TechnoGeeking Out for a Day.Posted: January 10, 2012
In an effort to be even more productive, I’ve been experimenting with new software on the iPad and integration with my laptop. Who’d have thunk that my laptop would be considered the clunky, cumbersome, heavy thing to haul around?!
I’ve customized PDF files to autocalculate my students’ speech scores in class so that when I’m listening to their speeches I can simply tap along my score sheet and their scores auto-tally. I can also add comments, etc. This is my protection in an extremely litigious society. I now have electronic records of each individual speech score sheet instead of just a final score in my gradebook. Awesome.
Still trying to figure out how to make that PDF thing into a paying app. :::sigh:::
However, when using Word and Excel I have stumbled.
I’ve been using Pages on my iPad to write and edit parts of the new book (and papers, etc…) but find the transfer back to Word cumbersome and annoying. I transfer back to Word because, quite simply, I hate Pages’ interface. I am not stoooopid. I hate software that makes me feel as if I am stoooopid.
In my explorations, I played today with something called “CoudOn” and it’s free.
It sync’s back automatically with DropBox (more on that below) and it’s a fantastic interface. Just like Word/Excel/PPT.
On the plus side, it’s JUST like Word/Excel/PPT. On the down side…see prior sentence. That means that the program is running on a computer somewhere (ie, not being run on my iPad). That means that my document is living somewhere ELSE while I’m working on it, kind of like my iPad is a slave machine to a remote “Master.” Brings up HUGE security considerations, but I’ve passworded everything, so…we’ll see.
Now, the syncing with DropBox is great except that in syncing it overwrites what’s in your dropbox! So if I have DocA in my DropBox folder, I open DocA on my iPad (through this mystery remote computer) and then edit directly on my iPad (as if I had Word on the iPad). When I close (or change windows), it saves right away. So it saves over what I have in my DropBox (as if you were at home and you opened, edited, saved, and closed the file.
Why is that bad? What if the connection drop? What if the file becomes corrupt? What if, what if, what if…? I don’t like it overwriting. I’d like it if it made a DocA_1 version and let me decide which to keep. To work around that I just create a new doc on the iPad and type, then choose to save it to my folder with a different name. When I’m home again later, I play.
Now…HUGE drawback. If you’re not connected (ie, to the InterWebz), you can. non. work.
Thus, I think I’m going to go with DocumentsToGo. Much better in the end, I think. I can work offline (and since at least one of my campuses has no wi-fi connectivity…).
So, that’s your tech blurb for the day.
Tonight: Reading. Playing. Perhaps some LEGOs. Yes, I am 9 again. Sweet.