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Thursday, July 7, 2011

iPad2 At The One Week Point

http://www.flickr.com/photos/discoveryeducation/
     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.