Saturday, July 10, 2010

iNTEGRATION, baby!

Put an "i" in front of it and there I am, sprinting to our Mac Store. (That is me with the red umbrella - naw, it isn't.)  It is the only time I get exercise.


i need an intervention (get it?). There is, however, method to my, ummm, madness.

As I play with my MacBook, iPhone4, iPad and Kindle, and also juggle my stack of summer reading books and professional journals, the real point of it all is trying to understand how it functions together. I am looking for perfect integration across devices (digital and analog) to mainstream my learning needs, my teaching needs, and my professional needs. Tech lust aside, it is about efficiency.


My RSS feed was particularly abundant today, and among the treasures was Top Ten iPad Apps for Librarians | Information Tyrannosaur.  Please, open a new tab and check it out. When you finish come back here. I'll wait....

Good stuff, right? I already had a number of the suggested (excellent) apps and checked out all the others. After playing around with DropBox (free) I added it to all my devices. I'm going to evaluate and compare it to GoogleDocs, Diigo and Evernote. Finding the most efficient, web-based integration tool is, to my mind, the Holy Grail for school librarians right now.

Observations:
  • iPad - I can't edit docs easily. Great reading functionality, but I keep tap, tap, tapping at the screen waiting for the keyboard to pop up. It will come with time and updates, but I really need it and want it now.
  • iPhone4 - This is my first iPhone, and I got it because my husband was appalled that I wanted a new digital camera. He said ours was fine and I replied, in dulcet tones "NO IT ISN'T!!!!" Snakes may have shot out of my head. He responded with specs for the new iPhone camera and...he had a point! I lovelovelove the iPhone camera because of the amazing integration. 
    • iMovie - This $4.99 app is flat out amazing. I tested it out on the 4th of July, which is epic in Boston. Editing was intuitive and painless, but moving it off the camera was frustrating. I videoed my nephew and wasn't comfortable uploading to YouTube, and the email options had size restrictions. I need to play some more to figure this piece out. Uploading to DropBox or Vimeo would be perfect, but either the functionality - or me - just aren't there yet.
    • I'd also love to know if it is possible to upload photos and video directly to my blog or other web-based platform. Again, I have to figure this out.
    • By the way, the-most-patient-man-in-the-world also found me an iPhone case that has a little pocket big enough for a drivers license and a credit card. Really and truly I grab my phone and walk out the door. Hopefully the next iteration will have a side pouch for Chapstick. Then the world will be perfect.
    • Note of interest - my previous phone was a little brick we got on eBay. It was a phone with texting, and that was it, and that was fine. When we got it the texting was pre-set to Portugese because it came from Brazil. The first time I texted I thought I had had a stroke and lost the language section of my brain. But I digress...
  • Kindle - Really great functionality for sharing across devices, if you are willing to play with the settings. However the proprietorship will ultimately prove to be too restrictive. Ergonimically I just love reading on the Kindle.
At the end of the day (epically rainy in the Boston area today) what I am looking for is a triangulation of functionality. Our students and teachers need web-based platforms that will function irrespective of device. They need a portable device that will synch accounts while simultaneously allow for collaboration and editing on the live web.

We are getting there, and devices and platforms are evolving by the minute. Playing, testing, reading about it all is more fun than I ever imagined.

I'm so glad it rained today! I stayed in and played.

Photo credit:
(Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)

1 comment:

  1. I too am looking at ways to carry less this school year and have more of a "digital" book bag. I too was just introduced to DropBox and plan on using it this school year so I can work on documents both at home and school without necessarily carrying my laptop back and forth. Want to figure out a way to do more of a digital plan book this summer as well.

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