A new blog for a new project

Having investigated the suitability of various tablet devices in the HE context our pilot programme has now come to an end. A new project aimed at integrating iPads into our learning, teaching and assessment methods is about to start in September 2012 on our flagship MSc International Business at Leeds University Business School and you can follow our progress on our brand new iPads at Leeds blog.

Hope to see you then soon….

A summary of the findings from our 2012 pilot project

Our pilot project has now come to an end and a first presentation relating the findings is available.  The data analysis process will continue and a full paper will be available over the summer.

iPads to be rolled out on the MSc International Business

Faculty Executive Group has approved the roll out of the iPad project at the level of the full programme in 2012.13. This means all staff and students will be equipped with iPads and we are now working on integrating these devices into the MSc International Business curriculum, identifying ways in which iPads can be used to transfer learning outcomes for each module.

The past six months have been interesting, thanks to our student testers who trialled two types of devices, iPads and Android tablets with various screen sizes.  Over the past few months a clear preference emerged in favour of iPads, and the standard 9.6′ screen size was considered to be best suited to the use of such devices in higher education.

Throughout the duration of the pilot there was no specific demand for student support, although the need for training has become more significant in recent months, in particular towards the use of specific apps.  This is a suggestion we will take on board  and next year students will be offered a training programme to help them make the best of their device and the apps that will make them more productive.

The full results of our pilot will be published here and disseminated at technology-related conferences. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you’d like to get a copy of our findings report.

Thumbs up for our student testers who have done a great job, helped us identify what works and what doesn’t and made great suggestions to help us move forward.  And if you are interested in joining the MSc International Business at Leeds University Business School next year, there has never been a more exciting time to join us!

Some useful apps for the iPad

Hi guys I just thought I would update you all on some useful apps for the iPad that could prove to be very useful.


The major problem I have had with the iPad since day one was not being able to download email attachments (specifically those sent through the university email account). The problem was that the attachments were usually in a zipped folder, and to gain access to these files you first need to open the zipped folder. An app called ReaddleDocs is perfect for overcoming this issue. It’s at a cost of £2.99 but it’s definitely worth it in my opinion, especially when I need to access seminar preparation material that has been sent to my Uni email account.

It’s simple! you install the app and it’s ready to use. You just click on an email attachment and it will download the zip folder into ReaddleDocs. Once it is in ReaddleDocs, click on the zip folder and it will extract the files/folder for you to gain access to them. Furthermore these can then be opened in other apps such as QuickOffice, GoodReader etc. If your willing to pay £2.99, you will find yourself downloading email attachments on your iPad, rather than using your laptops. If there is a free version available I would be interested in knowing about it.



When I began using GoodReader I couldn’t figure out a way to open up photo documents to annotate, only PDF documents. Therefore I began exploring and came across this interesting app, which allows you to annotate any picture by adding text, arrows, shapes, a sketch option to draw using your finger etc. The above pictures of ReaddleDocs were annotated using Skitch. I found this app very easy to operate and there are probably many things you can do with this app, however I have a tendency to work things out on my own rather than follow an instruction manual. Check it out I think it was free but if it wasn’t it didnt cost much, after all it is me we are talking about here 😉


Where does the iPad come from?

Hi everyone,

it´s a little bit off topic, but I found a very short and interesting video on Youtube about the production process of an iPad. I think it is good to see where the devices come from and how they are produced. Gives you a different view on this product afterwards, in my opinion. However, if anyone is interested I have included the video below.

My Obervations of the Xoom 2 on the Android Operating System

After using the Xoom 2 tablet computer for nearly two months now I have found it has been useful for note-taking in lectures, preparation in seminars, and for completing assessments.


In lectures, I have found the most agreeable way to take notes is to type down the lecture in note form using the app Evernote. I did try to use apps such as EZPDF reader and QuickOffice HD to annotate the electronic versions of the lecture handouts. However, I found it hard to use these apps for this purpose so I preferred to use Evernote, and would refer to the handout throughout the lecture when I needed it.

I prefer using Evernote primarily because as soon as I save anything I have written down, it is synchronised to both my laptop and phone. The ease in which this provides me with being able to access my notes at a later date has been particularly helpful in referring back to lectures at a later date. The ability to tag different notes is another feature of Evernote which I find useful because it means I can archive my notes into their respective modules and topics.

Seminars and Assessments

I have used the tablet extensively throughout all my seminars and assessments this semester. I have found it useful in preparing for seminars using Evernote, and for planning any assessments I have to write. However, I have found I prefer typing any extensive pieces of work on my laptop using the keyboard. This is particularly true for writing word documents as I find the QuickOffice equivalent to be lacking in features and ease of use. Often I use both the laptop and tablet simultaneously, one to do the reading and the other to type notes down.

All in all, I have found the tablet to have had a positive impact on my ability to organize my work and to take down concise notes. It is also helpful being able to read lecture handouts and articles without a paper version or my laptop on me. However, I still prefer using my laptop for many functions such as composing essays or composing emails.

Soundnote for iPad

Has anybody tried Soundnote for iPad?  It sounds like the app is particularly suited to students:

“SoundNote is perfect for students. If you ever fall asleep in class, don’t worry — SoundNote’s got your back. Just tap what you wrote while you were awake, and SoundNote will play the audio to help you fill in the blanks”

Previously known as Soundpaper, the app allows you to take notes and draw while recording audio/sound and it synchronises your notes with the audio file. Sounds idea if you’re prone to falling asleep during lectures…

App of the week on some obscure website, check their video review on YouTube and you can read the review by Techradar here. A student perspective on the app is available here.

Anyone willing to try it? £2.99. Check their official website or iTunes for screenshots and further details.

Entry posted using my iPad so excuse the (lack of) consistency in the formatting of this post.! Hopefully it won’t look too bad.

Another “top 50 Android phone apps” from the Guardian for our Android users…


Uploading Quick Office HD Pro documents to your Dropbox account on the iPad

Following up from Stefano’s post I have found a way to upload documents from Quick Office Pro to your Dropbox account, and it is a very straightforward process….

  •  Open Quick Office Pro HD on the iPad and notice on the left hand side both your iPad’s drive (“on Nicolas’s iPad”) and any other cloud-based accounts you might have set up (Go to Settings to set them up). My Dropbox account is referred to as “Nicolas Forsans” in the screenshot below. You can also see my GMail account below it, followed by my Evernote account.


  • Identify the file you’d like to transfer onto your Dropbox account. For the sake of this tutorial I will transfer the default “File Manager How to.pdf” file which comes with Quick Office by default
  • In the same way as you would select the file and send it by email or to the bin (notice the icons at the bottom of the screen, one for the bin, one for email, one for sharing), long-press the selected file name and move it to the icon that represents your Dropbox account on the left-hand side of the screen. Note: I could do the same thing to send it to my Evernote account.

  • As you drag the file to your dropbox account, the file manager no longer displays files that are locally stored onto the iPad – instead it shows you the various files and folders that make up your Dropbox account. You can then drag the file onto one of the sub-folders or (and it ill probably be easier that way) just drag it to the root of your Dropbox folder by releasing it above the Dropbox icon on the left hand side, as I’ve done it on the screenshot – you can always go into your dropbox folder later on and move the file from root to individual sub-folders
  • Job done: your file now appears in your Dropbox account; Obviously you would use the same method to bin the local file by dragging it to the bin icon, email it or send it to any other cloud-based account you might have set up

AppStart, the app that should come pre-installed on your iPad

Mentioned in my previous post is AppStart for iPad, maybe the very first (free) app anyone should download on their iPad to uncover the many functionalities of the iPad. No, it’s not a boring manual – it is a beautiful app (the designers have done a great job!) organised in many sections that allows the reader to understand how their iPad works, and what functionalities they can leverage.

I particularly like the “How to dump your laptop” section with their selection of productivity-enhancing apps, some of which we have trialled during this pilot. Also noteworthy are their “9.7 inch office”, “the lowdown printing, or how to print with no strings attached”, “apps for students / moms / dads / musicians” and many other useful sections. They basically everything with a great selection of the most popular app that help get the business done.

And it’s so beautifully done that you won’t get bored reading it!

Highly recommended. Go and download it now, it’s free. The only app that should come pre-installed on all our iPads!

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