iPad, Mobile, Productivity, TLT

App recommendation: Clear -Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

At last week’s TLT Faculty Open House we asked those that attended to recommend a favorite app and Clear was a clear favorite!

What is Clear?  An easy to use to-do list and reminders app.

Price: $4.99

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Clear for Mac which is available separately on the Mac App Store

More Information: 

To install and to learn about the app from the developer visit:


One review of Clear as well as  a comparison to other to-do apps:  http://thesweetsetup.com/apps/best-simple-to-do-list-app-ios-mac/

Collaboration, Conferencing, discussion, Mobile, social networking, TLT, Web 2.0

App of the week: Blab

What is Blab?

From Blab’s site “a platform for publicly broadcasting live video conversations or talk shows.” Blab allows for live video conversations. In addition to a host you can have 3 other people talking live at once on a split screen.  All Blabs are public so an unlimited number of people could also just watch.

Use it for debates, discussions, or a podcast which you as the host have the option to record.  The recording can then be accessed via a url, but as host you will also be emailed a copy ( an MP3 & MP4). A Recording  or “Replays”cannot be deleted, but  as the host you can make your “Replay” public or hidden.

There is also a screen share and co-host option .

If you did not want to host a Blab then watch other live video conversations on topics or specific content that you are interested in.  Search by a keyword then choose a Blab that interest you by clicking the “Watch” button.

Things to be aware of:

You need a Twitter account in order to log in

Although you can choose which callers to let into your Blab and they are the ones then that can ask questions and you can screen share with, “Blabs” are always public.  I suggest you review the Privacy policy before you host a Blab: http://cdn.blab.im/blab-assets/privacy-policy.pdf

Price: Free
App – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blab-live-video-conversations/id1023962293?mt=8

Desktop – https://blab.im/

Platform: Desktop ( using Chrome browser) or iPhone. On Android devices the Chrome browser works

More Information: https://blab.im/

Getting started with Blab at https://medium.com/blab-daily-digest/how-do-i-start-my-first-blab-5b862c5741e8#.g0qf431yb  and https://medium.com/blab-daily-digest/getting-started-on-blab-9606ec9566ac#.svi141ong

Blab tutorial at http://www.marc-levy.com/blab-im-tutorial/

Blab Daily Digest at https://medium.com/blab-daily-digest

Checkout Equipment, iPad, Mobile, TLT

REVIEW: Apple’s iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil

iPad Pro with keyboard and PencilThe iPad Pro is Apple’s newest edition to the iPad family.  It has an expansive 12.9 inch Retina display and is much faster than any of the other iPads on the market (twice as fast as the iPad 2).  TLT recently purchased one and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

My first impression is that it’s big, really big.  It’s as wide as the iPad mini is tall.  The display is beautiful, crisp and clear.  It’s also faster and is great for streaming video.

What I loved…

Artist drawing on the ProI really did like the larger screen for some things, such as Excel, and for the split screen function.  I can use the split screen on my iPad mini but the screen is so small it’s not very effective.   The iPad Pro screen is actually larger than my MacBook Air screen so the real estate you get is amazing.

Apple PencilThe Apple Pencil was my favorite part of the iPad Pro.  I’m sad that it will not interact with any other iOS device because I’m in love with it.  The Pencil is far superior to any other stylus I’ve tried, and believe me, I’ve tried a lot.  Everything from the weight, to the feel, to the way it writes if far superior.  It’s pressure sensitive so, just like a real pen, pressing harder yields a darker, thinker line.  Depending upon the app you are using it also allows for shading.  In ArtRage, turn the Pencil on it’s side to shade like you would with an analog pencil (you know, the No. 2 kind).  In addition to ArtRage I used it extensively in Notability.  The control in writing produced handwritten notes that were comparable to a regular pen and paper.

ipad-pro-will-also-be-launched-on-wednesday-along-with-new-iphonesiMovie was my second favorite thing about the Pro.  It looks go good and was so easy to manipulate on the bigger screen.  The audio, via the two speakers, sounds really good and clear as well.  Over the years I have become quite adept at using iMovie on my phone so a small screen is not a deal breaker for me, but this was just beautiful and so easy to see.


The battery life is AMAZING!!  I’ve had it, and used it for several weeks and have only charged it once. It’s considerably better than the battery life of any of my other Apple products (iPads, Phones, Laptops).

What I didn’t love as much…

At the end of the day, it’s still an iPad which means that it won’t do all the things a laptop will do.  While there are a few programs (AutoCad 360) that take advantage of the new platform most of them just benefit from the larger screen.  Other than using the Pencil it’s just a bigger version of my iPad Mini.  For most things I like the mini better because of portability.  I’m not an artist or an engineer so I’m not really in need of these programs or the super large screen.  The Pro is hard to use without a desk or a table.  It’s not easy to use on the bus and not easy to cary around with me.

Would I recommend the iPad Pro?

Yes, but only to some people.

  • If you are an artist the YES YES YES.  The larger screen combined with the Pencil is hard to beat.
  • If you are an engineer then MAYBE.  Some of the apps work well on the Pro but are still not as powerful as on a laptop so you won’t be able to access all of the features you may need.
  • If you have some motor control or vision issues YES.  The larger screen helps with vision and the ability to hit the buttons you are trying to hit on the screen.
  • Everyone else who likes their iPad but thinks the Pro would be super awesome, NO.

It doesn’t do much that a regular iPad won’t do but costs a lot more.    Here’s how pricing shakes out after a quick internet search:

  • iPad Pro (base model) with Pencil and Keyboard – $799 + $99 + $169 = $1,067
  • iMac Air (base model) – $899
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (base model with keyboard and stylus) – $899 + $129 = $1,028

With both the Air and the Surface you are getting a fully functioning computer processor that can run any application you need.

In Conclusion…

I’m an Apple junkie so I wanted to love the iPad Pro.   I really did.  And I do, but only if you have unlimited funds, which I don’t.  As you can see, we couldn’t even afford the keyboard : ).  However, don’t take my word for it.  Soon you can try it out for yourself.  Soon, TLT will be making the iPad Pro and Pencil available for regular checkout.  If you are interested in trying it for yourself just contact your Instructional Technologist and we’ll let you know when it will be available.




Mobile, Portfolio

App of the Week: SeeSaw – Reflective Journals and ePortfolios

Special thanks to Gustavo Urdaneta, a professor in the Spanish Department, for recommending this app.

SeeSaw is an easy to use, online journaling and portfolio application.  The many features allows faculty and students to use the app in many different ways.  Professor Urdaneta is using it to allow his students more language practice time and to deliver practice material.  At the end of the term, both he and his students can see their progress through the semester.

screenshot of seesaw appSeeSaw’s features:

ePORTFOLIO – Students can “show what they know” using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. You can also import directly from most popular apps.

JOURNALS ARE ORGANIZED AND ACCESSIBLE – When students add to their Seesaw journal, content is uploaded, organized by student, and immediately accessible to teachers from any device.  Browse work from the entire class, or for a single student. Optionally, use folders to organize work by subject area or project.
ENCOURAGE DEEPER LEARNING AND REFLECTION – Seesaw helps capture the learning process, not just the end result.  Students can use Seesaw’s built-in audio recording, drawing and caption tools to reflect on what they’ve learned or explain how they got their answer.
STUDENT BLOGGING HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER – Seesaw Blogs are a simple way to share a selection of work from students’ Seesaw portfolios on a public class blog, giving students a broader, global audience for their learning.

Price: Free

PlatformiOS DevicesAndroid DevicesChromebooks, Any Computer with Chrome

More Information: http://web.seesaw.me/

airsketch icon
instructional technology, iPad, Mobile, Presentation

App of the Week: AirSketch

Turn your iPad into a wireless whiteboard! Annotate PDF documents and images live.  You can project PDF documents such as exported PowerPoints, to a computer on the same local network then annotate them in real time. Airsketch works like a mirror image of your iPad (viewed inside of the Airsketch App) that is projected by another computer through a shared website.

In other words, it does not connect your iPad wirelessly through the projector — it allows you to display your Airsketch to a website, which is projected by another computer.

For example, when you open Airsketch on the iPad, there is a small wireless icon in the bottom left. When you select that icon, it gives you the IP address that your display can be seen. When you open Firefox (or another web browser) on a classroom computer and put that address in the URL, you will see the same screen as on the iPad.

From there, you can display PDFs (but not PPTs unless they are converted to PDFs) via Dropbox; select the Send-To icon in Dropbox located in the upper right. You can also show images on your iPad’s camera roll.

Price: Free, $9.99 for all the features

Platform: iPad only

More Information: http://www.qrayon.com/home/airsketch/

syncpad on three devices
Collaboration, Distance Ed, instructional technology, iPad, Mobile, Presentation, Share

App of the Week: SyncPad

UPDATE: 3/1/16 – My apologies.  I wrote this post in advance and had it auto post.  It turns out between when I wrote it and when it posted, SyncPad is no longer available.  I attempted to contact them via their website but the contact form no longer works. — Mendi


SyncPad is the ultimate whiteboard for remote and local collaboration. Would you like to share your ideas with a coworker but you are out of town? Don’t worry, just create a room with your SyncPad and share the name of the room with your co-worker, who can enter in his SyncPad or simply use any browser, visiting http://mysyncpad.com/roomname.


  • Remote Tutoring
  • Collaboration
  • Shared Whiteboard

Price: Free, $4.99/mo Pro.
Platform:  iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
More info: https://syncpadapp.com

streamtome icon
Conferencing, Distance Ed, iPad, Mobile, Presentation, Share, TLT

App of the Week: StreamToMe

Use StreamToMe on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad to play *video*, *music* and *photo* files streamed over WiFi or 3G from your Mac or Windows PC. No prior conversion or syncing required (huge number of formats supported without conversion) just tap the file and it plays. Using TV out cables (iPhone4 or newer) or an Apple TV (with iPhone3Gs or newer), StreamToMe can play through your TV, turning your iPhone/iPod/iPad plus your Mac/PC into a home media center for all your files.

Price: $2.99

Platform: iPad and iPhone

More infohttp://itunes.apple.com/us/app/streamtome/id325327899?mt=8

Dragon icon
Accessibility, iPad, Mobile, Productivity

App of the Week: Create Email and Notes With Your Voice Using Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.

With Dragon Dictation you can also dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications (Facebook and Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself….all using your voice. So when you’re on-the-go, stop typing and start speaking – from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between.

Dragon Dictation supports a multitude of global languages. For a full list of currently supported languages visit www.dragonmobileapps.com.

Price: Free

Platform: iPad and iPhone

More infohttp://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragon-dictation/id341446764?mt=8

Aurasma icon
iPad, Mobile

App of the Week: Aurasma – Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is a view of a “physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”*  Aurasma is an app that allows you create and view augmented reality experiences.  With this app you can take an image of an actual item in your environment (called a trigger image) and to it add an image or video (an overlay).  When the user points the mobile camera at the actual item the overlay displays.


  • Use a book cover to trigger a video of the literary analysis of the book.
  • Use a scientific poster image to trigger a video of the experiment or an explanation of the video.
  • Use a picture of a painting to trigger the artist’s explanation of the painting.
  • Use a picture of a building in town to trigger a video of the history of the video or a historical image of the building.


  • iOS (iPad/iPhone) — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aurasma/id432526396?mt=8
  • Android — https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aurasma.aurasma&hl=en

There is also a web creation application located at https://studio.aurasma.com/login