Increase usage of MACs for Students
More and more higher ed students are purchasing MACs. Could it be fore sales or promotion reasons from Apple or the simplicity and versatility of the Apple products for students?
In a 2006 Princeton study, it was found that students looked to MACs for stability, unique looks of computers, prior use of iPods, and for being user-friendly. Apple gives students a 15% discount which also attracts the student population. Additionally, there are so many new free Apps to help students get organized, study, and find resources while in college.
All of these reasons and Apple's continued innovation in educational technologies suggest that we will continue to see an increase of MAC usage on campuses.
ECAR did a survey in 2011 and found that 31 % of students under the age of 25 use MACs while only 13% over the age of 25 use MACs. CNN Money did a study in 2010 and found that 27% of laptop owners have MACs, 14% of desktop owners have MACs, and 47% of those planning to purchase a new computer are looking at MACs (exactly where Dell was about 5 years prior). Other studies show higher results: one study showed that 70% of freshman purchase MACs. That study seems a bit high and had fewer students than the CNN study. Personally, I'm a MAC user at home and a PC user at work. It is frustrating when something in my classes doesn't work on a MAC and only works on a PC. It seems that Universal Design wasn't considered in the course creation. Universal Design is all about giving students tools that fit their learning styles and needs; usually considering students with disabilities or second language learners. The idea is that the instructor makes the content available to all users. For example, a video without captions isolates hearing impaired students. In the same idea that the video should have captions so all students are included, then shouldn't the video be able to play on a MAC? What about considering the student's operating system? The MAC user population is certainly large enough to consider. What about the technical helpdesks? Should MACs be supported, just like a PC, on campus?
Need for Images
Bare minimum all courses and training materials should have images. Audio and video of course is the next step. Let's talk about images though for now. Adding images increases the retention of information. It's part of Dual Coding. Think of this, when you hear a fairy tale, you can picture something completely different from your sibling. The same is true for training materials or educational materials. Images can help us be on the same page.
Medina explains that images are more informative than just text. Additionally, she states that Americans have less time to read. We also have the tendency to still read the newspaper. (Medina, Vision: Rule #10; Vision trumps all senses.) Providing images really improves the reading experience for the learner as well as keeps them captivated.
Remember Who the Customer is in Education
In an Educause blog, I wrote about how the student is often forgotten in the process. Students are the customers and if we treat education like any business, we may see an increase in revenue as students return to the university and encourage others to as well.
Jing and Screencast
Jing is a great way to make a short video of screenshots on your computer. It's free and works on both a MAC and a PC. Once you create the video, you can upload it onto Screencast and give your clients, students, or coworkers links to the video. I use it for my coworkers when I'm creating job aids for what I do. I also use it for my staff so that they have job aids for what they need to do even when I'm not available. Here is a screencast I made for new workers that I hire to get them familiar about the university.
Voki and Kizoa
While I have my reservations about Voki, I do find that it provides for an interesting contrast for students. If they always see the instructor, it might be nice to see someone else. In this video below, I used Kizoa as a slideshow and then used Voki as a narrator. It's a different mix for sure and not one that I would do again. I would though use both tools again in the future. Kizoa is a great slideshow to video production and is free. If you haven't played with either tool, you should check them out!
I tried out iMovie for the first time in a course in the Summer of 2011. It's a great tool and very easy to pick up and utilize. Below is the production of my trial. In the course, we were given a story and then asked to finish it. The narration at the beginning is the story that we were asked to complete. While the story line and the cooking show are not serious, I noticed that iMovie provided me with lots of options. For MAC users, I definitely suggest using iMovie. It's free, easy to use, and easy to export into YouTube.
What color unites my stories?
Here is a podcast about a particular color. This is my first podcast and I used Audacity to create it.
What is audacity?
Audacity is a free tool that may appear a bit old, but is very stable. You can create a podcasts, add audio to a presentation, and record/edit sound.
It's free. Everyone love free. It's available on MACs and PCs. It's very easy to use. You can share the files easily too.Es gratis.
It doesn't create MP3 files immediately. The encoder really should be part of the initial download in my opinion. I did notice some issues with the MP3 encoder downloading for my MAC though.
¿Que es Audacity?
Audacity es una herramienta gratis que puede aparecer un poco viejo, peroes muy estable. Usted puede crear un podcast, añadir sonido a una presentación, y grabar y editar sonido.
Todo el mundo quiere gratis. Está disponible en Mac y PC. Es muy fácil de usar. También usted puede compartir los archivos con facilidad.
No crea archivos de MP3 inmediatamente. El codificador debería ser parte de la descarga inicial, en mi opinión. Me di cuenta de algunos problemas con la descarga del codificador de MP3 para la MAC.
Author / Autora
I'm a Learning Developer living in the Netherlands since 2018, with American and Luxembourgish nationality. This blog is dedicated to online education and originated with my take on various tools.
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