Haiku Deck Makes IPad Awesome Presos (review)

For me, dragging my laptop from office to classroom to teach is can be a pain. As you can see, my laptop lives on a stand, connected to a second monitor, complete with a wireless mouse and keyboard. Chuf, chuf, chuf to the classroom.

My desk in the Hampshire College Library

Inconvenience aside, when I am teaching with visual aids, I feel like my laptop is a barrier between the class and myself. The laptop obscures my face and in order to do demonstrations from the internet, I feel like I am tied to the seat where the laptop is living during the class. To that end, I made it a goal for myself to use my iPad more in teaching this year, especially since some of our classrooms have Apple TV which allows users to beam images and texts from iPads directly to screens. Fortunately, I found a new, neat, free presentation app for the iPad called Haiku Deck.

Michael Rose over at TUAW wrote a neat little review that provides a strong overview of the app’s features, but I want to talk about using this app in the context of teaching.

The Good

  1. Clean text that is easy to read on a screen.
  2. Timesaving, instant access to Creative Commons images. It’s a pleasure to build presentations in this app.
  3. Ability to easily swipe through slides while presenting.
  4. Easy export and sharing. I like the idea of tweeting some of my presentations.
  5. Free on iOS, a major plus since I was about to buy Keynote for iOS.

The Not-So-Good

  1. Paying for additional layout options.
  2. An app that only works in landscape mode whether presenting or editing.
  3. To my knowledge, you can’t repurpose slides between presentations. This is a disappointment since I sometimes like to repurpose slides across presentations I do. I wish there was a way of keeping a cache of slides in the app that could be recycled across presentations.
  4. Not as easy to embed URLs into presentations, which can be a help sometimes when doing more technical demonstrations.

I road tested my first presentation during several of my classes last week. It looked good on the screen. The image quality wowed my students. Overall, I really enjoyed teaching from the iPad, especially now that I can be cord free with Apple TV. The pad sat on my lap and I felt like Mr. Rogers, in a good way.

Best of all, I made eye contact with everyone in way that was not possible when doing presentations with the laptop. I had a blast and I think my students did, too. Thanks, Haiku Deck, I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship.

Friday afternoons with @isis_edu

One of the reasons why I love librarianship is because it demands continuous learning. For me that learning happens in a variety of contexts: conversations on Twitter and in person with colleagues near and far, conferences, published books and blog posts that relate to trends and issues for academic libraries, and online tutorials to learn about new technologies. The sum total of continuous learning often costs more than I can spend out of my own pocket or what my employer is able to subsidize. To that end, I am grateful for ISIS, Information Services Instruction Support, a dencetralized group of technologists, librarians, and librarian/technologists who practice primarily in American liberal arts colleges that convenes remotely through videoconferecing. Each month, there are a series of drop in sessions and more formal sessions on a relevant topic that folks can enjoy, held the first and third Friday afternoons of each month via the (virtual) Adobe Connect Room at Mount Holyoke College.

I was not aware of this amazing grassroots organization until I began working at Hampshire College in 2011. Once I started receiving messages from the Five College listserv, I learned about ISIS, its mission, and its possibilities. One of the founding members who works at Mount Holyoke, Alex Wirth-Cauchon, invited me this summer to join the program committee. I was delighted to join this group not only to collaborate with colleagues across the country to help deliver timely content, but also to use the role to do additional outreach to other librarians who might not be aware of ISIS and generate some excitement across the library community about its programming and networking opportunities.

During the academic year, I am going to try to tweet  ISIS sessions as they go along to create an additional backchannel and hopefully as generate conversations with other folks outside of the usual librarian-technologist mold to weigh in on our programming and questions. I haven’t registered a hashtag yet, but I am planning to tweet with this one: #isis-edu; we’ll see if folks converge on it or not.

Here’s the schedule for this semester’s programming:

  • September 7 ISIS Drop-In Session
  • September 21 ISIS Seminar
  • October 5 ISIS Seminar
  • October 19 ISIS Drop-In Session
  • November 2 ISIS Seminar
  • November 16 ISIS Drop-In Session
  • December 7 ISIS Seminar
  • December 21 ISIS Drop-In Session

ISIS Seminars and Drop in Sessions happen the first and third Friday of the month from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM (ET) in the Adobe Connect Room.

I look forward to seeing many of my readers there.