Eight Great Tips for Traveling with the iPad

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg works on an iPad in a lounge at Newark airport, Wednesday April 14, 2010, before his flight to Oslo from the United States was diverted to Spain because of the cloud of dust from a volcanic eruption in Iceland hanging over northern European air space. (AP Photo/The Prime Minister's Office, ho)

The iPad is an almost perfect travel computer. It’s easy to carry, works as a guide, a map, a book and it’s crazy-long battery life will let you sit back and watch another movie while your laptop-toting companions search for a power outlet. But as convenient as it is, a little preparation will make things even smoother. Here are some things you should do before you leave the house.

Go Offline

A 3G iPad is a wonderfully useful machine, but outside of your home country, unless you’re willing to pay extra for roaming or a new, local micro-SIM, you’ll be back on Wi-Fi. Get ready for this by preparing a few apps.

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New Google Docs

I don’t know how we missed this update, but on April 15th, Google debuted an updated Google Docs editor with real-time collaboration!  One of the biggest issues people have had with Google Docs is that it takes a little while for the edits to show up on the collaborators’ screens.  Not anymore!  It now updates in real-time, similar to Google Wave.

Check out Google’s blog for more information and instructions on how to enable this and other new features: A rebuilt, more real time Google documents

Is 7 your lucky number?

If it is, and especially if it isn’t (!) the “Seven Things You Should Know About …” series by Educause Learning Initiatives is well worth a look.  Each  3-page brief on various instructional technology topics provides an overview of the topic, such as geolocation or citizen journalism, its pros, cons, implications, and examples of how it is actually used in teaching in higher education.  Is your new interest in digital storytelling?  data visualization? twitter?  There are currently 51 briefs available and more are added regularly. Check it out at http://www.educause.edu/ELI/ELIResources/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAbout/7495.

And, since UM is a member of Educause, while you are looking at the 7 Things series, check out the other wonderful resources available to you at the Educause Learning Initiatives site http://www.educause.edu/eli.  It is an impressive resource!

Ripping DVD to edit in Final Cut Pro for Mac

(Editor’s note: Of course, we support DRM and Intellectual Property Rights, so we only encourage you to rip DVDs to which you own the rights or have permission to rip and edit.)

This is a very misunderstood process and most people find it annoyingly cumbersome. Here is what I have found out to be the easiest solution to ripping media from a DVD and putting it into editable content for Final Cut Pro or any other Mac editing program.

1. Download Mac the Ripper (mirror) and OPEN app

1mactheripper

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Embed Google Books Selections in Web Sites, Blogs

This interesting little article from AppScout details a bit about Google’s new options for their Google Books engine.  Most interesting is that:

Google has added a section to Books that includes a link and embed code for easy placement, much like the options available on YouTube videos…Google also improved the search function within each book. If you search for a certain word within the text, for example, Google will return image windows that include the entire sentence for more context. Click on the image and you’ll be taken directly to that page.

Read the full article here.

What Does It Mean to be Educated in the 21st Century?

The Wide, Wide World of Wikis

“Wiki” is a word that’s beginning to be bandied about quite a bit in academia, particularly by me because I am rather enamored by them.  Often people want to assume that wikis are like blogs, and while they do share some features, wikis are run differently and in fact embrace an entirely different philosophy than almost any other type of webservice.

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