All I Brought to ISTE11 Was an iPad (and fabulous shoes)

Last year at #ISTE10 my biggest complaint was my back pain. Caused by lugging my laptop around. So this year I left it at home. I don’t use it much when I’m at home, mostly bc it has been replaced by my iPad & iPhone. I did not bring it to Educon but was a little more nervous about not bringing it to #ISTE11 a TECHNOLOGY conference. So when trying to decide one thing kept coming to mind, I’m always the first to get excited when I hear that schools have gone 1:1 iPads. If its good enough for kids it has to be good enough for me right?

So here are my thoughts, observations, and whatnots, for all they are worth. My back is much better (though my feet aren’t, but that’s different story) but thankful I only had to carry around my purse and no bag. I could do everything I wanted to. Mostly tweeted, blogged in airport, so social media wise it was perfect. Some sessions had websites or wikis, great for keeping up with that as well. I loved the fact I never had to worry about finding a wifi signal (or worry about the one in the conference center dropping me).

I really never missed it until Monday & Tuesday. I needed to write a formal document. Needed headings, links, etc. Gdocs (which I love), especially the mobile version just couldn’t cut it. That was driving me crazy. Finally spent a good deal of time in the hotel business center and got everything completed. But this was a very stressful situation.

Here is what I’m taking from this, when IPads came out my first thought, bad for schools because mostly “consumer” driven. Get info, search, and read. Over time I realized through apps they are allowing to be more “producer” driven. One app that comes to mind is the “Show Me” app. Started playing with this week before ISTE, and by accident got to meet one of its creators while in Philly, but can see how this ad apps similar can allow students to share what they know. Apps like “Slide Share” created by the awesome peeps at Motion Mobs can allow for presentations to easily be shown from your Slide Share account, which you can create from Keynote app. See there are ways the iPad can be a producer.

But I’m still stuck. What if a student needs to link something in a blog post? Or update a wiki? What about that high school senior wh has a term paper in MLA format due? Now what? I don’t know. Have labs set up just for this. If there is an app developer out there listening can ya help them out? You know I hate papers, would rather students produce something more fun, but this is still a standard that needs to be addressed. Like I said iPad was smooth sailing until I needed that document. Is this where you take your positives and negatives and then make the decision? I don’t know.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    This is exactly how I feel about the iPad. It has replaced my laptop except when I need to type a document, print, or link things. I would hope that apple would hear these weakness and release some FREE apps to take care of it. I do use pages and drop box, but I still need my laptop.

  2. Venita says:

    I, too, use my iPad for ALMOST everything but do run into occasions when I need a computer- developing and presenting SMART Notebook lessons is the biggie for me. I’m impressed that you made it through ISTE without a laptop, though and hope that I can achieve this goal at conferences someday. Thanks for sharing the 2 apps, I’m off to check them out.
    (What did your shoes look like?)

  3. Steve Dembo says:

    > What if a student needs to link something in a blog post?
    Then they flip over to Safari, copy the URL, go back to wherever they were typing the post in (WordPress?) and link it up!

    > Or update a wiki?
    Jump on Wifi, go to wiki, click edit. Same as on a computer.

    > What about that high school senior wh has a term paper in MLA format due?
    I’d either use a keyboard or a computer for that. With a keyboard, I can grade/write just as fast as I do on a computer.

    I’ll be honest, the line between iPad and Computer is getting awful blurry. I’m still not sure that I could create presentations via the iPad, but I’m getting a whole lot closer. There are some great clipboarding apps out there now that are making it even easier.

    I do understand the trepidation. But a year+ into this device, I’m finding the things it “can’t” do to be highly overrated!

  4. Thanks for your post! I’ve been debating between purchasing another laptop or an ipad. I’m always writing curriculum, writing papers and updating my class wiki so it sounds as though the laptop wins. Yet at the same time, I enjoy creating novel trailers for the books that my students read and would love to work with iMovie and the plethora of apps on the ipad. Would plugging in a keyboard help make typing documents easier?

  5. Chad Lehman says:

    I was packing my backpack prior to ISTE and already had my iPad in my backpack. I reached for my laptop to also put in my bag and my wife asked why I was bringing both. I really didn’t have an answer. The result – I only took my iPad. Things worked out well for me. I didn’t have to type anything of substance, although I could have. I have the My Writing Spot app on my iPad. I’ve used that for word processing if necessary and I’ve blogged using the WordPress app. I’m still considering buying the Pages app, but I haven’t needed it yet. I certainly can’t type as fast using the iPad, but I haven’t practiced that much using it. If I found myself needing to type on the iPad a lot, I’d probably pick up a Bluetooth keyboard.

    Looking back, the best part of using the iPad was the fact that I never had to charge the battery throughout the day. If I would have had my laptop, I would have been sitting by a power source way too often. I still carried my backpack around the conference, but am now wondering why I did that. I probably didn’t need to. Overall, it was a good decision for me.

  6. Jena Sherry says:

    Amen, sister! I hardly ever turn on my laptop anymore and I never leave home without my iPad. I do like having the wireless Apple keyboard for faster typing though.

  7. Kyle Pace says:

    I also went iPad only in Philly. This was the first time the laptop did not travel with me. It was great traveling lighter in that aspect with still having access to everything I needed. I never felt myself once really missing the MacBook. I also brought the Apple bluetooth keyboard and that came in very handy. Like Steve said, I could be equally as productive with that accessory along with me. I bought the Keynote app and am just now starting to delve into creating an entire presentation on the iPad. Liking it so far!

    As far as blogging goes specifically, I’ve heard good things about the Blogsy app. I think it’s $4 or $5. Haven’t checked it out yet though.

    I heard lots and lots in the beginning that iPad was a “consumption only” device. If I heard someone say that today I’d challenge that they aren’t making the time to learn to be productive with it. You get out what you put in right?

  8. amandacdykes says:

    Hey y’all will totally reply to cOmments soon (crazy morning), but just wanted to say that I actually type better on iPad and even iPhone. I have extremely small hands (as in adult gloves have never fit) so I can’t reach all keys on keyboard well. Also have a “pen” that really let’s me hunt and peck very quickly. So no need for keyboard here. More later…

  9. Raman Job says:

    Love using my iPad for just about everything. You’re right it does have limitations, though. As for students linking something to a blog post, the Blogsy app makes it very easy!

  10. amandacdykes says:

    Ok I will have to check out Blogsy, I like hyperlinks better than links.

    Last I tried to update my wiki was in January and it would not let me update, I hope that is fixed now, thanks for letting me know!

    I think even though I pointed out the negatives, I do agree this is the future and way to go, just wanted to bring up that there are negatives and we need to plan for these!

    Now can I haz a classroom set? 😉

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