Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paperless Powerpoint notes for class

One of my main goals for the iPad was to reduce the amount of paper I use in my professional life.  I typically teach with a set of power point slides and I put my lecture notes in the "note" field of the slides.  I have always brought to class two items: 1) a memory stick with the ppt file (to load on the classroom computer and project through the built-in system in the classrooms), and 2) a printed out set of the "notes pages" of the slides.  Often my notes for any one class will be 20-40 pages.  There has to be a way for the iPad to help reduce that, right? 

Printing the notes pages to an adobe file is the key -- then, I load that adobe file into Goodreader and bring my iPad to class instead of a print out of the notes pages.  Works great ..... so long as you leave enough time for the computer to print the full file.  The first time I tried this I was anxious because I needed to leave my office for the walk to the classroom.  I was having computer trouble, so I shut power point down thinking I could reboot it and deal with the freezing that seemed to be happening, but then up popped "print-out" of my notes pages in adobe, so I thought I had what I needed.  I loaded to my iPad and raced to class.  It was not until I got to slide 20 in class and there was no slide 21 on my ipad, but there were slides 21-37 (yikes!) in the file.  I had to teach the second half of the class without the benefit of any of my notes.  Lesson learned: always check the file you load on to your iPad to make sure it has all of the pages.  Other than this snafu, the method worked like a charm.

I figure this small change of how I bring my notes to class is going to save over three reams of paper each semester (30 avg. pages per class x 52 classes =1560).  That's pretty good!

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