The intersection of technology, research, financial aid and student access in higher education

Technology has arrived when you no longer think about it

Added on by Scott Cline.

Conferences and iPhone batteries have traditionally not been the best of friends for me. I have owned the iPhone 3GS, 4S and now the 5s. While at conferences, I am usually checking/posting to Twitter, (i)messaging, emailing, looking things up, and using Maps/OpenTable/Yelp to find the best dinner place. The 3GS and the 4S would barely make it mid- to late-afternoon before they were dead.

The solution was usually to hunt for power throughout the day, sneak back to the hotel room to charge up (and catch up with the office) during an afternoon session, or pack an extra battery case.

I picked up the iPhone 5s when it was released back in September and have used it during three different conferences.[1] It has gotten me through the entire day. This despite the three conferences in cities, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, that might have some of the worse cell coverage in the United States.

Running from the 7:00 AM breakfasts to the 1:00 AM last call, often I would be plugging it in with only a few percent of battery left, but I never got that sweat of imminent phone death. The whole time at all three conferences I remained on cellular data because wifi is always so bad at conferences.[2]

Certainly, the camera is great, the speed of LTE is wonderful, and the weight is nothing, but to me, my nearly four months with the iPhone 5s is its ability to get through a full conference day (and night). This is technology getting out of your way to just do what you need to do.

  1. I know three conferences between late September and now is a bit much.  ↩

  2. There are difficult problems in this world, but why is it so hard to have good wifi in large public places with many, many people?  ↩

Federal Financial Aid Conference 2013

Added on by Scott Cline.

Just a quick note to mention that I am on my way to the Department of Education’s Federal Financial Aid Conference (formerly known as FSA and now as FSATC).[1] The conference officially starts Tuesday and runs through Friday at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.

If you will be at the conference, be sure to check out the #FAChat tweetup on Tuesday at 5:00 PM at Ri Ra Irish Pub in the Mandalay Bay. Also, feel free to reach out to me on tweet @scottcline or via email at scott at

  1. Really, we had to add “Training Conference” to make it sound like the Department of Education is not wasting money on a “party” in Las Vegas?  ↩

Papers 3 - A Change in File Structure

Added on by Scott Cline.

Aleh Cherp on trying out the Papers 3 beta:

All documents are stored together with meta-information in a bundle not accessible to other software.

Aleh did receive some clairifiaction from the developer:

If the Dropbox synchronization is not switched on there is still a possibility to control naming and storage of files, much like in Papers 2. However, the files are still kept in a bundle not accessible to Spotlight. The support staff says that Spotlight index will be added in future versions.

I am with Aleh Cherp over at Academic Workflows on Mac. I would really like to have both Dropbox sync and easily accessable/readable file structures for my PDFs in my reference software.

I know sync is not easy, but I am really looking for a great reference, storage and cite software that works across Mac OS, iOS and even windows seamlessly.[1] I have used Zotero as well for a long time, but it support on iOS is still painful and not user friendly.

  1. Ok, if you just do the first two great, you do not have to worry about windows.  ↩

College Board National Forum 2013 This Week in New York

Added on by Scott Cline.

Just a quick note that I on my way to the College Board National Forum in New York City that starts Wednesday and runs through Friday.

If you are going to be there, let me know by sending me an email scott @ or on Twitter @scottcline.

If you do follow me on Twitter, it will probably be more active then normal this week with updates from the conference (as well as updates on great meals in New York).

Why as hard as we try, we still use Word in Academia

Added on by Scott Cline.

Macademic Blog:

In the past [we] wrote about misuses of and alternatives to Microsoft Word. But we also believe sometimes Word is the best tool for the job.

While I would disagree with Word ever being the "best" tool, I do still concede that there are not always universally known tools to replace Word in academic writing. But we are getting there. In the mean time, Macademic points to some great resources for having to deal with Word.