iPad Guide for Administrators

From the twitterverse comes this PDF guide for school principals on the iPad. In evaluating apps on the Apple iOS platform, I, myself, have been keeping two different eyes out on apps.

  1. Apps for school administrators
  2. Apps for students

The guide referenced above talks about Evernote, iAnnotate, iBooks, and Omnifocus. These are well-regarded apps, but different from the ones I use. There are some trends I’ve found when choosing which applications to share with school leaders.

  1. Apps that sync. I recommend Simplenote and Notational Velocity as a killer combination. Simplenote is an app for the iPad/iPhone that can sync your plain-text notes to their server. NV is the app on the Mac that ties into this same database. Write a note one place, have it instantly availalbe everywhere else. Some call this cloud computing.
  2. Focus. OmniFocus is available on both the Mac and the iPad, but I’ve gone with one called Things. I have difficulty in consistently using it, but it does work well as an organizational manager. Both Focus and Things follow the “Getting Things Done” philosophy by David Allen.
  3. Calendars and Mail that Sync. Having your e-mail available on every device, plus your calendar items, is awesome. We use iCal on the Macs, tied to the iOS calendar, using Google’s CalDAV syncing. This is another example of cloud computing.
  4. Data Collection. iPads and iPhones are great data collectors, whether it’s a voice memo, a photo, or data you type into the device. We’re currently using FileMakerGo as a solution to do classroom observations using FileMaker Server.
  5. Information Management. RSS has proven to be one important technology in trying to manage all the information we might find of interest, from education blogs, to online articles, and even school news. I like Reeder, an RSS aggregator for the iPad, but I also like Flipbook, for its ability to show content across platforms in a visually interesting way. Instapaper is an app I’ve yet to share with administrators, which allows you to “read content later,” even without an internet connection.
  6. Documents and Editing. I’ve yet to pick my favorite PDF/Cloud/Office app. I have been using GoodReader a lot as its matured. Some folks like some others for opening and editing Office documents, in addition to the cloud-formats like Dropbox or Google Docs.

Hopefully by March, I can publish which apps we find have been most beneficial. At the same time, we’re looking at educational apps for both elementary and secondary applications.