Welcome to the blog for the BCC Mobile Initiative!

This blog will be regularly updated with tips for using mobile devices in the classroom, suggestions for helpful apps, and news on how mobile devices are being used on other campuses across the country – and the big impact that they can make!

So keep your eyes on this spot to explore more about how to break out of the traditional classroom and enhance mobile learning at BCC.

For we lovers of Google Drive: Turn It In announces cloud submit


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New from Turnitin: Cloud Submit

Cloud Submit allows users to submit files to Turnitin assignments from Google Drive™ and Dropbox—two of the most widely used document storage services.

Cloud Submit Using Google Drive and Dropbox

The addition of Cloud Submit makes submitting work to assignments more convenient for instructors and students as their authoring and document management moves increasingly to the cloud.

Watch a Demo Video »

Students and instructors may now use Cloud Submit as they go through the assignment submission process. When choosing from Google Drive or Dropbox, users will sign in to the respective service and then select which file to submit.

Files stored in Google Drive or Dropbox in the following formats will be accepted by Turnitin: MS Word; WordPerfect; PostScript; PDF; HTML; RTF; OpenOffice (ODT); Hangul (HWP); and plain text. Users can also submit files authored in Google’s “Document” format; these will be converted to PDFs during the submission process.

Cloud Submit is not available for multiple file or zip file submissions. It may not be available when accessing Turnitin via an LMS integration if the submission process is initiated within the LMS, though we do plan to add this capability to Turnitin’s Blackboard Direct integration in coming months.

Also in this release, we:

  • extended GradeMark rubrics to support more than 10 scale values (allowing use of more evaluation standards like 0-10 based rubrics)
  • added language support for Russian and Polish

To stay current on product updates to Turnitin, follow @TurnitinProduct on Twitter and visit the What’s New page on Turnitin.com. To learn about more upcoming features and improvements, or to suggest features, log into Turnitin and click on the Feedback link.

Thanks for using Turnitin, and we hope you enjoy these new features.

Google and Google Drive are trademarks or registered trademarks of Google Inc.






BCC Mobile Initiative — Round 3 Announced

BCC Mobile Initiative Fall 2013 — Invitation

This Fall, the Center for Teaching and Learning is continuing the BCC Mobile Initiative. This Initiative is based on extensive research, discussions, and consultation with faculty.

BCC mobile logoUp to 8 BCC Faculty and Teaching Staff are invited to attend a series of three workshops (6 hours total) to learn about and develop skills with the iPad mobile device platform. Participants will need to commit to attending the three workshops, and completing short exercises and assessments with their iPads.

To participate in this Program, all attendees must come to the first workshop with an Ipad (Generation 2 or later). Upon completion of the workshop series, participants will receive a $400 stipend. Priority will be given to full-time faculty, long-term adjunct faculty and staff who teach. Ipads will not be provided for these workshops.

Workshop 1: Getting Started with the IPad and Apps to Support Student Learning Skills

Friday, October 11, 1:00 – 3:00pm

This workshop will teach you the basics of your iPad, including Settings, Navigation, Apps, and care of the iPad. In Part II, you will explore and learn to use collaborative learning apps and resources. Participants must come to the first session with an Apple ID account and an IPad 2 or newer running iOS 7.

Workshop 2: Locating, Assessing, and Incorporating Open Educational Resources

Friday, November 1, 1:00 – 3:00pm

This workshop will introduce participants to major sources of Open Educational Resources, such as Merlot, Ted Talks, OER Commons, and others. We will learn how to read and use the Creative Commons licensing program. Thirdly, we will review contextualized course modules.

Workshop 3: How to Create Quality Online Materials for mobile devices

Friday, November 22, 1:00 – 3:00pm

In this workshop, we will work with the Quality Matters rubric to assess online materials that meet the needs of student learning styles and universal design principles. Participants will learn how to use Adobe Acrobat (pdf), formatting, and text styles best practices. An introduction to Google Drive will be included.

This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use, by an organization and/or personal use by an individual for non-commercial purposes, is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.

CNET Review of iOS 7

Here is the headline, and then the link to the longer review:

“The good: Apple iOS 7 gets a complete design overhaul and adds useful features like automatic updates to make everyday use easier. Long-overdue Control Center gives quick access to most-used features. AirDrop and iTunes Radio are excellent additions.

The bad: Besides the massively overhauled design and Control Center, there are few ground-breaking new features. The flat design concept favors space over information so you’ll generally need to do more scrolling to get the info you need. Some new features aren’t available for iPhone 4 and 4S users.

The bottom line: Provided you take the time to find your way around, iOS 7’s new design makes it a compelling upgrade that completely transforms Apple’s mobile OS.”


Goodreader – Paid but Powerful

Attention Math & English instructors: This app may be worth the $4.99 purchase price! Scroll down for the screenshots!



GoodReader® is the super-robust PDF reader for iPad – the #1 selling non-Apple app for iPad in USA in 2010! Mashable describes it as “a Swiss Army knife of awesome!” Reviews worldwide hail it as “essential,” “the best,” “magnificent” and “the killer app”. With GoodReader on your iPad, you can read virtually anything, anywhere: books, movies, maps, pictures. Use it once and you’ll be hooked. Soon you’ll be wondering how you ever managed to use your iPad without GoodReader. GoodReader has earned its accolades by the way it handles huge PDF and TXT files, manuals, large books, magazines, and renderings of 100 mb and more with great speed. The ability to mark-up PDFs opens up new doors to GoodReader users who can now use typewriter text boxes, sticky notes, lines, arrows, and freehand drawings on top of a PDF file. Besides reading, you can also sync your files with remote servers:
• sync with Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync and any WebDAV, AFP, SMB, FTP or SFTP server
• sync entire folders or individual files separately
GoodReader not only supports massive PDF and TXT files, but also handles the most popular file types:
• MS Office – .doc, .ppt., .xls
• iWork ’08/’09
• HTML and Safari webarchives
• High resolution images
• Even audio and video!

ANNOTATE! Annotation is a feature long sought after by users who want to add their own mark-ups to PDFs, especially those collaborating as a team on shared documents. The types of annotations that can be created and edited in GoodReader include typewriter text boxes, popup comments (“sticky notes”), text highlights, freehand drawings, lines, arrows, rectangles, ovals, cloudy shapes, text underlines, strikeouts, text insertion marks.

MANAGE FILES! GoodReader lets you create folders, move, copy and rename your files; zip, email, unzip and unrar them; plus send your files to other apps.

TRANSFER FILES! Within moments of downloading GoodReader, you’ll be transferring files in a number of ways: directly from your computer over a USB cable or WiFi connection, from the Internet or from email attachments. It also easily integrates with Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, SugarSync, box.net and other WebDAV, AFP, SMB, FTP and SFTP servers.

SYNC YOUR FILES AND FOLDERS! The amazing Auto Sync feature will work with Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, box.net, and any other WebDAV, AFP, SMB, FTP or SFTP server.

PDF HYPERLINKS! The PDF hyperlink feature allows you to quickly jump back and forth within the document. Tapping a link quickly whisks you across a huge PDF book in an instant, and the “Go Back” button will take you back to the page you came from.

MORE VIEWING AREA! With no bars or buttons blocking the text, you’ll experience true full-screen reading. Do your document’s pictures split in halves across two pages? That’s not a problem with GoodReader – one of the only apps to offer a special double-page mode for viewing the entire spread! And if large page margins are annoying, get rid of them with GoodReader’s special PDF crop tool!

ZOOM! You can even use the 50x zoom, giving you a better view without distorting the image. Perfect for PDF maps and drawings.

TEXT SEARCH! If you know what you’re looking for, the Text Search feature helps you find your way to the exact info you want in any PDF or TXT file.

TONS OF OTHER FEATURES! We keep surprising our existing users with new features by constantly releasing free updates. We don’t just do small fixes, we actually improve the app all the time!

LEARN MORE! www.goodreader.com

iPad Screenshot 1

iPad Screenshot 2

iPad Screenshot 3

How one teacher uses mobile technology in the classroom and out

Incorporating mobile technology into your teaching can be a lot more than simply encouraging your students to use iPads or smartphone apps. Mobile technology can bring lots of benefits to your role as instructor, both in your teaching and in what you do outside the classroom as well.

One math instructor, Leanna Lofte, uses mobile technology, both on her iPad and her iPhone in order to enhance her grading, stay in contact with her students when they need her help with assignments, and add to her students’ learning experience during class time.

For a detailed look on how Leanna uses mobile technology to the benefit of her and her students, check out her blog post at imore.com: How I use my iPhone and iPad as a college math teacher

Check it out even if you’re not a math instructor — there’s lots of helpful tips!

How personal mobile devices can help those with learning disabilities

The following profile was published in the Boston Globe – very interesting testimonial:

“Astrophysicist Matthew Schneps was waiting at a bus stop, scanning a scientific paper he had downloaded onto his smartphone, when it dawned on him: he was reading with ease. That realization surprised Schneps, who has dyslexia, a learning disability that makes reading difficult. He had always felt comfortable in the lab, not the library. “Prior to that [moment], I hadn’t…” http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/07/02/could-small-screens-help-people-with-dyslexia-read/wC23UfeMPtXsVPO8dhZ6DO/story.html

Easing into Using Mobile Devices in the Classroom

As an instructor, you may already know there’s ways tablets can enrich your courses, but sifting through the nearly countless apps available for download can seem overwhelming. As with choosing any other new course materials, there are a lot of factors to consider. With so many apps on the market—and more being added every day!—it can be hard to know where to begin. You may wonder:

  • if you’re looking at the right type of apps for your course
  • if there’s a free app that will give you what you need or if you’ll need a paid one
  • if the apps you choose will make you seem “out of date” to your students

It’s concerns like these that often keep instructors from diving into incorporating mobile devices into their courses. However, using mobile devices, such as tablets and even smartphones, doesn’t have to be so daunting. Instead, you can start off slowly and ease into using apps and mobile devices in your course. One way to do this is by creating an assignment for students to research useful apps.

Start using mobile devices in your classes by turning a search for apps into part of the course. Assign students the task of searching for an app that would be useful in the course, then have them give a short presentation to the class on why that app is helpful.

For example, in a math class, your student may discover an app like Quick Graph to graph equations clearly and cleanly, or in an English class, your students may learn to understand Elizabethan English a little better with the Shakespeare Dictionary! It can be an individual or group assignment, and you can stagger the presentations throughout the semester to coincide with different lessons or even have an “App Day” where everyone presents what they’ve found. Students have now had the opportunity to have hands-on experience seeing how mobile devices can benefit them as they learn, and you’ve had the chance to see how mobile devices can benefit you as an instructor as well!

Some things to consider:

  • Apps may vary on different platforms, and won’t be available to all users. Make sure you decide beforehand which devices you’ll allow for this exercise (iPads, Android tablets, smartphones, etc.), in order to avoid frustration and confusion.
  • Watch out for costs! There’s a multitude of free apps available, but some of the most comprehensive apps can be pricey. Students may be more reluctant to download multiple apps if the costs are adding up, so be sure to set guidelines for pricing and don’t expect students to download every app their peers find if the costs begin to rise.
  • Even with all the apps available, students can easily duplicate apps in an assignment like this. If you’re looking to cut down on having students present the same apps, consider making the assignment more specific for each student. Ask one student or group of students to look for apps to assist with one lesson of the course, while asking another student or group to focus on something else.

Remember: you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach to using mobile devices in your courses. As with any changes you make to your teaching material, it can take some research, and a little trial and error. But with methods like this one, you can ease into using apps in the classroom and create an experience that’s enjoyable and educational for your students and yourself!