Monday, July 5, 2010

Reflections on Traveling with the iPad WiFi

I have had my iPad WiFi for about a month now and have enjoyed using the Ipad WiFi for getting my email, surfing the web and of course playing Scrabble. In preparation for attending the ISTE 2010 Conference I decided to see what it would be like to travel with the iPad instead of my netbook which is what I usually do. While the virtual on-screen keyboard is alright for entering web sites and the such, I decided to take my Apple Bluetooth keyboard just in case. For one thing the iPad weighs almost nothing and there is not the need to take a lot of the other accessories that I would normally have taken with me. It is a rather small package and is really great for travel. It is so light you sometime forget that you are actually carrying a computer.

Once I checked into my hotel room in Denver, I quickly fired up the iPad and registered to use the hotel Internet which dare I say was $10 dollars a night for in room use. In any case I was able to quickly get up and running and could easily access my email and check out my favorite websites. While I was traveling I need to access Moodle to enter my students grades and to monitor the discussion board. The Moodle site worked well with the iPad and I was able to do everything I need to do enter my students grades. Since our college uses another web based application to enter the students final grades I needed to log into their system to enter the students final grades. I had bookmarked the secure site prior to my travels and was able to quickly log in and enter all of my students grades without a hitch. My college does use a fair amount of Flash on their website for navigation which makes it a little more of a challenge to use with the iPad.

During my stay I used a number of iPad apps with the Bluetooth keyboard which worked very well. I did some mind mapping using iThoughtsHD which right now is my favorite mind mapping application on the iPad. I suspect that all of the mainstream developers of mind mapping software will shortly have their own mind mapping app running on the iPad. I was able to use Pages to do some word processing and used Skype on the iPad to talk to my friends and family.

On my way home I sat in the Denver Airport and logged into their free WiFi hotspot and checked my mail before taking off. All told, I had a very positive experience using the iPad WiFi during my trip and realize just how powerful the iPad can be as an all around tablet computer. The iPad does make you think a little differently about your workflow and using cloud services like Box.net, Evernote and Dropbox really helps you to maximize the quality of your experience when using the iPad. So just in case you have second thoughts of whether to take your iPad on the road - go ahead and give it a try, you will be glad you did!

 
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