Get Connected - The First Step for using the iPod Touch and iPad

Setting up your wireless access:
  • If using the district iPod touches, you need to turn on the devices prior to your students using them and ensure you have Internet access to the SD36.Wireless2 network or the guest network when that becomes available.
  • For your own iPod/iPad get setup and register an account on iTunes as you will want to investigate the world of iOS (Apple's name for the mobile operating system on these devices) apps. To date there are over 250,000 apps for these devices, lots to explore! (Note: If you are not comfortable linking an account with a credit card just yet, you can "buy" a free app which will allow the iTunes to create an account that does not need a credit card - instructions here.)

What Can I Do With an iPod Touch / iPad?

In short, almost anything! The Apple App store has many categories each containing hundred if not thousands of apps in each category. You can search for apps using iTunes on your personal computer, but you can also browse and install apps directly on the device via the Mobile App Store application present on each iPod or iPad.

Here are some general ideas:

Media and Information processing
  • Download mobile Skype will give you the same access as a phone with your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Purchase some Skype Out credit and you can call any phone worldwide (landline or mobile numbers) for pennies a minute all through wi-fi.
  • Video out capability. Will display all your downloaded library of movies and video podcasts from your iTunes library. Purchase a video cable (composite, component, or now VGA) and it gives you the ability to show videos through your device. The VGA and component out gives out great near HD quality. Take your whole library of videos or movies with you. A great classroom resource. The cables you need can be found at Apple (composite video or VGA video) or cheaper from many third party suppliers.
  • GoodReader App - shows pdfs on the video output and can sync files through iTunes and also through cloud sharing sites.
  • DropBox App - to access virtually your documents and files from the cloud. Free 2GB storage, paid up to 100GB. Can keep files in sync between your personal computer (Windows, Mac), iPad, iPod, iPhone. Easy to use, happens automatically.
  • Pages, Keynote, Numbers for the iPad - full functioning applications like their iWork counterpart. $9 each.
  • QuickOffice App - Compatible with Microsoft Office 2003/2007 depending on the features $10-12. Full functioning word processor and spreadsheet complete with file storage and syncing with cloud computing storage, including Google Docs.
  • DocumentsToGo - complete office suite similar to QuickOffice, but includes a PowerPoint compatible module. $10 to $15.
  • CBC Radio App / Corus Communication App - CBC & Corus Communication are streaming live. Every station in the country on their network can be accessed over wifi or 3G. Apps are free! Uses the location services (GPS) built in to the iOS software to find what stations are closest to you.
  • Dragon speaking - talk to your device for up to 30 secs and does a virtual transcription back. Dictate something and cut and paste into an email. Works with the built in microphone or the headset microphone.
  • iBooks - eBooks and digital books. Apple's answer to the Kindle reader. Purchase or view PDFs in the free app.
  • Amazon Kindle App - got a kindle, or like Amazon's larger selection of books. This app will connect to Amazon and allow you to download Kindle formatted books.
  • Magazines, Newspapers - Many publishers are moving to digital copy : Globe and Mail, New York Times, BBC, Time Magazine are all offering mobile content. Some are free, some paid. Check out the Zinio app for a large selection of magazines. Most of the magazines by travel and lifestyle publisher Conde Nast are either in mobile format or coming.
  • NFB - free public domain streaming movies from Canada's National Film Board
  • Penultimate - write on the screen with your finger. Free hand drawing that can be saved to pdf.

Video applications - Stream content or repackage your own

  • YouTube - streamed directly to your mobile
  • Handbrake - free to download application for Mac or Windows to take a DVD and format it to be in the correct resolution for your device. Sync the resulting file through iTunes into your mobile.
  • Video Science App - video podcasts done by Science House on Science. Streams podcast video
  • iTunes U - part of the iTunes store where universities are archiving video and audio lessons of current courses. Constantly being updated and expanded and more universities embrace distributed on demand information.

Social Media

Social media is huge on mobile devices! Use it for research, commentary, connecting with others in real time. A sampling of some applications.

  • Yellow Pages App - throw away your paper phone book, everything you need is in a searchable digitally formatted copy, constantly updated, complete with maps to help you find where you are going.
  • Urban Spoon, Yelp - specifically created to find restaurants with integrated mapping.
  • Open Table - make reservations at restaurants from your mobile device, online data base of restaurants and select date and time
  • Fat Secret - how many calories in that burger? Fat Secret will tell you. Looks up nutritional information for menu items at hundreds of restaurants.
  • Wikipanion - a mobile formatted way to use and search wikipedia
  • WolframAlpha - collates information about topics, knowledge engine, great for facts, amazing database of information. Try it to believe it.
  • WebMD - self diagnosis and medical self help app from the web portal WebMD
  • FlightTrack - type in flight number and will pull info about arrival, where it is, etc.
  • Kayak - search for flights, fares and deals, free
  • Wikihood - looks at location through GPS and goes through wikipedia database and tells all the info about your location. Category of applications called "augmented reality"
  • Flixster - buy tickets online, search for movies
  • Epicurious - recipe book 50,000 recipes, with shopping list, technique and planning
  • Twitter Apps (Twitterific, Echofon, Twitter) - Micro blogging not used specifically by kids. As a professional community, it is very good pro-d. Can list by groups of interest or topics. Search for twitter hash tags on specific topics. Follow people who are following other people you find interesting. Hash Tag and you can view what everyone is Twittering about a specific topic or event.

Mobile App review sites for education Created and managed by Scott Meech (find and follow on Twitter). Community managed resource about apps teachers find useful in educational settings.

Updated : Sept 8, 2010