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Spring 2013 iPad Classroom Projects

Read the faculty biography and brief project description for each of our Fall 2012 iPad Classroom Projects!

Faculty School/Course Title # of students

L. Smith

Lisa Smith


Compositional Literature for Educators




Lisa Smith has been a member of the faculty since 1992. She is an Adjunct Instructor of English. Smith teaches Composition and Literature and Advanced Composition regularly as well as many other lower division courses including: Contemporary Fiction, The Short Story, World Fiction, Growing-up Fiction, Drama and Poetry. She also teaches courses especially designed for future educators: Composition and Literature, Advanced Composition and Children's Literature. Smith has also taught at several community colleges in San Diego.

Brief Description

Students in this course are preparing to be educators and as such will learn to think about how reading skills, strengthening and refining composition skills can be adapted for a younger student. Students in this class will be able to access all of their materials and each other's work, project onto the screen, share outside of class. Beginning teachers will practice integrating technology in the classroom, an important real-life application.

Outcomes Students were able to have class materials with them at all times.  Paper handouts were greatly reduced.  Students were able to use class materials for class more effectively on the iPad than with paper materials. Students had better and more in-depth annotations.  Students used Dropbox with great success and appreciation.  Dropbox and the iPads allowed for the students to collaborate and share.  Students used the iPad to type essays in-class with mixed success and reviews.

A. Petersen

Amanda Petersen


Fourth Semester Spanish


Amanda L. Petersen has been a member of the faculty since 2008. She teaches Spanish language and Latin American literatures and cultures courses. Her areas of expertise include 20th and 21st century Latin American women authors and Latin American literature, with an emphasis on Mexican narrative. Her research interests focus on the literary representations of gender and violence in contemporary Mexican short stories by female authors.

Brief Description

Spanish students will work on pdf documents, using iAnnotate to teach them how to read more actively and will bring electronic notes to class with questions. Using Spanish language dictionaries and writing aids. Class depends heavily on Wordpress and students will access and participate by blogging. Students may also incorporate peer-editing tools.


Students experienced more engagement with online resources and literature.  The iPads gave the students a desire for more online course materials.


K. Macdonald

Keith Macdonald

Life Science for Educators
Biography Keith Macdonald is the Biology Department's Laboratory Technician. He has been with the university since 1999. Keith works with the faculty to set up and run teaching laboratory exercises, especially at the introductory level. He functions as a Scientific Collector for the university, obtaining live plant and animal specimens for the faculty's needs. He also works with vendors to obtain other items for department use and works to maintain and repair department equipment. Additionally, Keith is the advisor to the University's Scuba Diving Club.
Biology students will work in groups of 4 to research scientific topics collaboratively. Telepresence for communication with remote group members, immediate research resources in the classroom and beyond, instant sharing between students and instructor, sharing presentations from Keynote directly to the data projector. The students in this course are training to become educators in K-12 environment and this will also teach them to integrate technology into their own teaching.

M. Williams

Mike Williams

Special Topics in International Relations
Biography J. Michael Williams, J.D., PhD, is an alumnus of the University of San Diego (1992) and has been a member of the faculty since 1999. He currently serves as the chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Williams offers undergraduate courses on introduction to political science, comparative politics, politics in sub-Saharan Africa, and politics in South Africa. His research focuses on African politics, with special interests in democratization, indigenous political structures, local governance, rule of law, the courts and constitutionalism. He has published numerous articles and one book on the chieftaincy in South Africa - Chieftaincy, the State, and Democracy: Political Legitimacy in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Indiana University Press, 2010).
Students in this capstone class will collect their own data and collaborate with each other on research. There are numerous apps that will help facilitate their research in Africa. Approximately half of class time will be spent sharing info with one another. Using Skype to communicate with the village in South Africa will benefit the group and individual students.
Outcomes Students used the iPads to share information and collaborate.  This collaboration led to students teaching and helping each other.  This was the most collaborative class ever. Students also used the iPads to enhance presentations.  Using Prezi, iMovie and other apps students produced impressive presentations unlike other classes.  The ability to show the presentations in class was much easier and allowed for more presentations to be completed in a single class period.

M. Magnin

Michele Magnin


Advanced Grammar and Composition
Cultural Backgrounds of French Civilization


Michèle C. Magnin, PhD, has been a member of the department of Languages and Literatures since 1990. She is the director of the French section. She offers courses in literature, culture and civilization, women writers, advanced writing, and phonetics. She was director of the Faculty and Curriculum Diversity Program on campus for three years.

A native Parisian, Magnin has established strong links with the French community in San Diego. She was president of the San Diego chapters of the American Association of Teachers of French, and the Alliance Française.

Brief Description

Students will work collaboratively on presentations and team projects, follow current events, explore museums and events of political/historic nature, and post and share articles. They will create video presentations/re-enactments, use the storytelling tool to make the projecct come to life with video clips, music and pictures. Apps have been identified in each of 4 major areas: Reading/writing/researching, cultural discovery/research, creativity, and communication.


Students created stunning and beautiful final projects using a variety apps form iBooks to Creative Book Builder. Students took more pride in their projects and were encouraged to take more care and in making it both personal and correct. Students enjoyed the connectivity of the iPad and the access to French resources like museums and monuments. Students used the iPad to aid in studying with things like the Flashcards app. The iPad increased collaboration and also gave the students more control in their learning experience through collaboration with each other and the instructor.  Students used the iPad in class to reference words or take notes.


J. Rapp

Justine Rapp


Special Topics

Justine M. Rapp is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of San Diego School of Business. She is currently teaching a newly designed course on Digital Marketing and Social Media in the Marketing area. Justine’s research interests focus on the domain of consumer welfare, and more specifically the development and impact of compulsive consumption within the consumer context. Justine’s research has implications for a variety of domains (e.g., consumer behavior, public policy, and underrepresented groups) and she has published several peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Advertising, and the Journal of Business Research.

Justine received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she taught Consumer Behavior and Services Marketing at the undergraduate level. Justine received recognition for her research accomplishments at the departmental and university level, as well as awards for both teaching and service. Prior to her time at UNL, Justine earned both her Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the Villanova School of Business.

Brief Description

Instructor is teaching 2 sections of the same class. This project will allow her to determine how students perform/learn differently with vs. without the device. They will use Dropbox and social media programs to develop marketing campaigns, and will work collaboratively, documenting live situations using the camera and iMovie.

Outcomes Student engagement and contribution to lectures was undoubtedly higher for the section participating in the iPad project. Students were able to remain actively engaged while I brought in multiple examples and them to look up more information. Students were more able to share their work and collaborate. Students began to lose interest in the iPad project as time went on.  Some students preferred to bring laptops to class because complex tasks were easy to perform with a keyboard.

J. Crum

Jason Crum


Contemporary Fiction

Jason Crum received his Ph.D. from UC San Diego and was a Fellow at UCSD’s California Cultures in Comparative Perspective Center. Having joined the English department in 2006, he teaches a variety of courses on multi-ethnic US literature, contemporary fiction, graphic novels, modern US fiction, and composition. Most recently, he has authored papers on Techno-Orientalism in US Culture, Latino community agency in inter-war Los Angeles radio, Objectivist poetry, and Science-Fiction & Fantasy cultures. His other areas of scholarship are 20th & 21st Century U.S. literatures, cultural studies, and popular culture. His current research explores transborder communities in early 20th Century US radio & culture. When not at USD, Jason can be found scouring vinyl record shops, playing guitar, or hiking at Torrey Pines.

Brief Description

Students will get hands-on experience with graphic composition and work creatively as well as critically with source material. They will contribute to blogs, forums and online postings for Q&A and reflection. Content can be accessed online and students can comment uon and critically engage with sources. The iPad will allow students to bring numerous sources to class and other places, facilitating a more interactive learning experience. Projects will be shared with students at other universities.

Outcomes Students were more capable and comfortable discussing the literature and analyzing it. Students read more widely and got a better sense of the field. The iPads allowed students more depth and clarity. The iPad facilitated a more interactive learning experience because the students had the ability to easily bring an abundance of resources to class. Students also demonstrated a much more critical awareness of the diversity of the graphic novel medium and its impact.