To:  Dr.  Stuart  Selber  and  Mr.  Cole  Camplese     From:  Amanda  Boyle     Subject:  Evaluation  of  Using  the  iPad  in  Engl  202C   Date:  11/30/2010       PURPOSE   The  purpose  of  this  memo  is  to  present  my  analysis  and  evaluation  of  the  iPad  project  based  on  our  ability  to   use  the  iPad  to  complete  the  course  assignments,  to  accomplish  the  course  objectives,  and  to  achieve   educational  goals.  Based  on  these  criterions,  I  offer  a  recommendation  on  how  to  improve  the  iPad  project   for  future  classes.     SUMMARY   In  general,  using  the  iPad  to  learn  about  and  create  technical  documents  turned  out  to  be  an  effective,  but   challenging  process.  Some  aspects  of  the  process  were  successful  while  others  were  not.  I  think  that  making   some  changes  to  the  program  would  be  advantageous  for  the  next  group  of  students  who  use  them.     ANALYSIS  AND  EVALUATION   Completing  Course  Assignments:  Throughout  the  course,  we  had  to  complete  large  projects  as  well  as  daily   assignments.  In  completion  of  these  tasks,  the  iPad  worked  both  in  our  favor  for  some  aspects  as  well  as   against  us  for  others.  In  particular,  the  iPad  especially  impacted  our  work  on  the  E-­‐portfolio  &  Course  Blog   Project,  the  Instruction  Set  Project,  and  daily  reading  assignments.     E-­‐Portfolio  and  Course  Blog:  In  completing  this  project,  I  had  to  use  the  BlogPress,  a  social   networking  application  that  is  designed  to  integrate  your  blogging  experience  with  the  major  social   networking  sites,  and  Safari,  an  internet  browsing  application  that  is  designed  to  allow  the  user  to   access  internet  sites,  apps  on  the  iPad,  which  proved  to  be  both  beneficial  and  disadvantageous.   Using  the  BlogPress  app  only  ended  up  wasting  class  time  and  funding  because  it  is  unnecessary  and   faulty.  It  is  unnecessary  because  our  blogs  can  be  accessed  via  the  safari  app.  The  only  features  that   it  offers  in  addition  to  what  we  can  complete  through  Safari  is  the  ability  to  integrate  the  blog  post  to   other  social  networks.  However,  since  I  do  not  belong  to  most  social  networks  and  the  course  blog   does  not  overlap  with  my  social  life,  this  function  is  not  useful  to  me.  It  is  faulty  because  a  bug  in  the   system  leads  to  the  loss  of  unpublished  blog  posts,  which  ends  up  deleting  the  post's  text  that  you   are  working  on.  In  addition  to  these  problems,  setting  it  up  also  used  up  a  lot  of  valuable  class  time.     In  using  the  Safari  App  to  make  changes  on  our  e-­‐Portfolio,  I  found  the  iPad  to  be  extremely   -­‐portfolio   in  another  made  the  revision  process  very  easy.  Also  the  ability  to  zoom  in  on  webpages  is  a  large   advantage  that  the  iPad  has  over  web-­‐browsing  on  traditional  electronics,  like  laptops.  Overall,  I   found  using  Safari  on  the  iPad  an  easy  experience  that  made  modifying  the  e-­‐portfolio  a  painless   process.    

Instruction  Set:      Constructing  an  instruction  set  with  the  iPad  required  the  use  of  the  Pages  app,  in   which  we  had  to  design  a  document  with  a  specific  format  and  incorporate  the  use  of  appropriate   graphics.  One  of  the  advantages  of  Pages  is  the  option  to  use  one  of  the  multiple  templates  that  it   has,  which  give  you  an  outline  for  basic  format  and  also  suggests  effective  text  types  for  the  different   document  elements,  like  headers  and  body  text.  Another  advantage  of  Pages  is  that  it  is  very  easy  to   upload  and  modify  graphics,  which  was  an  important  part  of  this  and  other  assignment.  One  of  the   disadvantages  of  using  Pages  to  create  this  project  was  that  it  had  a  limited  number  of  text  options,   so  text  selections  would  be  lost  when  importing  drafts  that  were  made  on  a  computer.  This  was   disadvantageous  because  specific  selections  of  serif  versus  sans-­‐serif  fonts  could  be  lost,  making  the   headers  blend  into  the  rest  of  the  document.     Daily  Reading  Assignments:      When  carrying  out  the  various  reading  assignments  in  the  iPad  version   of  the  textbook,  Technical  Communication,  through  the  iPad  app,  "iBooks,"  I  noticed  its  strengths   and  weaknesses.  The  iPad  version  is  better  than  a  physical  copy  of  the  textbook  because  it  allows  for   easy  dictionary  searches,  enlarging  the  text  and  pictures  to  ease  reading,  and  quick  word  searches.   All  of  these  features  not  only  make  the  reading  process  easier,  but  they  also  make  it  quicker.   Conversely,  the  iBook  version  also  has  some  qualities  that  make  it  harder  to  use,  such  as  accidental   scrolling  to  other  pages,  the  mismatched  page  numbers,  and  the  inability  to  continue  my  regular   note-­‐taking  habits.  Overall,  though,  the  pros  greatly  outweigh  the  cons  and  I  think  that  this   lightweight  textbook  option  is  mostly  beneficial.     Accomplishing  Course  Objectives:  The  syllabus  states  many  objectives  that  should  be  fulfilled  by  the  course.   The  iPad  affected  the  way  we  learned  each  of  these,  but  played  especially  important  roles  in  fulfilling  select   objectives.     Invent  the  contents  of  their  communications  through  research  and  reflection:    This  objective  was   expressly  affected  by  the  Pages  and  Safari  apps.  When  creating  the  content  of  the  assignments,   within  the  Pages  app,  I  found  that  the  external  keyboard  was  a  necessity.  Using  the  keyboard  not   only  freed  up  more  of  the  screen  but  it  also  led  to  a  faster  typing  process  because  I  made  fewer   typographical  errors.  The  keyboard  is  lightweight  and  thus  easy  to  carry  around.  Overall,  the   keyboard  is  a  good  investment.         The  Safari  app  is  easy  to  use  to  navigate  through  research  sites  because  it  has  a  user-­‐friendly   design  and  because  it  allows  the  user  to  switch  between  internet  sites  effortlessly.    The  Safari  app   top  right  of  the  screen,  allowing  for  convenient  search  processes.     Also,  when  the  user  clicks  on  links  from  one  webpage,  Safari  pulls  the  new  page  up  in  a  new  window,   allowing  for  a  smooth  research  process.    The  Safari  app  proved  to  be  integral  in  the  research  process   during  this  class.     Reveal  the  organization  of  their  communications  by  using  forecasting  and  transitional  statements,   headings,  and  effective  page/document  design:      In  creating  drafts  with  pages,  it  is  important  to  note   the  formatting  issues  that  arose  when  we  had  to  create  projects  from  scratch.  When  creating  drafts,   any  formatting  made  in  Pages  on  the  iPad  will  not  transfer  over  to  Microsoft  Word.  Instead,  the   document  will  present  with  inconsistent  tabs  and  many  layout  issues.     Design  and  use  tables,  graphs,  and  technical  illustrations:    Pages  not  only  makes  modification  and   insertion  of  graphics  into  the  document  easy,  it  also  has  easy-­‐to-­‐use  functions  to  create  tables  and  

charts,  which  are  both  attention-­‐getting  (because  of  their  colors)  and  effectively  convey  information.   However,  the  iPad  does  not  have  any  apps  that  allow  for  the  creation  of  technical  illustrations,  like   the  paint  application  on  a  computer.     Collaborate  effectively  with  their  peers  in  a  community  of  writers  who  provide  feedback  on  each   others'  work  and  occasionally  write  together:    The  major  iPad  tool  that  I  used  to  peer-­‐review  was  the   iAnnotate  app,  an  iPad  application  that  is  designed  to  allow  for  reading  and  commenting  on  PDF.     iAnnotate  was  a  great  resource  for  peer-­‐review  because  the  note,  highlight,  and  cross-­‐out  functions   were  very  easy  to  use,  and  annotated  PDFs  were  simple  to  export  back  to  the  author  by  an  email   function  that  is  provided  on  the  top  toolbar.  iAnnotate  eased  the  peer-­‐review  process  as  a  whole   because  it  allowed  for  all  of  the  peer-­‐review  options  of  a  traditional  setting,  without  the  trouble  of   exchanging  physical  papers.     Employ  computer  technology  effectively  in  the  solution  of  communication  problems:    The  entire  iPad   project  required  the  use  of  computer  technology  to  create,  revise,  and  share  technical   communication  documents.  In  addition  to  the  ones  I  have  already  listed,  the  SugarSync  app  also   helped  to  accomplish  this  objective.  SugarSync,  a  productivity  application  that  works  to  collect  and   store  data  files  on  a  website  to  allow  universal  access  to  your  documents,  proved  to  be  quite  useful.   Complete  with  the  ability  to  upload  documents  via  email,  this  app  was  very  useful  in  consolidating  all   of  the   -­‐boxes  into  one  website.     Achieving  Educational  Goals:  Using  the  iPad  developed  both  writing  skills  strategies  and  tactics  that  I  will   need  in  order  to  write  successfully  in  my  future  job  in  the  medical  field,  as  either  a  doctor  or  a  research   scientist.     Strategies:    This  course  has  taught  me  the  basics  in  how  to  plan  an  effective  technical  document.  In   order  to  be  successful  in  a  job  within  the  medical  field,  I  will  need  to  complete  audience  analysis,   purpose  analysis,  and  research  for  each  document  that  I  create.  The  iPad  helped  to  develop  the  skills   need  to  do  this  in  unique  ways.  By  using  the  iPad  to  complete  analysis  and  research  of  the   companies,  I  had  to  adapt  my  research  habits  to  a  new  setting.  Adaptability  is  an  essential  asset  that   every  employee  needs,  especially  in  a  science  field,  because  technology  is  constantly  changing.     Tactics:    This  course  has  also  taught  me  different  methods  of  how  to  create  an  effective  technical   document.  Some  important  aspects  of  this  is  choosing  the  appropriate  type  of  correspondence,   drafting  the  document,  and  formatting  the  document.  The  iPad  affected  this  experience  as  well   because  I  had  to  adapt  my  drafting  and  formatting  habits  as  well,  not  only  for  each  type  of  document   but  also  for  creating  these  different  types  of  documents  using  new  technology.     CONCLUSIONS  AND  RECOMMENDATIONS   In  conclusion,  in  order  to  maximize  the  funds  for  the  iPad,  I  would  recommend  the  following  for  future   classes  who  use  it:   What  to  keep:    The  following  items  should  not  be  eliminated  because  they  were  essential  for  completing   course  assignments  and  objectives  and  achieving  educational  goals.      

iBooks:    Due  to  its  range  of  abilities  and  ease  of  use,  iBooks  is  a  good  use  of  course  funds.      This  app   not  only  allowed  easy  access  to  the  textbook,  it  also  offered  various  functions  that  are  not  offered  by   tradition  textbooks.         Keyboard:    This  was  also  a  good  use  of  funds  because  it  increased  productivity  and  it  made  drafting,   revision,  and  editing  processes  easier  while  using  the  iPad.       SugarSync:    This  app  was  well  worth  the  money  because  it  was  file-­‐sharing  between  iPads  was  a   necessity  in  order  to  keep  the  course  paperless.    SugarSync  allowed  for  students  to  turn  in   completed  assignments  and  to  download  course  papers  with  ease.    This  app  was  essential  for  this   course  because  of  the  use  of  iPads.       What  to  modify:    If  possible,  the  creators  of  the  Pages  app  should  be  contacted  to  wexpand  the  font  base  to   throughout  the  course  and  ease  the  transfer  of  papers  from  desktop  computers  to  the  iPad.   What  to  get  rid  of:    The  funds  used  to  purchase  the  BlogPress  app  should  be  saved  for  a  different  purpose.     This  app  was  unnecessary  and,  at  times,  even  detrimental  to  accomplishing  the  course  assignments.      

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