E-Books, Movies, and Concerts

The iPad is happy on our wireless network, and it also worked at my local Starbucks.

I have downloaded the Odyssey (2 versions). One version is to read and the other is to listen to.  The reading version — very poetic — is so cool when combined with the ability to highlight words — I can find any favorite passage in a second. The version that I am listening to — the Fagles translation — is a test to see how long I can listen before I need to recharge. Very nice to have nearby as I am working around the house. Searching for passages has to have collaborative/small group value in a classroom. Oh and so many free books are available — some really ancient.  If you have a Kindle, download the iPad Kindle app for all sorts of surprises.

I’ve also watched a New York Philharmonic concert on YouTube, downloaded all of the songs from Oklahoma (we are going to the Christmas Eve Matinee), watched an old Bob Dylan Christmas concert, and downloaded some Beatles songs.  I haven’t tried my dad’s idea of downloading a piece of music in three or four orchestral versions and listening for the differences, but that sounds like it will be fun (it might be a wonderful collaborative activity for a music class). The iPad sound is really good, though I’ve looked at the mini-speakers and wondered how much better the sound might be if I used them.

A downloaded movie is next.

I am going easy on the apps since I expect to open an iPad on Christmas morning (at least I think that is what is the Apple box that was whisked away the other day), so I want to download the apps onto that. However, one app that I did download today was the WGBH Boston public radio.

The screen quality is amazing.

One issue that I can see in my future is deciding what to do on the iPhone versus what to do on the iPad.  There is a considerable function overlap. Podcasts, for instance.  Do I continue downloading them on my iPhone or use my iPad? The iPhone is smaller and more portable.  The iPad wins in the quality department.

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7 Responses

  1. Very cool, Marti! May I ask what app you were using to read the Odyssey? Just curious since I was using the iBooks app. I know that one complaint about iBooks is that their library is somewhat limited.

    I was talking to a friend and they were saying that one cool feature of the iPad is that if there were a classroom of students with them, they could all be reading an iBook that had the teacher’s notes in them. For example, if you were teaching the Odyssey and wanted to highlight certain parts and write down some notes or questions, you could do that ahead of time and somehow upload that version on all of the class iPads. Then when reading it with students, they could also see your notes. Not quite sure how it works, but could be useful, especially for MS and HS teachers.

  2. I’m enjoying using the ipad for non-teaching fun, such as reading the New York Times every morning. The screen quality is amazing, as has already been said. For teaching, I can imagine using individual ipads when I want us to view art — such as when we look at Richard Misrach sea photos to begin our reading of Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor in my lit class. Looking at art projected off the internet is always disappointing. But I’m not discovering as many uses for my English classes when thinking about using the ipad in an ibook mode. I’m wondering what I would be interested in doing on the ipad that can’t be done already with the students’ individual real-print texts, handouts, or projected excerpts that can be marked up in real time on a white board. So I’m eager to hear more from my colleagues.

  3. I’m liking iBooks as well. The note-taking and highlighting functions are fun and easy to use. The catalog of out-of-copyright classics seems eclectic…but anything that has Saxton Pope’s Hunting with the Bow and Arrow wins points with me.

    I’d be interested to know whether our textbook publishers have electronic versions that would be readable on the iPad.

    Marti: On a technical level, accepting your invitation to WordPress hasn’t allowed me to create posts on the blog. Hope you can get me the necessary access!

    Jeff K.

  4. I had a bit of trouble getting the ipad going in terms of setup but once that was done it was very easy to use. The first app that I downloaded was called EarthObserver and it still is my favorite. It lets you look at the earth in all sorts of ways…change in the earth’s magnetism, population density, surface temps, infant mortality..lots of stuff about the sea floor.

  5. Sounds cool, lma! One of the more interesting apps I’ve found is called Essay Grader. I’d like to have played around with it, but the past two weeks have been slightly busier than D-Day, and at this time of year I’m too poor to spend $6 for a few minutes of messing around! 🙂

  6. I just finished reading a book on the Kindle App, and I didn’t like it as much as just using the Kindle. I am going to try to find something good on ibooks to see if there is any difference.

  7. I downloaded the Kindle App and enjoyed reading a free classic (Pride and Prejudice) over the holiday. There has been some talk of purchasing a few Kindles for the High School, but after using the iPad I think we could just bypass the Kindle and go for the iPad. You basically have a Kindle with a free app and so much more functionality.

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