Tuesday, August 21, 2012

(8) Week 3: Part 1: Go mobile!

Mobile learning

The NMC Horizon Report Higher Education Edition each year identifies emerging trends that will go mainstream in the near, mid- and far-term. The 2012 report states:
"On the near-term horizon — that is, within the next 12 months — are mobile apps and tablets. These two topics have become pervasive in everyday life, at least in the developed world, and students at universities and colleges have ever-increasing expectations of being able to learn on these devices whenever and wherever they may be. 

Mobile apps are the fastest growing dimension of the mobile space in higher education right now, with impacts on virtually every aspect of informal life, and increasingly, every discipline in the university. Always-connected Internet devices using 3G and similar cellular networks, imbedded sensors, cameras, and GPS have proved to be a feature set with hundreds of thousands of applications. Apps that take advantage of recent developments in these tools, along with advances in electronic publishing and the convergence of search technology and location awareness, made this category of software enormously interesting in a higher education context. Higher education institutions are now designing apps tailored to educational and research needs across the curriculum."
By early 2012, over 10 billion Android apps and 25 billion Apple apps had been downloaded. As of today, Apple is the most valuable company of all time.

Uptake of smartphones and tablets has been incredibly rapid, and in response universities and schools are employing a digital strategy based on a BYOD approach: Bring Your Own Device. That is, rather than invest in and provide devices that are expensive and rapidly become outdated, institutions instead provide the infrastructure (wifi, power supply, charging stations and furniture for teamwork) that supports students and staff to use their own mobile devices, smartphones, tablets, netbooks and laptops.

While there are significant challenges - such as that of providing sufficient bandwidth, and designing systems for different operating systems ("platform agnostic") - more than 50% of our students have the internet in their pocket via their smart phones, and the numbers of students who own tablets is more than doubling each year. Already a significant number of Deakin students are accessing DSO through their phone.

Going mobile allows both staff and students to work efficiently and be connected to the resources, information and people they need when they need them. Having mastery over these devices and becoming fluent in the integration of mobile devices to support your work is an important digital literacy skill.

This module is designed to optimize your use of your smart phone or tablet. It will include tips on how to use, maintain and secure your device, and in the next part of the module later this week I will suggest some useful apps. For those without an iPad or smartphone - contact me, I have an iPad you can borrow to test it out.

Deakin iPad user guide for setting up your iPad
Task: Firstly, have a read of the Deakin iPad User Guide here.
It explains the steps you need to take to set up your iPad. 

Note re the VPN instructions: Ignore the guide. There are now alternate recommendations for VPN using the app Junos Pulse. See me for further information.

Top 14 iPad / iPhone Tips and 10 Tasks
Note: These tips are relevant for both iPhone and iPad, however I have written them for the iPad for clarity. If you have another type of tablet, let me know and we can adapt these tasks. 

(1) Talk don't type. The iPad 3 has Dictation built into it. When you are typing an email, tap the Dictation button on the keyboard and dictate your email clearly. Hit the button again and your words will appear.
Note: your sounds files and text may be stored on the Apple server. For those who prefer to avoid this, or those with an iPad 1 or 2, you can use the free Dragon dictation app.
Task 1: send the person in the office next door to you an email that you dictated and cc me.

Voice assistants Siri (Apple) and Skyvi (Android) are covered in Module 3 part 2.

(2) SECURITY- do all of these. Please :-)

(a) Update your iOS: Settings: General > Software Update.  
If you have an older iPad or older iOS, you may need to plug it into a computer and use iTunes (It's not straightforward, so best to get help with this!)

(b) Set your passcode:
Task 2: Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Set to ON. Choose the usage time period after which the password is required (shorter is more secure but more annoying).
(c) Install Find my iPhone:
Task 3: Download Find my iPhone from the App store (for both iPad and iPhone) and register. You can see where your iPhone and iPad are on a map.
(d) Update your apps: Do this every day or when there is a number showing on your App store app.
Task 4: Go to App store > Updates > Update all.(repeat daily)

(e) Use a password manager such as LastPass: we will cover this in week 4.

(3) Move and delete apps: 
Delete: Hold down your finger on one app until they all wiggle. Now you can delete an unwanted or malfunctioning app. (To reinstall, open the App store, tap Search, type in the name of the app, and reinstall it).

Move: hold down one app until they all wiggle, then drag the app:
- onto another place on the same screen
- onto another screen (move the app across to the edge of the current screen and wait a second)
- on to the app bar at the bottom, or
- on top of another app to create a folder. Move the apps in a similar category (e.g. Reference) to one screen or folder so you can easily locate them.
Task 5: Sort your apps into screens or folders.
Task 6: Move your App store app onto your app bar at the bottom of your iPad or iPhone screen. Put your most frequently used apps there for convenience.

(4) Search
On your home screen, swipe across to the right to display the search screen to the left. You can now type the first few letters of an email subject or app to find them.

(5) Multitasking
When you open an app then open another, the first app is still running. In newer iPads and iOS, you can switch between them quickly rather than relaunch them. There are two methods:
(a) Swipe four fingers up or double click home button to reveal currently running apps. Swipe to the left to see more.
(b) Swipe left to right or right to left with four fingers placed sideways to display the next open app.

(6) Lock orientation. Temporarily prevent your iPad swinging around the display as you move it using the side switch.
You have to turn this on. Go to Settings > General > Use side switch to: Lock rotation.
Now you can lock rotation by sliding down the side switch on the top right side of your iPad.

(7) Improve the performance of your iPad or iPhone:
1. Turn off iPad or iPhone (hold the Sleep/Wake (on top edge) button and the Home button (bottom centre) at the same time then slide to power off). Now turn it on again with the Sleep/Wake button.
2. Turn off apps running in the background: Double click the Home button, then in the bottom row of apps only, hold down your finger on one app until they wiggle and hit the x to close them down. This doesn't delete them from your screen.
3. If the internet is slow, turn off Wifi or 3G and turn it on again (Settings > Airplane mode)

(8) Set your calendar when you travel to another timezone
Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Scroll down to Time Zone Support. Turn it on and set your city.

(9) Manage sounds and notifications. 
Notifications: go to Settings > Notifications to turn manage how frequently each app notifies you.
Sounds: go to Settings > General > Sounds to manage the sounds of emails, typing and reminders.
Task 7:  change the sound of emails arriving or (iPad only) turn off / on typing clicks.

(10) Maximise your iPad or iPhone battery life span

Here are some tips to maximise the time before your battery needs to be replaced:
- Once the battery reaches 100% charge, stop recharging it
- Don't leave it in the sun or car: heat degrades battery performance
- Once a month, charge your battery to 100% and then completely run it down
- Update your operating system (iOS) software Settings: General > Software Update

Maximise your battery life

The iPad battery charge lasts a long time - 10 hours or so depending on use, much longer than most devices. However here are tips to maximise your iPad battery life.

(11) Take a screen grab
Hold down the Sleep/Wake switch and Home button at the same time for 1 second - you will  hear a shutter sound and see a flash as the picture is taken. You will find it in your photos, and you can now email it to yourself or someone else.
Task 8: email a screen grab of your LinkedIn profile to me.

(12) Secret keyboard keys
On the keyboard, many keys have other symbols underneath. Hold them down to see them, then slide your finger across to select.
Try the e i and s keys. Also the ! and ? And under .com is .edu

(13) Create your own 'app' or shortcut
To create your own shortcut to a website, visit the website in Safari on your iPad, and tap the square icon with the arrow, then choose "Add to home screen".
Task 9: Create a shortcut to your most frequently visited website.

(14) PLN:
Finally, continuing our week 2 theme of building and sharing your learning with your PLN:
Task 10: Teach someone else your favourite tip from the above list.

Task 10b: Now, post a comment below about what you have found useful, or another tip.
Thanks everyone :-)


Later this week I will post a list of recommended apps to support your work.

And finally, for those who still like looking things up on manuals, you can find the Apple manuals here


  1. Tried the Dragon Dictate on my iPad 2 and was surprised how accurate it was. Will just need to make a mental effort to use this a bit so I get used to it as could be a great time saver for sending more detailed emails when on the road rather than a few sentences which is about the limit I can tolerate with the on-screen keyboard.

  2. Good tips here for the Apple users :) I'm on Android (smartphone, not tablet), and really like how easy it is to link up with all the various Google services. Got my calendars synced with my Google and Deakin accounts, which allows me to make appointments on-the-fly and to check for clashes between my Outlook and GCal. :)

  3. Dragon dictation on iPad 2 works pretty well on tests so far, dictation software has certainly come a long way!
    I turned all the typing sound off my iPad pretty quickly once I got it, it was driving me nuts!
    I'd completely forgotten the keyboard tips, so nice reminder thanks.

    In a Brady bunch way, hello up there Tim and Jacquie :-)

  4. This relates to last weeks LinkedIn but Susie suggested I post here as we are all reading this blog this week ...(and i wanted to test out blogging!)

    I just wondered what people think about connecting with students on LinkedIn. I don't mean HDR students who we often have a stronger relationship with but any other students you may teach. I dont accept students as friends on Facebook but that is more a personal rather than professional medium. I'm sure they are not interested in my kids and what they say.

    LinkedIn is a little different. Do people just accept all connection requests? Or do people assess each on a case by case basis?

    I love the Brady Bunch analogy Kris - Is Tim the new Greg Brady??

  5. Hi Marcia Margerison

    I accept all Linkedin requests apart from ones that look way, way too left field (software engineer from India? Don't think so) so have no issue with accepting student requests as they will be peers soon enough. Linkedin profiles are public (well guess you could nail down the privacy if you want which defeats the purpose of it) and is all info that is public domain and of a professional nature (nothing I would be ashamed to see on the front page of a newspaper to cite a media interview tip in giving quotes) so have no issue with connecting to most people. Facebook is a way different matter though - strictly friends and social.

    Q on iPad 2 and Dragon Dictate: Is there a way to link it in with an email reply so you can do it all on the one screen or do you need to swap to Dictate, 'voice write' your reply and then copy and paste it into the reply to email message?

    Written from my Mike Brady's den

  6. Hi All,
    Hmmm I added to this blog last night with no success I see - I shall blame my iPad 3G that perhaps timed out on me. Can you delete your dragon dication files? I can't see how - it did ok with an NZ accent, typed six when it should have but still some interesting words appearing that I don't recall typing. Loved the screen shot tip and had fun with my daughter finding hidden letters on the keyboard but she was a little disappointed there weren't any secret numbers!
    I don't understand Brady bunch - how do you all remember their names!

  7. Claire and Lynn - you definitely need faces if you want in on this Brady joke - you don't even have to be looking in a particular direction - any direction is fine :-)

    Great question about the email and Dragon Dictate, Tim; I can't find any tips or hacking methods to make that work on the help pages. (There is a page about 'Dragon for email', but it's specifically for Blackberry, and only avail on the US itunes site, so doubly #nohelp)

  8. Hi.

    Thanks for the instructions Susie, but I don't have an iPhone or iPad. I have had both of these, but swapped across to the Android because I think it is a better operating system. I now have an Android phone and tablet PC and all of what you suggest above can be done on the Android OS, but in a slightly different way.
    One main difference is that you can't use "Find My iPhone" on Android, but there are many other equivalents, "Wheres My Droid" is a popular one.


  9. Hi Susie,

    This week has been really useful. I am just going over this information again and getting a lot more out of my iPad.