iPad for Academics

Louisa Burnham (History), Joe Antonioli (LIS) and Shel Sax (CTLR) shared their experiences with the iPad Wednesday afternoon during a brown-bag lunch presentation and discussion  in Lib 105. They focused mostly on teaching and research, but questions from a very-interested audience reflected both academic and extra-curricular interests (where do YOU go for recipes?).

Here’s what Louisa, Joe and Shel told us about the iPad:

Louisa Burnham (History)

Louisa purchased her iPad mostly for travel during the summer, but she continues to use it now.  She has been pleased overall, but she still needs a regular computer, eg to prepare a manuscript.  During her presentation, Louisa highlighted the 2 apps below, but she has found many other useful research apps (dictionaries, ebook readers, etc.).

iAnnotate PDF

  • Annotation of articles, grading of papers.
  • Circle, highlight, write with finger or stylus, type into a post-it style box.
  • For grading – students can email the paper, and when she’s done annotating she can email it back.
  • Louisa also uses Dropbox, a cloud-based app (there’s also an iPad app). Put a Dropbox folder on your computer, and the contents will be synced with your Dropbox folder/s elsewhere. FYI, Dropbox folders can be shared among users.
  • Louisa uses a wifi connection only (didn’t pay for 3G access).
  • Purchased bluetooth keyboard but has found that touch keyboard is usable.


  • Import, view, edit, create: .doc, .docx, .ppt, PDF, etc.
  • Can’t edit or create footnotes. Still, better than Pages (Mac word processing program, which strips footnotes and diacritics altogether).
  • Also just started using 2Screens for presentations.  It allows live on-screen annotation

Joe Antonioli (LIS)

Some reasons why Joe likes the iPad:

  • iPad turns on and off quickly.
  • Can connect to Exchange, Google calendar.

Joe’s favs include: Stargazer, Flipboard (displays web pages differently, eg as a book).

Next iPad will have a camera

Shel Sax (CTLR)

Fav Apps: forscore (scans and displays music), eclicker.

Additional Notes

Students and others on campus will use devices other than the iPad/iPod/iPhone.  For example Android, Blackberry.  We should be thinking about all mobile devices.

The iPad is a new and emerging technology and currently, LIS and other College budgets are unable to support institutional purchases of iPads.

Question: Which format would Louisa prefer for a book (eg a novel), print or ebook? Answer: Print.

Note for projection in classrooms: It’s app-specific (ie, some apps will project and others will not).

How to find apps: Google, NITLE, iTunes store.

To Come

Another presentation in a few months? Sure.

iPad user group? Sure.

1 thought on “iPad for Academics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *