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!

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!

Synchronising Gmail contacts with the iPad

One issue I’ve experienced from the start is the lack of built-in capability to synchronise your Gmail contacts with the iPad. This can be a pain if, like me you have come from Android and migrated to iOS, or if you’ve got your main contacts listed within Google servers.  There are apps that allow for synchronisation between the two devices but they’re not free and neither have been a straightforward affair.

There is a simple way which I have just discovered, thanks to the beautifully crafted Appstart, produced by appadvice.com and linked to by the iPads for education’s website, maintained by a consorium of Australian schools that trialled the use of ipads in secondary education. That involves setting up your Gmail account as a Microsoft Exchange server, instead of selecting “Gmail” in the list of email providers in the Mail app.

How to set GMail as an Exchange server

  • In Mail / Accounts select “Ad Account”, then “Microsoft Exchange” – instead of the built-in GMail account.
  • Enter your Google username and password, then hit “Next”
  • No comes the important part: on the next page you will be asked to enter a “Server” and “Domain”. For your email server, enter “m.google.com” and leave the domain field empty. Hit “Next”
  • On the next page you will be asked which Google services you want to sync with your device.  You can bring your Google Calendars and contacts directly on the device
  • Unless you want to delete all your existing Contacts and Calendars on your iPad, select the “Keep on my iPad” option when prompted
  • Once you’re finished, hit “Done” and you’ve managed to configure push notifications for your Google Mail account and get your GMail contacts synchronised across the devices.

Has anybody managed to get it to work?


Contacts sync for Gmail is the app I have used so far to import my GMail contacts onto my iPad but it requires manual synchronisation with the risk of resulting in duplicates an/or deletions of existing contacts on either device.



iPad 3: the tablet that will give mobile operators a headache

Via Scoop.itstrategyleeds

How Apple bypassed mobile telco companies while making a fortune on the back of their networks….
Via www.guardian.co.uk

Update for Android tablets coming soon

Those of you testing Android tablets ill be leased to know a number of manufacturers are about to release the next version of Android OS for their tablets, in particular Asus and Motorola. Find out more about what Ice Cream Sandwich brings here.

To upgrade your device to Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • Go into “Settings”, then “About” / “Software Update”
  • You will then get a message informing you that an update is available. If this is the case, make sure you are connected to wifi, then hit “Download” or “Download and Install”. Do not touch the device and let Android do the work for you. The device will eventually reboot and none of your documents / music / pictures will be lost
  • If you do not get that message while checking for updates, then try again later / the following day / week / month

Updates will roll out this quarter for the to above-mentionned manufacturers, while Samsung also promised the upgrade (without giving a timescale).

Ice Cream Sandwich does not bring a revolution but unifies the OS across phones and tablets. It is a worthwhile update, not least because it irons out bugs, brings additional functionalities, makes the system faster and supports Google’s celebrated browser, Chrome for Android. Once you’ve upgraded the device you can download it for free  from the Android market – the android version of Chrome supports many additional functionalities such as tab browsing.

It is sleek, fast and a much better alternative to the default browser. Oh, and it syncs all your bookmarks across Google services, such as Chrome on your laptop.

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