Saturday, June 26, 2010

On the road to Denver & ISTE 2010... with an iPad.

As of Friday, school's finally out for the summer. Less than 24 hours after bidding adieu to my wonderful students, my husband and I hit the road to Denver early Saturday morning. With approximately 14 hour of driving time ahead of us, I of course had to figure out how to keep myself busy.

I received my iPad last week and thought I would write a post about the many ways I used it during our road trip. I can tell already I'm a bit limited in what I can do as I didn't go for the 3G iPad so I had to settle for the apps and functions that work without the Internet while in the car. I did use the iPad when I had access to Wifi during our pit-stops.

We have a Magellan GPS that we refer to as "Maggie" who was faithfully guiding us on our trip. The GPS was great for guiding on our route but was limited in what we could look at a big map of our trip. My husband thought that we should stop and buy a Road Atlas, but I stopped him when I showed him that the map feature on my iPad showed us all the roads we needed to follow for our trip. (iPad Use #1) The bright screen was also helpful tonight looking for our hotel in Cheyenne, WY as usually you would have to put on the map light to look at a map, but I didn't have to.

After ensuring we were on the right route, I used my iPad to access my iTunes library and enjoyed some tunes. (iPad Use #2)

While listening to my tunes, I wrote some notes in Evernote (iPad Use #3), caught up on my Google Reader/Mobile RSS (iPad Use #4) using my instapaper app because it works offline, and started writing this blog post using Pages (iPad Use #5) since I didn't have access to the Internet.

My husband still wanted to drive, so I decided to watch a movie on my iPad. (iPad Use #6) Later, I read some of my books using the Kindle app (iPad Use #7) although I later switched back to my Kindle as I find the screen easier to read for extended periods of time. I do like taking notes better on the iPad using the Kindle app.

I'm currently trying to study to take my GRE in the fall to be able to go to Grad School in 2011, so I had installed a few apps for that. (iPad Use #8) I entertained my husband by asking him logic questions and vocabulary words.

When it came time to think about a hotel for the night, I used the wifi in the restaurant (where we were eating supper) to access Kayak (using their app) and shortlisted a few hotels. (iPad Use #9)

Finally, needing something mindless to do, I played a couple of games (iPad Use #10) and checked out the Glee app (iPad Use #11). That one was fun to use as you can record yourself singing a song in your iTunes library and then it fixes your voice for you and adds in the extras (back-up singers, etc). This one was a lot of fun.

My thoughts so far on the iPad is that it is a fun tool that kept me busy on our trip. I'm sure I could have survived without it, and used some of the other tools I had with me (netbook, ipod, Blackberry, etc) in its place, but it was nice to have an all-in-one type tool to keep me occupied during our long trip. I know that I'm only beginning to discover its many potential uses.

So there you have it. My first road trip experience with a WiFi iPad. I'm so excited that we will be arriving in Denver at ISTE 2010 on Sunday morning. Looking forward to the learning, networking and everything in between. Stayed tuned for more from my ISTE experience