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Mendeley vs. iAnnotate: What works for research

-13There are two types of students: those that wonder why on earth Elon would give us forty print dollars every semester, and those that inevitably burn through that money and must resort to printing in page groups of three by mid-November. I’m definitely in the latter category—that person who has to advise the people in line behind me to seek another printer while this one spits out twenty copies of my twenty-page story for Intermediate Fiction.

Sorry, trees.

Besides creative writing classes, the biggest reason for my mass paper consumption is printing article PDFs for research projects. I tend to accumulate binders full of information, littered with highlights, underlines, and side-notes. Such is the life of a type-A, visual learner.

Unfortunately, this method is not only environmentally unfriendly, but also makes my backpack a pain to lug around campus. So this semester, since I had an iPad at my disposal, I decided to try out two PDF organization apps: Mendeley and iAnnotate.
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FitStar: The fitness app for those on-the-go

 

This article is a part of the Writing with Thumbs project- a year-long look at iPad apps and accessories that support writing. Read more about the project here.

With Thanksgiving now behind us, and the holidays right around the corner, I thought that I’d take a deeper look into fitness apps this month. I feel like blogs are a place for honesty, so here’s the honest truth… I can’t workout by myself for the life of me.  Call me unmotivated or uninspired, but every time I’ve tried to create a workout routine by myself, I’ve failed.  Believe me, I’ve tried many times before using cardio workout apps and yoga apps, but much to my dismay, I just couldn’t get motivated enough to follow the routines. That’s where FitStar came in and turned my bad habits around. Continue reading »

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4 ways to use technology to de-stress

4084963522_f50fc5ed37_zAs students, faculty and staff head into finals week, it is easy to be caught up in the stress of completing the semester. Since stress reduces work efficiency and productivity, it is important to remain calm and cool while finishing your work. Despite its reputation as a distraction during finals time, technology can actually help you de-stress.

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Use Trello to work together

This article is a part of the Writing with Thumbs project- a year-long look at iPad apps and accessories that support writing. Read more about the project here.

Trello is an app that is set up basically like a to-do list on steroids. On the surface, it looks like a relatively simple program: it’s a to-do list in stages. You have your things to do, the things you’re doing, and the things you have done. But in reality, it’s so much more than that. Available on the web, iPhone, iPad, Andriod, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8, Trello is soon to be your new favorite organization tool.
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Cutting into TouchSurgery

This article is a part of the Writing with Thumbs project- a year-long look at iPad apps and accessories that support writing. Read more about the project here 

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TouchSurgery is an interactive app created for Apple devices intended to teach various surgical procedures. It is available for either the iPhone or the iPad free in the App Store. Its user interface is simple and ergonomic. The pictures of the surgeries are vibrant and accurate. The app can be best appreciated on an iPad because of the realistic animations but the interface is simple enough to be used efficiently on an iPhone. I found it to be a great surgical learning and reference tool! Continue reading »

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Holiday season sees increase in malware

During the holiday season, hackers become increasingly active due to the increased volume of people shopping online. With an increase in internet traffic, hackers use this time of year to focus their attempts on spreading malware and viruses in order to gain access to user information such as account passwords and banking information. It is important for users to be mindful of the websites they visit and where they enter sensitive information. Continue reading »

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Tech roundup: Presentation tools for every occasion

3013659550_46990b4144With the amount of presentation software available, it can be hard decide what is the best for your particular project. Over the past year, the writers on the technology blog have highlighted a number of presentation tools that could suit your project needs. If you’re working on a presentation in a team, these five tools could work for you. If not, here is our roundup of presentation software you should try:

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Problems with OSX Yosemite

On October 16, yosemiteApple rolled out its latest OSX release for Mac computers, OSX Yosemite. While there are many positive additions Apple made to the operating system, there have also been numerous glitches identified in the system that have affected multiple users, including those on Elon’s campus. Continue reading »

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6 Quiz Tips for Moodle

The Moodle Quiz is a powerful tool, and can save you hours of grading (or at least the walk to-and-from Belk Library to drop off and pick up your Scantrons). With only minor tweaking, your Quiz can be automatically graded, with the results released to your students when you choose. It’s very easy to assess and grade all those essay questions. You can also give individual students with accommodations additional time to complete your Quiz. But with all these features comes inevitable confusion. Based on a review of the challenges faculty typically face using Moodle Quizzes, I’ve assembled six tips for setting up your Moodle Quizzes and making them nearly foolproof.

And remember: If you run into any trouble, please call the Technology Service Desk at 336.278.5200!

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Dr. Crider on how the Epic Finale redefines the final exam

Students show off the phones they used to record video during the exam.

Students show off the phones they used to record video during the exam.

The creation of a good exam is a tricky art. An exam should test students what they’ve learned, but it is hard to spice things up from the monotonous multiple-choice format. However, Dr. Tony Crider has found a way to test his students in a way that challenges deeper thought and ended with students standing, applauding and actually thanking him for the exam. This is the Epic Finale.

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