Get a connector cable that allows you to project your iPad to a projector and you can use these apps in class. Not all apps on this posting are free. The ones that cost something are worth it.
iThoughtsHD – totally awesome mind mapping app that includes the ability to send an email with an outline made from the mind map and the mind map image (like the one at left).
Keynote – presentation app that isn’t as flexible as PowerPoint, but has very cool transitions and templates like chalkboard.
Socrative – this is a free clicker app. Technically it’s an iPhone app, but works well on the iPad. The Teacher app has a companion Student app. Students can use their smart phones, iPad, or regular computer with online access to answer questions.
ShowMe – a whiteboard on your iPad when you don’t have a whiteboard or a chalkboard or chalk.
RDM+ – when you forget a file that’s on the desktop in your office, this app gives you access to your “other” computer. (Saved me more than once.)
I’ve just downloaded a F*R*E*E iPad app (they also have one for the iPhone) that I think holds a lot of promise for teaching. It’s called Show Me. It’s a virtual white board with audio capabilities.
One thing I found strange about registering for the service is they require your birthdate. Perhaps this is for interfacing with Facebook, but they didn’t say.
If you love mindmapping and want a terrific app for your new iPad, iThoughtsHD is my recommendation. Mindmapping enables you to visually organize your thoughts, ideas, information, and research. You can email your maps as pdfs, Freemind, iMindmap, and many others. The email functionality puts your map into a nice looking outline too. It costs $9.99, but is worth every penny.
Here’s a mindmap I created for Sources of Law and Legal Authority:
Free Apps for the iPhone:
- Kaplan MBE Flashcards – Covers Torts, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Criminal Law and Procedure, Contracts and Real Property; six instructional videos highlight key concepts including hearsay, equal protection and negligence
- Legal Terms or Law Guide or Nolo – all offer dictionaries of legal terms; Nolo’s is for non-lawyers
- Fastcase – offers a free app to search case law and statutes (registration is required)
- LawStack or LawBox – both offer copies of the U.S. Constitution, FRAP, FRCP, FRE, Bankruptcy Procedure, and Criminal Procedure Rules
- LexisNexis Get Cases App – allows you to retrieve by citation and Shepardize
- SSRN – working papers and journal articles
- Dropbox – set up a free Dropbox account and sync your documents across several computers
When searching via Google, you can get better results by restricting results to a type of site or a type of document. For example, if you know that the results you want would be found on a government site, include the Google syntax with the government website extension – site:gov. If you want the result to be a particular file format like Excel, include the Google syntax filetype: with the extension for Excel – xls. Thus, filetype:xls would be what you would add to the search string.
Knowing where to look is more than half the battle. One place to find good research guides is on the Law Library of Congress website. The URL always has loc.gov in it. If I want to find a research guide on labor law in Vietnam, I would make this search query Vietnam labor law research guide site:loc.gov -veteran. The -veteran excludes results about Vietnam era veterans. The terms go from left to right in order of importance. I believe Google will return results for both labor and labour, but you should be aware of the two spellings and make sure it does return both results with just one of these words.
Another type of site that has good research guides are law school libraries. Such sites have the extension edu and the search query should include the word law in it. Thus, one could use the same query as above but substitute edu for loc.gov.
The Law Library continues to develop the UHLawSchool toolbar to put online legal research at your fingertips. Now you can search Google, Aquabrowser, Voyager, or the USS from the toolbar. Simply open the drop down menu next to the “GO” button, select which search to use and type your search query in the search box. If you haven’t yet downloaded the toolbar, you can click on this link and then click on the “Free Download” button. Using the toolbar can save your valuable time. It will install in Firefox, IE, or Safari. Give it a whirl!
Toolbar improvements mentioned in this posting in screen shots:
The “GO” button defaults to a Google search.
Open the “GO” menu and select Aquabrowser to search the Law Library catalog from the toolbar.
You can also search Voyager from the toolbar by opening the “GO” menu and selecting Voyager.
Or, search the Universal Search Solution (USS) from the toolbar by opening the “GO” menu and selecting USS.
If you are taking Second Year Seminar next semester, get acquainted with Zotero over the holidays. It is a *F R E E * plug-in for Firefox (recommend the beta 2.0 version).
Zotero allows you to “collect, manage, and cite” your research sources. That may not mean much now, but if you lost your paper due to a computer malfunction what would you pay to have the citations and PDFs back? It’s a universal “law” that you will lose the best paper you’ve ever written just before it is due. So, plan ahead. Get acquainted with Zotero when you have some time; begin using it for your SYS research; and your investment in time will pay off in the future.
- Automatically capture citations
- Remotely back up and sync your library
- Store PDFs, images, and web pages
- Cite from within Word and OpenOffice
- Take rich-text notes in any language
- Wide variety of import/export options
- Free, open source, and extensible
- Collaborate with group libraries
- Organize with collections and tags
- Access your library from anywhere
- Automatically grab metadata for PDFs
- Use thousands of bibliographic styles
- Instantly search your PDFs and notes
- Advanced search and data mining tools
- Interface available in over 30 languages
A great little Firefox add-on is PrintPDF. With it you can make a PDF document from any web page. I made this from the blog: Tech Tips « UH Law Library’s Blog.
To install this add-on,
- Open your Firefox (Mozilla) browser
- Open this blog posting again, OR if you have the toolbar, click open “Firefox Add-Ons”
- Click on the PrintPDF link in the blog
- Click on “add to Firefox”
- You may need to “allow” it to download
- Restart Firefox browser
After it is installed, click on File, Print to PDF.
Relevant add-ons make Firefox the best browser for lawyers. The best add-ons for legal researchers are Zotero, Citegenie, Jureeka, and Recap. If you have an add-on you’d like to recommend, comment on this posting.
- Zotero because it keeps track of all of your online research. It’s available from any computer provided you use the version that syncs and you register.
- Citegenie because it gives pretty darned good Bluebook citations from Westlaw and Lexis materials.
- Jureeka because any legal citation on a page that is available for F*R*E*E turns into a hyperlink on your page. Stop paying for material that is free.
- Recap improves the PACER experience while helping PACER users build a free and open repository of public court records. PACER stands for “Public Access to Court Electronic Records.” It is the website the federal judiciary uses to make public records available to the general public. PACER is primarily used by attorneys to access legal documents relating to federal court cases.
Other blogs with Firefox Add-on Recommendations:
If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel and are using a browser with “tabbed browsing,” you can use the scroll wheel to click on a link and it will open in another tab. Just push down on the scroll wheel when you hover over a link and it will open the link in a new tab. This is a lightning-fast way to browse the web.
This “Tech Tip” comes from the Wisconsin State Law Library blog.