I have now been using the iPad 2 for a little over a week and I’m starting to get used to using the apps. To force me to deal with it I’ve decided that I will use it it as my only source of internet connectivity while I travel from July 16th to July 23rd. This will include 3 days at a conference for our New Tech Network.
I now have additional folders and my kids have managed to download some apps that I have placed into a separate folder. I’m still debating whether, ethically, I am using it as a school computer if there are games on it that are not being used by my students educationally. By asking the question I already know that it is not ethical. A good rule of thumb is if you have to ask “Is this ethical,” it probably isn’t.
So what have I used the most? Social Media, of course. As a Twitter user I’m trying to get it figured out on this thing. I have the Twitter, Tweetdeck, and Echofon apps and I like the Echofon best (even though I am a tweetdeck user on my laptop). I also use Flipboard, and love it, to get a quick read of whats on my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds. Flipboard is the best and if you don’t have it I’d get it (if you use social media and/or want news feeds). I still plan on getting everyone’s opinion on the best Twitter app to use.
Besides social media I’ve played with Dropbox and will continue to use it during the conference. I hope to see if it makes sense to have people share things with me via that app. I know that with Google Apps we already have a good place to share documents so this conference will make me decide whether I need Dropbox or not.
When it really comes down to it the app I’ve used most is Free Books. I’ve managed to read 5 books this week. I decided to explore H.P. Lovecraft and am amazed that I hadn’t read any of his books earlier. When I was in high school there was this new writer writing short stories for Yankee Magazine named Stephen King. You might have heard of him. I loved King and read all of his book (or at least the first dozen or so) as soon as they were written. Well, Lovecraft is like a 1920’s version of King.
I haven’t really gotten into the “Productivity” apps yet but I want to have them flushed out by the time we start classes. Maybe while in Grand Rapids I can explore these. One thing nice is that Apple just opened a Teacher Apps section in the App Store that I read about today. Having one place to go and shop may make it easier than going to the Education Apps section with its 8000+ apps listed.
Finally, since I have the wifi version of the iPad2 I wanted to explore my options for accessing wifi. One app I got was the Free Wifi App which, as the name says, helps me find the nearest free wifi. Some of the spots for my town were outdated but I want to see what it does for my travels next week. The other thing I’m thinking about doing is getting the T-Mobile mobile hot spot. Since I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for about 8 years I can get it for about $80 and I can add it to our data plan. That would allow me to be able to operate wherever T-Mobile is strong. As my wife found out yesterday there are a LOT of places in West Texas that are NOT T-Mobile accessible for data. We’ll cross that bridge when I get there.
So, I've been teaching teachers about the iPad 2 all summer, and I'll tell you my favorite app by far: Evernote. Check it out. You'll dig it. And then combine it with Twipple (my favorite Twitter app) and Feeddler Pro (for a news/RSS reader), and you'll see they cross-pollinate nicely, allowing you to archive and tag all your favorite things.
Anyway, that's my .02. Let me know when you want to chat Productivity…
My favorite app for taking notes is Popplet, hands down. Another app to consider is Docs To Go. It syncs with multiple Google Accounts, so you can work on Google Docs offline and then it'll sync up next time you log in with wifi.
Les and Bobby you guys are great! I have Evernote but haven't really played with it yet. And, I hadn't tried Twipple or Feeddler Pr. I want to check out some other document sharing stuff before I add Popplet but I'll check it out during trip to Grand Rapids. Wow, lot's to learn.