Monday, October 18, 2010

Apple’s Pages App for iPad Updated

Apple recently updated the Pages word processing app for the iPad. Improvements include better font matching when opening a Pages or MS Word file, word count for a document, opening a .txt file from the iPad’s Mail application, as well as importing and exporting existing tables of contents, document sections, footnotes and endnotes. Those who have Apple’s MobileMe service now have the option to save documents to iDisk.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Burley Elementary School Tech Coordinator and Teachers Blogging About iPad Initiative

Fellow Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Carolyn Skibba is the Technology Coordinator for the Burley School in Chicago. She recently asked me to take a look at the blog she set up to document Burley’s iPad implementation. I did and you should too. Burley teachers and students are using iPads in five first and second grade classrooms. Carolyn and the teachers are sharing what they and the students are learning.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Discovery Education Offers Streaming Content for the iPad

Discovery Education, a provider of streaming videos and other resources for the classroom, has added streaming to the iPad. The new iPad version offers more than 33,000 educational videos in an HTML5 player, and will add other multimedia elements in upcoming months. Discovery Education streaming is now available in about half of U.S. schools. Educators may remember them as United Streaming.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Verizon Begins Selling the iPad October 28. Is the Verizon iPhone Next?

Apple and Verizon announced today that beginning Oct. 28, Verizon will begin selling the iPad at more than 2000 company stores. Verizon’s iPad won’t use an internal SIM card (like AT&T) to access the Verizon cellular network. Instead, you’ll be able to bundle the iPad with one of Verizon’s pocket-size, portable MiFi cards, called the MiFi 2200. The MiFi acts as a wireless access point, creating a mobile hotspot allowing up to five Wi-Fi devices to share the connection and the bandwidth. You can use the device wirelessly or you can tether directly to your computer using a USB cable and the VZAccess Manager software for solitary use. In my experience, MiFi battery life is about three hours on a full charge, so your iPad will go much longer than the MiFi between charges.

Perhaps Apple and Verizon can arrange a way for the MiFi to be powered by the USB adapter of the Apple Camera Connection Kit until a SIM version of the Verizon iPad comes along. Though I suspect the MiFi 2200 draws more power than the 30 pin connector on the iPad will allow. Back in June, an enterprising hacker actually combined the two devices in a freakish experiment to power the MiFi.
The MiFi 2200 isn’t a new device. I’ve been using it for almost a year now with our MacBooks and since April with my iPad. In fact, I’m composing this post from our back porch using the MiFi. Though certainly not as speedy as our current DSL broadband, the MiFi offers a satisfactory experience. For several months it was our only connection at home to the Internet. While I don’t recommend it for streaming video, I can tell you that my wife and I were able to use it watch a few TV shows on Hulu on my MacBook. Quality was acceptable, but of course streaming consumes data. I’m on the 5GB per month plan at $60/month, and even when using it as our only Internet source at home, we never exceeded the 5GB cap, though we did come close once. You can monitor usage through the VZAccess Manager software or through your account on Verizon’s website. It appears the MiFi device will cost $130 if you get it bundled at the Verizon store. You can find a better price online (read free) with a new Verizon Wireless plan. Here’s one example and here’s another one. Getting the bundle at the Verizon store will be more costly but more convenient.

Rumors have the iPhone at Verizon early next year, but we’ve heard this before. Is the iPad a herald for the Verizon iPhone? We’ll see. Meanwhile, you’ll soon have a second choice for a single store to bundle mobile broadband and the iPad.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

iPads in Education - Useful Tools for Schools

Denise Harrison, writing for THE Journal, takes a comprehensive look at the iPad and what it means for education. She considers the attributes of the device itself, as well as a number of apps and add-ons that make it a useful tool for schools.

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iPad and Assistive Apps Help Children Communicate

A few weeks ago I wrote about how the iPad shows promise for helping children with autism.  Today a Wall Street Journal article  describes how the iPad is helping children with speech and communication difficulties.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

iPad Resources for Administrators - Apps, Articles and Websites

The Mid-Hudson Regional Information Center website has a large collection of iPad Resources for  Administrators. The information is divided in to two sections, one with recommended apps and another with suggested articles and websites.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

iPads Finding Favor for Use in Government Business

Local governments in the U.S. and the German parliament are using the iPad to save paper, access information and support decision making. Stateside, a number of municipalities are exploring the use of iPads for conducting government business. In the German parliament, iPads are now welcome but other computers are not. However, as the first article points out, not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

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iPad Adapter Combines USB and SD Card Reader

In a previous post I wrote back in June, I described how to use Apple’s iPad Camera Connection kit to connect USB headsets and other devices. You may recall Apple’s kit has two connectors, one for USB and one for an SD card. USBfever has combined both adapters into a single unit that plugs into the 30 pin connector. More in this MacWorld article.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple’s Remote App Update Adds iPad Version to Control iTunes

The recent update to the free Remote app from Apple adds an iPad version that takes advantage of the iPad’s large screen. The Remote app allows you to control iTunes running on your computer over a Wi-Fi network and also works with Apple TV. The iPad interface is nearly identical to iTunes on your computer or the iPod app on the iPad. Hands-on review at ars technica.

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