iPad as a Document Camera

ipad-documentcamsYou’ve probably noticed that the 5 megapixel camera on the back of your iPad takes some pretty good pictures and video.  You’ve also probably noticed that sometimes it’s tough to hold the iPad at the right angle and keep it still when using the camera.

The music department has taken this problem a step further, and in the process, has found another innovative use for the iPads.   Assistant Professor of Music Theory, Dr. Peter Purin, is considering using one of the new iPad gadgets seen in the pics above to replace some of the aging and broken document cameras in the music classrooms.  Stand-alone document cameras can cost $1,000 and more and are often not easily portable.

These devices, such as the two referenced below, are inexpensive and have multiple uses that take advantage of the portability and the high quality imaging available in today’s mobile devices. The image from the iPad attached to the document camera can be sent to the projector via VGA adapter cable, or via AirPlay through the Apple TV device that is installed in many classrooms.  They can typically be used with any mobile device that has a camera, not just an iPad, as long as you have a method to send the video to the projector.

Dr. Hinson Uses iPad Creatively in Classroom

Hinson pedal

Hinson uses Airturn pedal

A fellow OBU professor, Dr. Lee Hinson, has found new and creative ways to use his iPad in the classroom.

One unique piece of software Hinson is using is the Airturn BT105. This bluetooth pedal which, when combined with a digital sheet music program like forscore, enables him to display his music on his iPad and with his foot pedal flip the pages; no hands required. Hinson uses this in his “Leading Worship with Guitar” class. By incorporating this into his class, Hinson enhances the student’s learning experience by being able to teach more efficiently and by introducing them to technology that can improve their performance.

Hinson also uses his iPad to record his students so they can review their performances, and as a hymnal which can be enlarged for vision-impaired students. In the future he intends to use a program called SloPro to play back recordings in slow motion to allow his students to critique performances more precisely. Finally, in one of his fine arts classes, he uses a  free app which allows him to view all the paintings hung in the Louvre.

Hinson iPad uses

Some ways Hinson uses his iPad

It is so encouraging to see our faculty make efforts to use their iPads effectively in their field of expertise. This age of advanced technology offers many ways to do things faster, more efficiently, and effectively than ever before. The OIT would like to thank our awesome professors who recognize this and utilize it to enhance their student’s learning environment.

-Victoria Smith, Guest Editor

First Day of Class Activities that Create a Climate for Learning

First Day of School for Josh and Molly Young -- circa 2001

First Day of School for Josh and Molly Young — circa 2001

Today I am re-tweeting another timely, practical, and succinct Faculty Focus article by Maryellen Weimer.  Below are a few of the tips shared in the article.  Click on the link above if any of these pique your interest.  Also, please share any of your favorite “first day” activities in the REPLY section below on the blog page.

  • Syllabus Speed Dating
  • Best and Worst Classes
  • First Day Graffiti
  • Irritating Behaviors: Theirs and Ours

Happy teaching and learning for the new semester!

Seminar Recording

Sorry we missed you if you could not make it to our end-of-year faculty dinner/seminar.  I will try to schedule it earlier in the Spring semester next year.  We had great food, useful door prizes, and we honored two of our best faculty “geeks” who showed exemplary use of educational technology in the past year.  Congratulations Amy and Krista!

  • Green Award: Amy Riggins
  • Gold Award: Krista Hands

Below is the audio-only version of George Saltsman’s lecture.  Sorry, I was unable to get his PowerPoint slides.


Wikipedia: To cite or not to cite?

Wikipedia LogoDo you allow Wikipedia as a source in your courses?

I am going to take the “Fox News” approach…I will report and you will decide!  Below are links to two well-reasoned opinions from an academic perspective.  After reading these articles, what do you think about “crowd-sourced” knowledge?  Do you allow Wikipedia citations in your student’s papers?  Why or why not?  Please discuss in the blog’s comments section.

You never know who is behind those Wikipedia edits!

You never know who is behind those Wikipedia edits!

Test Prep: Getting Your Students to Examine Their Approach

image from Flickr user pennstatelive

Test Prep: Getting Your Students to Examine Their Approach

‘Tis the season for testing!  It is also a good opportunity to challenge our students to modify their methods if they are not getting the results they want.  I am hoping that you can glean something helpful from the timely article referenced above from Faculty Focus.  However, my main objective is to make sure you are aware of this great resource.  The Faculty Focus eNewsletter provides relevant, yet brief and frequent articles.  Their approach is rooted in good pedagogy and a desire to share, “effective teaching strategies for the college classroom.”  It is produced by peers; university faculty that are practicing classroom teachers and who are passionate about evidence-based, teaching and learning strategies.

I have taken advice from their newsletter articles more than once to use in my own courses.  Make Faculty Focus one of the home tabs on your browser; it is one of mine!

Mars Rover: Relevancy and Current Events

Current events related to your subject matter can be a powerful source to make your courses engaging and relevant to your learners. Here is a great example at NASA’s JPL website that gives a visual demonstration of how the new Mar’s rover landed on the surface of our second nearest planetary neighbor this morning. No more giant airbags are necessary like the ones used with previous lander missions. This one touches down on the planet similar to my favorite Atari game of the 1970’s, “Lunar Lander“!

It is easy to add links such as this one to your Moodle course:

  1. In your Moodle course content area click on “Add a resource”
  2. Choose URL as in the screen shot below.