So…tomorrow is the unconference part of iPadpalooza, as if the first two days hadn’t been great enough. Remember, for me, the best sessions weren’t about apps but about the power of those apps. As Amy “@friedtechnology” Mayer said earlier today:
People don’t buy drills because they want drills, they buy drills because they want holes. We buy these devices because we want to improve education.”
By far, the best presentations could have had at their heart, any device…but the iPad was first on the scene and as such, it is the device iPadpalooza was named after. Of course, I’d be missing the point–the iPad is an awesome tool, but as one principal from a former district put it to me today, “Ok, we’re not an innovative campus because we bought iPads…if that gave us a bump, then the only way we’re going to stay ahead is to actually DO the work–do the experiments, do the projects, etc.”
Wise words…so, as I look forward to tomorrow from my vantage point, a person who has spent too much time with many devices, here are some of my ideas for sessions that I probably won’t share:
- Connecting with People a la”Push to Connect:” Looking for a quick way to connect with others? You may be on Twitter, Google+, but if these leave you hungering for human voices, then consider “push to talk” apps that enable collaboration. Here are two that I use daily:
- Voxer: This app enables great conversations. Since there are different people in this space–albeit with some overlap–you get access to people who are focused on the spoken word, on ideas said aloud rather than written. This is an eye-opener for me. I hope my fellow Texas educators will join Voxer and #etdrive, an effort to bring Texas voices together and amplify.
- Telegram: I introduced a colleague in Florida to this app yesterday, and he fell in love with it. It’s a powerful push to talk app that enables text, photos, voice messages…it’s easy to use, you can create groups. In fact, I’ve worked to get my school district’s leadership on Telegram because it facilitates communications in a crisis. Completely free and open source.
- Saving Time While Working: In one session today, I introduced someone to Readdle Documents app. Then, I walked them through how to use it. The person’s response was euphoria, as he exclaimed, “This is exactly what I needed to know today! Thank you so much!!” I contrasted his use of Readdle Documents and the workflows mastered with this iPad app with a co-worker’s casual use of Documents…for my co-worker, Documents was a necessary clearinghouse for data and content on her iPad. There are many other workflows that could be discussed
- Creating Content that Takes Your Breath Away: Although you can read more about app smashing here, the idea is simple–blend stuff you create from one app into another into another until you create content that is impactful and takes your breath away. You can edit audio with Hokusai audio editor, create slides with Haikudeck, video slides with 30HandsLearning and more.
- Communicating with Videos: After long-time use of an iPad, I have to say that my all-time favorite video editing app remains Pinnacle Studio. When you want to add pictures, video clips, sound and combine it all into one movie, Pinnacle Studio is the app to use. It’s so darn easy.
- Eliminating Paper: If you have an iPad, you don’t need a scanner (although a Fujitsu ScanSnap is great because of it’s connection to Evernote, another must-have app). If you’re looking for a way to quickly digitize packets of paper, less than 20 sheets, then get Evernote’s Scannable app.
- Achieving Inbox Zero: If you get tons of email (and who doesn’t?), you’ll want to take advantage of two apps to simplify your email intake and archiving. For email, get CloudMagic which has built-in support for “cards” that allow you to file your email into Evernote.
- Secure Your Digital Documents: Wondering how to secure your digital documents? Take advantage of tools like ParanoiaWorks Text Encryptor (PTE) to encrypt email messages, or use apps like Telegram (secure 1-to-1 chat), Wickr, or Threema to have encrypted chats with others.