contact information of the professor of the class as well. This app shows the location of the bull runner buses as well as whether they are stopped or moving. Keeping up with events on campus, upcoming sporting events and past scores is easy to do as well. The app makes calls to emergency services on each campus as well.
Below is a list of free educational software that may benefit you in your classroom. It contains tools for audio, web conferencing, editing images, blogging, and other technology educational activities. This list was compiled by a staff member at the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida.
The inspiration for this list came from this site http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/.
The University of South Florida has added a new resource to their iTunes U store for literacy, language, literature teachers and other educators. Through the collaboration efforts of The University and the Florida Department of Education a resource for supporting the learning and teaching of literacy was developed.
Lit2Go provides access to audio formats (MP3) of many historically and culturally significant poems and stories. A website has also been developed to accompany the Lit2Go iTunes U store. The website (http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/) also provides a print out of the stories and poems. The collection includes famous classical authors such as Poe, Twain, and Shakespeare.
The Florida Center for Instructional Technology, which is housed within the University of South Florida, has headed the production/and development of the materials. The Center hired talented voice actors to record the numerous stories and poems available on the iTunes Store and website. The website provides a search by author or story to make it easier to find specific stories or poems to incorporate into your lesson plan. The iTunes store makes it really easy to download the stories and poems to your mp3 player for easy offline access. You will need to have iTunes downloaded to your computer to use the iTunes U store. iTunes can be downloaded from the apple website (http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/)