Kerry’s iPad experience!

When the iPad was first launched, over 2 years ago now, I desperately wanted one.    As a technology centre, we need to stay on top of new technology, so I ‘sold’ the idea to Wendy on this basis and she agreed we should at least have ‘one’ in the centre.    I made sure that this ‘one’ was assigned to me!    Rather than lugging around a heavy laptop I could just pop my iPad into my handbag.  Viola, mobile office!

The box containing my new iPad duly arrived and I set it up so that I could receive my work emails and my personal emails.  I had the 3G version so that I could take it out when I visited apprentices in their workplaces.    Our e-portfolio system, Learning Assistant, worked brilliantly on it, which meant that I was totally mobile.

The drawback, though, was I had to share it with the others here at the ITEC and I didn’t realise how much I had come to rely on it until I had to hand it over to someone else…. no-o-o-o….  my iPad and I are a team ….. how can I manage without it!     I had to scale back on the personal data so others could borrow it and it meant that my little iPad and I no longer worked together so well 😦  I still had my right arm but it felt like my fingers had been cut off.    I really didn’t like being parted from my iPad 😦

I recently turned 40 (yes, I know that’s a shock to you all, what with me not looking a day over 35-ish!) and, after several hints, my lovely husband very kindly bought me the new iPad 3.   Ooh, an iPad that was all mine!    To do with as I wish!    So the ITEC’s iPad 1 was wiped clean and returned for another lucky ITEC Colleague to use and my iPad 3 set up with all of my personal (yes, and work) data and now I could have all my apps just for me to use.   My right arm had grown back with all the fingers plus a couple of extra ones too!!

How do I use it for work?   When I visit my apprentices at their workplaces, I am able to update their Learning Assistant portfolios instantly and set real-time activities for them whilst logged into the system.  Learning Assistant have now brought out an iPad app, which enables me to upload photos and videos from the iPad directly to Learning Assistant without have to sync or upload first…. Job done….brilliant!    I can pick up, and answer, my emails whilst away from my desk and if I’m early for an appointment, I can mark apprentices’ work online from the warmth of my car.   I can write memos in the note pad and I have apps that are the equivalent of Word and Excel so I can do just about everything that I used to do on my laptop.     My iPad gives me the flexibility and the tools to work just about from anywhere!

I synchronised my calendars, yes, both work and personal, so I have a grip on what I am doing, when and where I should be.    All of my work appointments are there for me to view at the swipe of my finger.  All the kids’ activities, the birthday parties and school trips, dentist appointments, etc., are right there in front of me!  Plus, I always know whose birthday is coming up and when I have a girly lunch booked with my friends!    Peace of mind …. I won’t forget a thing!

I am continually on the lookout for new apps.    ‘Angry Birds’ is a must, as are ‘Facebook’, ‘Skype’ and ‘Twitter’. 

There is a ‘Slimming World’ app that allows me to count my ‘syns’ on the go.     EBay and Amazon apps are a must for those shopping needs on the run and the Sky+ app allows me to stick my favorite programmes on to record when I am working late!     I couldn’t live without the ‘Tesco Groceries’ app because, as a working mum, there is always something I run out of that needs to be  added to the shopping list so it goes straight into my virtual basket ready for my next home delivery. ‘Catch-up TV’ saves my sanity on long car journies  …… The kids can sit and watch their favourite programmes rather than annoying me with “are we nearly there yet?”  🙂

Oh, how it has changed my life!  Not only has it made my working life so much easier, it has changed the way I organise my personal and family life too (it has even helped me lose some weight!)

I feel like I have a mini office in my handbag!

Kerry Prigg – guest blogger!

Sent from my iPad

So tell us, what do you use your iPad or tablet for?  How has using one changed your life??

NUS is carrying out a survey for apprentices

The National Union of Students has launched a new research project on apprenticeships.

At a time of high unemployment, apprenticeships are seen as an important mechanism for giving people the skills and experience to be successful in the job market. This research will gather information on the role of career information, advice and guidance in the decision to work as an apprentice. The findings will allow the NUS to see how useful this guidance has been in promoting apprenticeships and in helping apprentices make decisions that fit their needs and motivations. This research will also allow NUS to campaign on behalf of apprentices for improvements in careers guidance.

The NUS are looking for help from providers in promoting and distributing the online survey to apprentices.

The link to the survey is: