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Old Jan 31, 2013, 05:56 PM   #1
rockyroad55
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College students, how do you use your iPad?

I'm a student trying to see if an iPad will help me in my studies. Just looking to see how the rest of you guys use it for academics.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:06 PM   #2
David58117
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When I had mine, I would use goodnotes and a stylus to take notes, either over downloaded slides or by creating a virtual notebook and using it as a notebook replacement.

I would also be running a voice recorder app and recording the audio lectures.

I could then email the mp3 or exported pdfs to myself and study on any device.

I've since sold my iPad and moved on to a macbook air - but am really missing the iPad.

If you're studying a subject that requires tons of equations and math - the iPad with a stylus is simply unbeatable.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:17 PM   #3
Stooby Mcdoobie
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The iPad came out during my third year of college, so I was only able to use it for about two and a half semesters before I graduated. It was great for reviewing my professors' PowerPoint slides while studying for tests. Substantially reduced my need to print things. None of my books had an ebook version, unfortunately, but there is another reason an iPad is a great tool to have.

I don't see it as practical for note taking, especially if you have to draw a lot of diagrams, or for writing long papers. But maybe there is better note taking software now than when I first got my iPad.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:20 PM   #4
rockyroad55
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Originally Posted by David58117 View Post
When I had mine, I would use goodnotes and a stylus to take notes, either over downloaded slides or by creating a virtual notebook and using it as a notebook replacement.

I would also be running a voice recorder app and recording the audio lectures.

I could then email the mp3 or exported pdfs to myself and study on any device.

I've since sold my iPad and moved on to a macbook air - but am really missing the iPad.

If you're studying a subject that requires tons of equations and math - the iPad with a stylus is simply unbeatable.
I'm going to have to disagree with your last statement. Nothing beats good old pen and paper for equations and diagrams in math and science. I don't expect to use the iPad for Orgo and Calc.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rockyroad55 View Post
I'm going to have to disagree with your last statement. Nothing beats good old pen and paper for equations and diagrams in math and science. I don't expect to use the iPad for Orgo and Calc.
Have you used current note writing software and styluses?

I bought about 6-8 different note writing apps (the writing engines were different..), and tried many different styluses before finding one with the proper balance for me.

Some apps had very smooth writing engines that worked well for equations. I was a bio/chem major and the ipad worked very well..
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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I use mine for everything at school other than typing papers and taking notes. I use my MBP for coding, paper writing, video editing etc. and prefer pencil and paper for notes. My mini is great for power points, calendar, and many other things and fits great in my backpack. The portability is great!
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:17 PM   #7
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I wrote this earlier today; I didnt feel like rewriting it, so I'm just pasting it.


I LOVE my iPad mini. I have all my college textbooks on it (purchased via Aamzon or scanned), take all my notes on it, and game and surf on it when I'm bored. Ok, so the screen isn't Retina, but it's still a great screen. I mirror what a bunch of people have already said: readability of textbooks is fine, I don't have to "constantly zoom in and out" like other "users" do. I posit that these "users" probably don't have minis, are hard of seeing (not being rude), or are whiners (being slightly rude). I user PDF Expert to keep all my books and school material (syllabi, ppts which I've converted to PDF, etc.) on my mini with PDF Expert's excellent Dropbox syncing (other PDF software also has Dropbox syncing). I use the new Jot Pro by Adonit (with sound dampening tip purchased from Amazon) to take ALL my class notes. I don't use paper at all anymore, and by following Lifehacker's posts on keeping your computer linked to Dropbox, whenever I'm on my Retina Macbook Pro, all my files are synced in the background.

iPad mini + the Jot Pro + Lifehacker's Dropbox info + PDF Expert = Awesome.

BTW, I have the 16GB mini wifi, as I use my iPhone's wifi hotspot when I'm not at home or school, which both have wifi. Also, I can even fit the iPad mini in the front pocket of my jeans! I wear Express Kingston classic straight leg jeans- so they're not skinny jeans, nor are they baggy jeans.


Personally, I've used the iPad 4 and I just think it's WAY too bulky and heavy. The mini is the iPad Apple should've released from the beginning.

From someone who uses his mini for at least 5 hours a day- many times 7-10 hours a day, I am super happy I bought it! Hope this help dude. You can PM me if you have any other questions.

16GB iPad Mini Wifi = Awesome
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 04:56 PM   #8
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Idk...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyroad55 View Post
I'm going to have to disagree with your last statement. Nothing beats good old pen and paper for equations and diagrams in math and science. I don't expect to use the iPad for Orgo and Calc.
I think you might want to challenge yourself, your iPad, and developers- see if you can change the way you do things; you can make yourself smaller, better, faster, stronger.

Maybe if you'd tried this...

Oh yeah- and with ADHD, I was constantly losing my notes and was unorganized. With PDF Expert and Dropbox? I still had ADHD, but at least I know where my notes are!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 04:58 PM   #9
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PORN BABY!!!


j/k, I wish I had this when I was in school. I'd be able to ace all my classes with the note pad on my iPad
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBeast View Post
I think you might want to challenge yourself, your iPad, and developers- see if you can change the way you do things; you can make yourself smaller, better, faster, stronger.

Maybe if you'd tried this...

Oh yeah- and with ADHD, I was constantly losing my notes and was unorganized. With PDF Expert and Dropbox? I still had ADHD, but at least I know where my notes are!
Holy ******, sorry for doubting the notes part. What app did you use to take those notes??? And what stylus?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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I use so much less paper printing lecture slides now that I have my iPad mini. I use it primarily for following along with the lecture and read my textbooks off of it.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 11:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rockyroad55 View Post
Holy ******, sorry for doubting the notes part. What app did you use to take those notes??? And what stylus?
Agreed! Didn't know it was possible to take such clean notes on an iPad. I tried a Targus stylus with a few apps when the iPad first came out, and my notes looked like they were written by a toddler.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rockyroad55 View Post
Holy ******, sorry for doubting the notes part. What app did you use to take those notes??? And what stylus?
First, I convert everything to PDF using whatever program opens the doc i.e. in a PowerPoint presentation, I'll clean up any files necessary (some professors really suck a making PowerPoints) and convert them to PDF by going to >File>Save As...>PDF. I save the PDF to my Dropbox folder (and usually delete the PowerPoint), and open PDF Expert on my iPad Mini. I set PDF Expert to sync with certain folders on my Dropbox account, so the file I want will be located on my Mini almost instantly (depending on file size). Then it's as simple as opening the PDF, marking it up, and syncing it when done.

As for styli, I chose the new Adonit Jot Pro with the sound dampening tip. It's great for taking notes- but probably not that great for painting. It's almost like writing with an actual pen! If you decide to go this route though, make sure you buy a static cling screen protector (I bought a cheap pack of 3) to protect your screen, as particles between the screen and styli could scratch the outer oleophobic coating that Apple puts on their idevices.

I couldn't be happier with switching to a fully electronic setup. At some point in time, I'll prolly even leave my MBP at home- and just head to lecture with my Mini and my Jot Pro.I love being able to have my notes in front of me on my Mini, quickly switch to my textbook (all on my Mini as well), open a textbook page, copy it, and then place it inside my class note document! It's seriously crazy how much more versatile the Mini is than conventional note taking.

A caveat though- it did take me a week or two to get used to writing all things on PDFs and making my student life fully electronic. But with a little practice- and let's face it, you'll have a TON of practice since you're constantly taking notes in class- you'll get the hang of it.

So there it is! Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck!
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:51 PM   #14
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I use mine all the time! I still use paper for some notes taking. I will write a paper on here no problem!!!

I use Evernote, flashcards, noteability the most. For paper writing I uses pages and iCloud.

This is the first semester I've bought an e-book and I'm hooked!!

The ipad has completely changed the way I study, I actually study now LOL! I used to make flash cards and then always forget them. Now I always have them with me.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 09:19 AM   #15
rockyroad55
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Are there apps that I can open a word document from Blackboard and edit right away?
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 09:58 AM   #16
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Are there apps that I can open a word document from Blackboard and edit right away?

Yes. Any app that edits Word documents can do that. It depends on what level of access you want to editing features. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 11:21 AM   #17
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Yes. Any app that edits Word documents can do that. It depends on what level of access you want to editing features. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
How about Pages?
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 02:04 PM   #18
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How about Pages?
Sure. It just depends on how complex your formatting is. You can also export it as a Word document. For some things, like outlines, you shouldn't see any differences. I suspect complicated footnotes, embedded multimedia, etc. would not survive the import > conversion > editing > conversion > export process well. In my experience, Pages is great, and as an added bonus it is the only app (that I know of on Android or iOS) that will allow you to both edit existing footnotes and create new ones. This is a big deal if you plan to use your iPad for writing papers. I wrote most of my dissertation on the iPad with Pages (using the bluetooth external keyboard, of course).
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 02:17 PM   #19
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This is a cool thread. I have thought about getting an iPad but have resisted until it could 'do more.' Hearing what you all are able to do with it has piqued my interest again. Thanks for mentioning the apps you found useful and the purpose you use them for.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 03:31 PM   #20
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I'm on my iPad literally 24/7

I also find myself using it during one of my classes to follow through ppt slides/notes
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:33 AM   #21
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I'm on my iPad literally 24/7

I also find myself using it during one of my classes to follow through ppt slides/notes
Even when your asleep?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:36 AM   #22
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iPad is great for typing and reading exhausting pdf files. You save a lot of paper from printing and save your strength from lugging around all of the research papers you would have to carry otherwise.

I hear Pages is great, but I have not used it. None the less, I think quick word processing is much more effective than writing with a stylus. Apps to highlight your pdf is also great, but sometimes they can take up a lot of room, so I hope you bought a larger sized iPad.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 03:43 PM   #23
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Just to prove that everyone has different opinions and experiences, I'm an engineering student that just started using an iPad during my classes, taking handwritten notes, and I find that it's quite handy and useful, and it's easier drawing diagrams on it.

Currently use Notability, but will switch to Noteshelf next trimester to have better organization of my notes. For PDF reading and annotation, both Notability and GoodReader work well. For me, GoodReader has a distinct advantage because of it's autosync capabilities, keeping the folders for all my classes in sync with the changes I make on my computer.

Mercury Browser is my preferred Internet browser, because it syncs with Firefox on my MBP.

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Old Feb 3, 2013, 04:52 PM   #24
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I have had my iPad 3 for about 3 months now but used another tablet of the same aspect ratio (HP TouchPad) since summer of 2011, so I've had about a year and a half of tablet use in my undergraduate education (Biotechnology and I've been participating in research for the past 7 months). I've more-or-less gotten the same functionality out of both tablets and found that I personally despise taking notes on them but adore them for reading academic literature, being a substitute for the small child's worth of chemistry textbooks I've been using, browsing the web (though my laptop and desktop still take the cake for this), organizing myself, as well as being unproductive. I got a chance to use a colleague's tablet (not sure what the brand/model was, but it was a bit different from your average consumer tablet) that included an active digitizer/pen and I was amazed by how much easier it was to fluidly take notes. IMO, taking notes on most tablets is a chore rather than a convenience, but if an active digitizer and stylus are ever introduced by Apple, I may be a repeat customer.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 05:12 PM   #25
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I have had my iPad 3 for about 3 months now but used another tablet of the same aspect ratio (HP TouchPad) since summer of 2011, so I've had about a year and a half of tablet use in my undergraduate education (Biotechnology and I've been participating in research for the past 7 months). I've more-or-less gotten the same functionality out of both tablets and found that I personally despise taking notes on them but adore them for reading academic literature, being a substitute for the small child's worth of chemistry textbooks I've been using, browsing the web (though my laptop and desktop still take the cake for this), organizing myself, as well as being unproductive. I got a chance to use a colleague's tablet (not sure what the brand/model was, but it was a bit different from your average consumer tablet) that included an active digitizer/pen and I was amazed by how much easier it was to fluidly take notes. IMO, taking notes on most tablets is a chore rather than a convenience, but if an active digitizer and stylus are ever introduced by Apple, I may be a repeat customer.
Like you, my primary uses for a tablet are consumption, specifically for reading scientific literature. It's just nice to have a screen that's portrait for those papers. Other than that, I don't really use it much, maybe to check the web now and then.

I found it to be worthless for taking notes, even with a "pen". The sensitivity just isn't designed for pointing devices, but rather for "fat" inputs like fingers. Either way, I'm more of a paper guy for taking notes. I don't like having my notes digital because it's too difficult to find what you're looking for if you use it a lot. Whereas I can flip quickly through pages and skim in real life, you can't do that with handwritten digital notes and it got really frustrating trying to find where you wrote things down.
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