Working with mobiles in a scientific context

Today I held a presentation about working with mobiles (especially the iPad) in an academic context at the assembly of Swiss Law Libraries in Porrentruy (canton Jura). The slides (in German) are published on SlideShare. I outlined the basic differences between working on a PC/laptop and on a tablet, namely the iPad. There are some apps you need, then it works quite well: especially Dropbox to store and access your documents from anywhere and from any device, and GoodReader to take notes and comments and to highlight in PDF files. If you are a member of a university access to licensed documents (e-books, e-journals) is easy with the integrated VPN connection. iCloud supports the synchronization of text documents (in Pages, but also in Word format), presentations (in Keynote, but also in PowerPoint format) and of spreadsheets from iPad to your PC or Mac. But iCloud is a proprietary service in the Apple ecosystem and not yet perfectly integrated into OS X. In OS Mountain Lion this issue should be solved, see „Documents in the Cloud“ on Apple’s homepage ( There are also some apps supporting e-learning – like mTouch to work with Moodle, iTunesU for podcasts or Adobe Connect to participate to distant learning and video conferencing.

And I also mentioned tools to get and share information like Flipboard, Zite and Pocket or Mendeley for reference management. As a conclusion I think that tablets support learning and teaching well, but there are always some workarounds needed, for example to exchange documents with other platforms. And typing is faster and more comfortable with a Laptop, if you don’t want to carry a bluetooth keyboard around…


Autor: mrudolf

Director of State and University Library Lucerne (Zentral- und Hochschulbibliothek Luzern), former Professor for Library Science at HTW Chur (university of applied sciences), co-editor of Informationspraxis, co-principal investigator of the Horizon Report Library Edition, blogging on library topics - and also on mindful living (in German as Männerherz)

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