iPhone/iPad Workshop Notes

Printer-friendly version


Stanford iPad/Phone Purchasing and Service Information

Links for Getting started with an iPad in the Medical School

Apple iPad Learning Lab


Apps Demonstrated:
Keynote, Keynote Remote, Perfect Browser, AirDisplay

With Keynote for the iPad and a VGA adapter, you can present your presentations just as you would from your laptop.  But if you want to still bring your laptop and plug it in as usual, with Keynote remote you can just use your iPad or iPhone to remotely control the laptop presentation.  Better than an ordinary clicker remote, you will be able to see your slides (and the next one if you wish) in the palm of your hand.   Not just Keynote, but many other apps will recognize a smart panel and display an iPad on a classroom’s screen.  So long as the room has solid wireless, you just plug your iPad in to a smart panel with a VGA adapter you can purchase at the Stanford Bookstore and display content to a screen.  Last year I recommended Perfect Browser and Goodreader, but the iPad’s natice Safari, iAnnotate and many other apps will also display online resources like video and images, maps and data, or whatever else you have queued up in your browser’s bookmarks.  And if you prefer to display resources on your laptop-- including PowerPoint slides, word documents, literally ANYTHING you can view on the laptop -- with AirDisplay you simply remote control the laptop from your iPad.  This frees you to move around the room, but allows you to remotely view your laptop screen and control it with the touch sensitive screen of the iPad while you teach.


Apps Demonstrated
iAnnotate, My Docs-to-go, Goodreader, Dropbox, Papers and Evernote

1. Getting a pdf or other doc from my computer onto my iPad.

iAnnotate was chosen by the Medical School for editing PDFs, and includes a presentation mode, but it is less reliable currently than Goodreader,  another PDFs reader, which can display through the VGA connector. MOST apps read PDFs as well, including the iPad native iBook, DocstoGo, Goodreader, Papers, etc.  Probably, the real challenge for teaching and also for your students is not viewing and annotating docs on the iPad, but managing them and/or moving them from a laptop or other computer to your iPad.  There is no native file system on an iPad or iPhone, but some document apps--like Goodreader and iAnnotate--include webdownload services, which allow you to get your docs directly from the web, or through Dropbox.   In fact the Dropbox app has been so improved over the past year, that it can directly read many of the formats ( PDFs PPT, Microsoft xsl and Word docs, etc.) so by simply saving your docs in the Dropbox on your computer you can know they will be available later on your iPad.  There can be a time lag while the docs are synced, so don’t do this right before class, unless the file size is small (<10MB)  Also, with Lion now Air Sharing allows an iPhone or iPad to share “my Documents” directly over the local network from your computer, with an easy drag and drop interface.  Airshare only works on macs, but the transfer is faster than Dropbox (which works on both PCs and Macs).

2. Academic Research (Bookmarklet proxy for Stanford license and Papers)

In order to access licensed journals you can use this Bookmarklet (scroll down to the one for the iPhone). This will ask you to login with your SUNet ID to the proxy server, journals need to check in order to invoke the Stanford license when researching on your iPad.

Papers (available for desktop/laptop and ipad/iphone) was designed for conducting academic research, collect bibliographic information automatically from most scholarly journals online, and import pdfs into a local library for off-line reading.  The feature I use most is to look for more recent papers from an author or journal already included in one’s personal library, and it comes with 8 major search engines pre-installed: ACM. ADS. arXiv, Google Scholar, IEEE Xplore, JSTOR, PubMed, and Web of Science.  Because there is also a native app of Papers for your regular computer, any research you do with your mobile or with your laptop can be synchronized as well--something crucial for ongoing research projects.

3. Location tagged Photos, Memos, and Notes

Evernote permits notetaking, audio-memos and photogaphs, tagged with location specific data and timestamps--and what is really wonderful, permits these to be synced with ANY device, phone, ipad, desktop/laptop without using iTunes to synch your device.  You can’t edit the location specific data--for example, if you wanted to fix a note that picked where you were writing instead of where you were writing about!--until you have the note synched to your desktop, but for collaboration, Evernote offers an unusually robust tool for sharing research notes in the field.  There are others, but I have not tired them yet!



  1. GIS
    The potential for gathering data, already geotagged with time and location data, is enormous.  In addition to the mode of triangulation used through Wifi and 3G cell towers, the iPad and iPhone 3GS and 4 have the ability to use GPS even when beyond any wireless connectivity--and so far the results have been surprisingly accurate.  GIS Roam, ArcGIS, iCMTGIS from Corvalis, and WolfGIS allow not only the display but the input of spatial data in the field.
  2. Surveys
    Probably the most elementary use of a mobile for conducting research is simply for surveys.  A researcher can use the iPad to collect data structured in a variety of ways--for example, with Filemaker Pro forms OR any one of the many services, like  Survey Monkey, which are optimized already for iPhone, iPod and iPhone.  If you want to do this off-line (as you will in Africa, or many other field sites without reliable 3G) SurveyPocket allows data collection to be synchronized later with QuestionPro and Survey Analytics mobile templates.
  3. Medical Apps
    In Germany, one major case study of how mobile devices in a robust wireless network could improve the workflow in a hospital was completed in 2009.  This week Carestream’s VUE Motion won FDA approval for its mobile app for viewing patient records (xray, mri, etc.). The folks at SCANADU promise to realize the trekkie dream of a tricorder (non-invasive, non-sampling, non-contact, non-cooperative!) for collecting patient data to help diagnostic medicine.  Azumio makes any mobile into a potable stress detector.  Since last year literally hundreds of anatomies and other references for doctors and students have been added to the App Store--though few with as many layers of information as Monster Anatomy, which just added upper limb (last spring it released the lower limb) radiology for sutdents of mechanics, obstetrics, sports medicine, etc.


Inkling and Kno are two companies struggling to reinvent textbooks for mobiel devices.  But, even though they provide rich media, multitouch support, and smaller modules that cut the cost of purchasing an entire textbook, the contents are not as good as they are still from the traditional publishers.   On the other hand, Coursesmart, which has scanned existing textbooks for the mobile platform, doesn’t even provide multitasking support so a student would have to wait for the text to be reloaded into memory everytime he or she switched to chat or read email on an iPad.  According to bloggers, progress is being hampered by the usual suspects: copyright, no leadership of the market potential, and the fact that it is still cheaper to buy and resell used textbooks.  Read  Wired’s Gadget Lab August 24 review of etextbooks “I came, I saw, I waited.”

SO MANY texts have already been made available through Google Books, it would be worth checking here--or in the hundreds of thousands of free books already out-of-copyright --while assembling a digital reader.   For example, except for one copyrighted image Bill Durham’s chapter from Coevolution, Cultural Mediation: The Evolution of Adult Lactose Malabsorption is available in its entirety (although other chapters are missing a few pages) where students can benefit from text search, cutting and pasting, and on the iPad, portability.

Scholarly articles can also be read on mobile devices in much the same way that they are in a web browser--although the iPad’s form factor makes it as comfortable as reading them collected in a book.

Last modified Tue, 28 May, 2013 at 16:25