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Evernote Releases New iPad 2 App

Evernote has released a new app made especially for the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover. The app, now available on iTunes, is called Evernote Peek and is a memorization tool similar in functionality to digital flashcards. It’s the first app to be made for and operated by the Smart Cover.

Once the app has been installed on the iPad, the user can sync it up to their Evernote or StudyBlue account. Each flashcard set appears on the app in its own notebook. The user chooses a notebook and closes the Smart Cover to begin the exercise.

The app takes advantage of the 3 different folds in the iPad’s Smart Cover. When the user “peeks” by flipping up the cover to the first fold, the iPad reveals the first question or clue of the set. To reveal the answer, the user flips the cover up to the second fold. To move on to the next question, the user simply closes the cover completely, then starts the process again.

This is indeed an interesting use of one of the new features of the iPad 2. It will be exciting to see what other apps the Smart Cover may influence!

Want to see the app in action? Check out the video below:

Lecture Capturing in the Courtroom

Campus Technology reported yesterday that the Villanova University School of Law has come up with a very interesting way to use lecture capturing. The school teamed up with Control Concepts and Creston to equip their practice courtrooms with lecture capturing software and several technology tools for use during students’ mock trials. To be exact: three video cameras, ceiling and bench microphones, two projection screens to show “evidence”, and an audio system that both levels out volume and assists people who are hard of hearing.

A recorded mock trial in action at Villanova, photo by Campus Technology

The previous set up for mock trial recording was one camera that recorded the student straight-on. After the mock trial, the professor would have to make DVD copies for each student.

However, the new set up allows whatever is taped to be recorded straight to a DVD. While recording, the professor operating has two views on a touch screen computer: On one side is what the camera is actually recording, and on the other is a preview of any of the other cameras’ views. This way, the professor can see what’s coming up before s/he records it. The additional cameras also allow several views of the student. This is especially important, as law students in particular work very hard on small actions in the courtroom–how they move around, their hand gestures, facial expressions, etc. The multiple views make it easy for them to see what they did well and what they need to work on.

Villanova’s system is a great example of thinking outside of the box with classroom technology. It’s important to remember that most technologies have multiple uses. As you can clearly see here, lecture capturing isn’t always just for capturing lectures.

Infographic: Open Source Textbooks

Last week, Mashable published an article containing an infographic by onlineschools.org examining open source textbooks. The infographic highlights the advantages of colleges and universities switching to open source textbooks, rough cost estimates as well as what is currently standing in the way of a switch. The graphic below links to the entire infographic and article from Mashable:

Using the iPad 2 in Education

The iPad 2 has been released and has many new and upgraded features- most notably two built-in cameras. But is the iPad 2 really that different from the first generation iPad? How can we utilize these features in a way that can be beneficial to education? Here at Learning Technologies, we’ve come up with a few new things you can do in the classroom unique to the iPad 2:

Photo courtesy of Blake Patterson

Screen mirroring: With the first generation iPad, screen mirroring (making your iPad simultaneously viewable on a larger screen, such as a projector or television) was technically do-able, but often tricky and unreliable. Now, the iPad 2 fully supports screen mirroring, which is ideal for presentations, movies or sharing interactive apps with the classroom. To do this, however, you must buy the AV adapter, available through Apple. The current cost is $40 USD, not including tax.

Portable video production: With the addition of a camera to the device, as well as the release of iMovie for the iPad 2, the device has become a tiny video production studio! On it, you can shoot, edit and upload your video project. Although the quality may not be as great as (although still impressive) what you’d get on a professional camera, many accessories are available to enhance the production value.

Cutting out the Evernote middleman: Evernote is one of the most popular note taking tools- and for good reason! Evernote allows you to create notes using text, photos and audio. Additionally, the search feature enables text recognition of the photos you upload. When using the Evernote app on an iPad 2, you can now snap a photo on the device, which automatically inserts it into your note. With the first generation iPad, you could only add photos that were on the iPad already. An ideal use for this would be snapping shots of the white board before information is erased or taking a photo of a handout, rather than taking the paper copy.

Front-facing camera: Not only does the iPad 2 have a rear-facing camera, but a front-facing one as well. Using apps like Skype and FaceTime (a built-in app on the iPad 2), the front-facing camera can be used to video conference, record lectures, or save your guest speaker a trip.

North Carolina High School Students Attend Their First College Classes on Second Life

Early college programs have become increasingly popular for students who wish to earn college credit while still enrolled in high school. Traditionally, the students will attend some or all of their classes by traveling to the college campus they are taking courses from. However, Eastern Carolina University has put a new spin on this concept…

Students who are accepted to the ECU Early College Program attend classes through the virtual world of Second Life. In it, students create avatars of themselves and use them to virtually attend ECU classes. Second Life allows students and professors to freely interact with each other, better imitating the classroom experience.

Getting ahead credit-wise and getting a general feel for the college experience are some of the benefits associated with early college programs. However, many students feel as though they are abandoning the high school experience in exchange. With the use of Second Life, students are able to have both experiences.

Although ECU’s program is only offered to high school students in Pitt County, NC, the university hopes to expand it in the future.

For more information, click here.