What an iPad is, and what an iPad is not!

iPads are becoming more and more popular at Fort Hays State University. To keep up with this trend, the One Stop Desk has iPads available to checkout for your use.

The Learning Commons is developing a weekly event called Appy Hour that will give us time to informally discuss apps and iPads in the front lobby of Forsyth Library. We’ll be sending out an email with the dates very soon.

One of the most important things to understand regarding iPads defines what they are, and what they are not.  For instance, an iPad is great at consuming information and curating information all in one place, such as eBooks. Pdfs, and news sources. iPads rule when it comes to surfing the web and viewing content from interactive apps.

But an iPad is not a storage device. Nothing that you have on an iPad actually resides on the device in a way that can be accessed. Everything on an iPad resides in the apps themselves. While pictures, video, and music take up a lot of space on your iPad, they cannot be accessed by using the iPad as a flash drive storage device.

Word documents reside in ‘the cloud’ via iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Pages or one of the other word processing apps. This is an important concept to grasp as you use your iPad. You’ll need to set up various cloud-based systems to hold you documents. Personally I use Dropbox and Google Drive so that I can sync the same documents between my laptops, iPads, and even my smartphone.

An age-old question continues to plague the iPad. Can an iPad be your only device while at Fort Hays State University?  The technology is there; the question becomes how comfortable you are typing on the keyboard within the iPad. We have a Bluetooth keyboard available for you to try out that also can be a very workable solution for typing papers. Many varieties of Bluetooth keyboards are available for the iPad.  So, if you are considering only using an iPad you’ll need to make sure you have adequate cloud-based storage, a comfortable typing solution, and the apps necessary to allow you to complete your coursework. For some departments this is very easy to do. For departments that require more specialized software applications, this may not be possible at this time.

One solution might be to have a desktop or older laptop in your dorm room for typing papers and using Photoshop and other processor intensive programs. And have an iPad to use for note taking, reading, accessing Blackboard and other course materials anytime anywhere.

Have questions about iPads? Stop by and see us in room 112 of Forsyth Library.


photo credit: “http://www.flickr.com/photos/superamit/4569922802/” @superamit via http://photopin.comhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”Image

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