Having posted initially as the hard core PC user encountering the iPad, I suppose I should explain who I am and why I am blogging. I am a free lance Arts Education consultant and professional director (theatre) working for the Arts Educator 2.0 project out of Pennsylvania. I am interested in discovering the iPad and it’s use in the classroom, especially for the teachers I facilitate who are arts educators without a great deal of access to technology. Any tool I give my teachers needs to be technology that will be simple to use and technology that will serve their work with children.
With my many hats, April May and June found me traveling around the East Coast, so I have not kept up with my blogging. However my little iPad came with me- and I have been experimenting with an eye for what my teachers may encounter. I’ve learned several things as a newbie to share with other newbies out there- specifically newbie hard core PC users.
First off – to get your iPad working. The cute little icon telling you to sync with iTunes is vital. Nothing works until this happens. And it can’t be just any iTunes version. In order to get your iPad up and operational you need to Sync with the 9.1 version. If you are already an iTunes user be sure you ask iTunes to update. I found that even when I asked for updates I actually had to go to the site and choose the option to search for recent modifications in order to get the correct version. Once I did this- Voila! Like magic my iPad came to life and I’ve had no trouble since.
Now the question became will this work with my netbook? Armed with my new information I downloaded iTunes 9.1 to my netbook, checked for the latest version manually at the Apple site and again- magic! My iPad will sync with my netbook, no problem.
With the iPad up and running I began to explore the world of Applications. The first thing I did was use the book reader. It is important to note that iPad also offers a free Kindle ap- which means you may also purchase books from Amazon.com-what a bonus! The reader is very user friendly and an overall delight to use. The touch screen features are great (it feels just like turning a page in a book only easier), it remembers your page, allows you to insert book marks and iPad versions of books come with illustrations! (Although so far I have only seen the free Winnie the Pooh packaged with the iPad).
The YouTube function is also great. Videos show up so clearly on the screen and the volume is great- which is surprising given the tiny speaker.
Photos can be downloaded into iTunes using your regular computer and then they will load onto your iPad when you sync. You can even use your iPad as a digital picture frame with the frame choice and slide show functions.
Google Maps are awesome as well- and if you are hooked in to wifi the iPad will work as a GPS and find you on the map. I turned on my Palm mobile hotspot, linked to my iPad and voila- I got to watch myself moving along the Google map. My husband and I found this very entertaining. In fact we took turns driving so each person could watch the Google map change. I learned some very valuable things- like the fact that the little ranch house on the corner has a giant pool hidden in their back yard.
We were so excited about the Google Map clarity that my husband, who never, ever purchases aps, actually asked me for my Apple account codes to purchase a Google ap. That is when I learned the next thing I need to share with you. Make certain when you purchase an ap that it specifically says it will work with iPad. Six dollars later we discovered that the ap he purchased only works with iPhones. It turned out that the link to the ap store on iPad sent you to all possible aps and it was difficult to know that only some worked with iPad. This has since changed, Apple has now started to actually separate the iPad aps out so that when you search for an ap it is clear what will work. I had the same problem with a movie rental – but when I wrote to Apple they couldn’t tell me if it was because the rental does not work with iPad. They did refund my money though.
Google maps brings up another thing I’ve learned. I’ve learned that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the “instant on” function an iPad gives you. If you are a PC user then you know what I mean- we have to wait while our virus check happens, etc, etc. and if you use applications like SpyBot the wait gets really, really long.
The other day at my home (wireless access) I got a telephone call from the theatre- the wood delivery man was lost and trying to find us. I whipped on my iPad and got an instant map, figured out where he was and directed him back on the road. I couldn’t have done that with my PC. Ok MAC users I finally get it but I’m still not selling my PC. I do concede however that an iPad is a superior surf the web tool using the wifi link… which brings us to another problem.
There can be some wireless access issues with iPad. I have had difficulties accessing and keeping an IP address on some systems. I learned from a tech person that if you adjust the brightness of your screen it may resolve the problem. I also noticed that it is worse if my iPad is low on charge. This intrigued my husband who is a computer geek who has been building PCs for years in our basement. Given these two pieces of information he thinks that the problem may be related to how the iPad portions out available power to the transmitter. I’ve heard that Apple is aware of the difficulties and plans on fixing them by the next set of iPad deliveries.
I will close with a good site to check for iPad information. I asked the teachers I facilitate for Arts 2.0 to think of ways they might use an iPad and they asked me if the iPad can project. I found that yes, just like an iPod or iPod touch you can purchase a cable to hook it to a projector or television screen, however right now it only projects certain aps. According to the iPad for Ed forums currently only project Keynote * Photos * Videos (non-DRMed) * YouTube * Safari (html5 video only) will show on a projector. Check out this forum at: Check out the full discussion at their site: http://ipad4edu.com/questions/3/can-you-connect-the-ipad-to-a-projector