Saturday, 19 March 2011

iPad Week 1 and a bit

So how after a week is the iPad working out?
Well there has been a little bit of a learning curve with the iPad versions of Pages and Keynote (I've not used Numbers yet). The learning curve has been about learning the menus and how things transfer to a touch world.
There are limitations to these apps, which is to be expected. But considering that these are running on a tablet device with limited resources compared to a PC/laptop the functionality that they have and usability is amazing.
What I would like to see from Apple in future versions are the following
Allow the setting of the default font to use in a document. For work I use Verdana (readability etc reasons), and it would be nice to be able to set this as the default.
It would also be helpful if I was able to add my own templates to the list of templates available. There is a way round this by copying an existing document. But from a user experience point of view it makes more sense allowing users to add their own templates and using them when creating a new document.
It would also be nice go have folders in the apps so that I can organise my documents. Or if Apple don't want to add folders I need some way to organise my documents so could they add that.
The above wish list apply to both Pages and Keynote, however the following is Keynote specific.
During the week I bought the cheap official Apple Keynote remote app for the iPhone. Which acts as a wireless remote for Keynote running on a Mac. What would be great and allow me to do presentations from the iPad using Keynote is if the Keynote remote app would work with the iPad version of Keynote. As soon as that functionality is added and working, an order for the VGA adaptor cable will be placed.
For educational use this would be a killer app. At the moment I print out my slides with notes to use in class. The Keynote remote app allows you to control the presentation and also see your notes for the current slide. Having the iPad and this app working together will cut down on paper used, and mean I am not tied down to one spot controlling the slides.

However even with these minor criticisms, the apps are very capable and allow me to prepare notes, worksheets and presentations for class very easily.

I now have GarageBand and another app called WavePad for recording student podcasts. I haven't had chance to play with either yet, it's just been one of those busy weeks at work.
But as the following screen shot shows WavePad looks to offer some of the Audacity functionality that I was looking for.

I am also looking at getting a decent USB microphone to use at work for recording podcasts. The Rock Band one has been ok, but it will be nice to use something more professional and allow the students to get better quality recordings.

One thing I will be looking at getting in the next couple of weeks is a mind map app for the iPad. I use one on the iPhone (which I am going to drop because of the developer removing the ability to save mind maps to the camera roll on the free version I've been using for over 2 years!). I like mind map software on the iOS platform, the touch interface seems made for it.

I have a lot of books and information in PDF format, and this was one of the driving factors in me finally getting an iPad. Now currently I use iBooks to read my PDF's. Sadly there is a major drawback in using iBooks for PDF reading. That drawback is that I can't highlight or add notes. Which is critical for me, not only for my own studies, but also in lesson prep. Otherwise I really like iBooks as a reader, and the ability to organise documents into categories is really useful.

So it's been a week of learning and discovering limitations. As a tool for a teacher/lecturer in the classroom I'm still in the early days of discovering what or how it can be used. But it sure is going to be fun learning ^__^

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love iBooks but also found it limiting when it came to hilighting etc.
Try "iAnnotate PDF", easy enough to learn with the tutorial and allows you to hilight, add notes, circle text and add arrows etc.