Julia Fischer is an educator turned content developer for Clarity. As a classroom teacher Julia used innovative teaching methods and materials with her middle school students. Julia discovered online learning and took courses which led to facilitating online courses as well as writing content for these courses in multiple platforms. She transitioned to a district level position where she planned, facilitated and supported professional staff development. Read more...
Traveling with an iPadJulia Fischer | March 27, 2012
As noted in earlier blogs this year, I finally bit the bullet and jumped on board as an iPad user. Of course now they have released a newer version of this technology, but I am still happy with what I have and while traveling I was going to take full advantage of all that the iPad has to offer.
First priority – staying connected. While traveling I needed to be able to access my online course, especially to respond to student communications. To help accomplish this task I was given a wireless keyboard to help expedite the typing. I have to say when set-up and used in a virtual office this really is a time saver. I also made sure that I had the latest version of Skype for the iPad and FaceTime so I could connect with students or family and friends if needed. Finding good wireless connections free or paid, were a challenge and made me wish that I had gotten a 3G compatible device.
I also selected several apps to help us with our trip planning and navigation. There were many apps to choose from one criteria was to choose apps that were inexpensive or free. Another was to find apps that would provide useful information while off line. We visited three countries – England, Switzerland and France. In England we stayed in London and took in all of the sites. The two apps that I felt were most helpful there were London2Go and the London Tube Map, although the tube map would have been more helpful if I had been connected. The London2Go app gave great information about each of the sites and was especially helpful in including the tube stop at the site. In Switzerland we rented a car with built in navigation and used that to navigate to where we were going. The app that was helpful in determining where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see was My Switzerland. This app had a feature that allowed you to bookmark locations and create your own journey of Switzerland. I would have liked if it had more places of interest and gave more information on each of the cities, but I think that is something that is being worked on and will get shared in future updates. Our time in France was limited to Paris. Here there were a couple of apps that helped us get around, Paris2Go for information on what to see and about each location and Paris Transport Map-Free Metro Map that was a PDF of the metro system. Since we were offline this map worked the best for our group – but if you had connectivity I would explore other options.
Next up- was capturing our journey though images and videos captured using the iPad. Using the camera on the iPad was easy to use and captured great images. What I didn’t consider was the fact that the camera doesn’t come with a flash so capturing images and videos must be done in areas with great lighting. There were other cameras with us on the trip- so those were used to capture images. I enjoyed using Pic Collage to create a collage of our daily travels. When I did find connectivity this was a fantastic way to share travel updates with family and friends.
I also used this time to introduce my daughter to eReading. On the iPad I had both the iBooks and Kindle apps for reading. I purchased books for her on both sites and shared with her how to get started. At first she was resistant, stating that she liked turning pages and holding the book. She quickly learned that with a flip of the finger it appears like a flipped page, that you have the ability to change text size and for the size of traveling with one book you actually have several to choose from and read if desired. She even started thinking about school and how nice it would be to have electronic textbooks- with one device you would always have your books and it wouldn’t make your backpack that heavy.
All in all traveling with an iPad was a success. I did have to carry around a larger bag so that I had somewhere to store the device when we were not using it, which was awkward at times. However that awkwardness was made up for not having to lug around a heavier computer or books. As I reflect on the entire journey I wonder how I was able to travel without an iPad and I look forward to the adventures the iPad will bring on future journeys.