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Five Useful iPad Applications to Use in Higher Education

As the popularity of tablets continues to grow, instructors are beginning to experiment with ways to use education-based applications in their classrooms. There are slews of applications available for both iPad and Android users, but for this article, we have selected five iPad apps we believe are especially useful to faculty in higher education. In a second article concerning education-based applications, we will focus on useful Android apps.

1. OverDrive Media Console (Free): This application, available to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users, grants individuals access to over 18,000 libraries worldwide. OverDrive Media Console allows users to download eBooks and audiobooks from their school libraries’ digital collections with valid identification cards, and because the book titles expire automatically, users do not need to worry about late fees.


2. LectureTools (Free): This application, available to iPad users only, allows instructors to enhance basic PowerPoint slides through the inclusion of photos and videos, interactive questions and real-time feedback. LectureTools encourages class participation, as it allows students to take notes on slides, answer instructor-generated questions, and pose questions to professors electronically. The application archives students’ notes, so they can be accessed on multiple devices at later times. To learn more about LectureTools, attend Jim Barbour’s presentation on the technology this Thursday, October 25 in Belk Library 102 from 12:15-1:15 p.m.

3. ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard (Free): This application, available to iPad users only, allows instructors to record and share voice-over whiteboard tutorials online. Users can also upload photos into their photo libraries, and by using the highlight and pen tools, they can leave critiques and comments on the uploaded content. ShowMe’s website offers tutorials on how to implement the technology in different classes with lessons on subjects ranging from math and science to English and history.


4. News 360 (Free): This application, available to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users, gathers news articles and blog posts from around the Web to create personalized news experiences for users. With permission, News360 collects information from a user’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Evernote accounts to better tailor his or her news content. The application also allows users to bookmark articles and save stories, so they can enjoy them later when using their devices offline.


5. myHomework (Free): This application, available to iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users, allows instructors and students to organize their classes, tests, and assignments on one calendar by simply uploading their syllabi. Users can view their class schedules via the “Classes” button on myHomework, and by paying $1.99, they can sync their information to multiple iOS devices. Also, through the optional $1.99 online account, instructors and students can receive notifications on their devices that remind them of when assignments are due.

To learn more about how to use iPad applications and iPad technology in your courses, contact TLT. To join in on conversations pertaining to tablet use, attend TLT’s monthly tablet user group meetings. The meetings take place on the first Wednesday of every month, and they are meant to broaden awareness of how to use tablets both at home and in the classroom.

Image by Flickr user Sean MacEnteeCreative Commons licensed CC BY 2.0

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