Apple Ecosystem a Perfect Environment for Computer Science Instructor & Esports Coordinator

Computer Science Instructor Brad Messner is a huge fan of Seton Hill’s “Apple ecosystem.” He uses Apple devices, classroom technology and cloud-based tools in all the courses he teaches.  He’s relying on Apple products to help get Seton Hill’s new Esports Program off the ground. And his personal Apple tech keeps him on time and fully equipped wherever he ends up on campus. Recently, Brad answered some questions about all the different ways he uses Apple products, and why he finds them so useful.

Brad Messner in Classroom with iPad and Apple PencilHow long have you been teaching at Seton Hill?

I am finishing my 5th year here at Seton Hill.

What made you choose to use Apple tech to teach?

Honestly, with every student having access to a MacBook Air, it was a no-brainer.  The Apple ecosystem just works so seamlessly and allows me to focus on delivering course material instead of troubleshooting connection issues. 

Describe a typical Apple-supported class.

I show up, open my laptop, connect to the AppleTV, and I’m ready to go – in HD!  Then, when I am feeling even more mobile, I link my iPad Pro to my MacBook with Sidecar.  This gives me the ability to move around the room, control both my PowerPoint and Zoom session, as well as remote control my webcam so that students attending remotely have the same experience as those attending in person.  

What about interactivity?

To make my classes interactive, QR codes are added to discussions – and students use either their iPhone or iPad devices to link to in-class surveys and discussion forums.  This provides amazing feedback during class. 

"The Apple ecosystem just works so seamlessly and allows me to focus on delivering course material instead of troubleshooting connection issues." 

What classes do you use Apple tech in the most (and why)?

Oh gosh – all of them? Here are some examples. If you need more, I have them.

  • In Programming 1, Programming 2, Software Engineering, Machine Learning: These are coding-heavy courses, and the Apple laptops handle all of the different coding environments with ease – a problem we had at a previous college I worked at.  One universal platform just makes support and classroom management so easy.  

  • In Programming 2 and Software Engineering, we use Apple Xcode to design and build mobile applications on the Apple ecosystem.

  • In Systems Analysis & Design: This class uses a lot of group and collaboration work, including simulations – students leverage their MacBook laptops and AppleTV to share for group discussions and presentations.  We also use quite a few cloud products that the laptops are enhanced to work well with.

  • In Data Analytics: We use a plethora of Apple-enhanced tools such as Tableau and a ton of cloud products that work seamlessly on the MacBook Air laptops.

I understand that you are personally integrated into the Apple landscape as well.

I use an Apple AirTag in my wallet, laptop and backpack so my iPhone warns me if, when changing classrooms, I accidentally leave anything in the previous room.

Have you used Apple tech in your new role as faculty coordinator for Griffin Esports?  

Yes! We have been using MacBook laptops to create and manage applications, the roster, and administrative functions of the launch.  We have also been using our MacBook laptops to edit gameplay videos as well as to stream live events.