We haz an iPad in our team and we are downloading your apps…
The Outreach teams at MPOW have been given an iPad to use in our work. We have to share it, but it’s a pretty damn exciting piece of equipment to be allowed to play with, particularly as buying my own is not about to happen anytime soon. It’s early days, no one has taken it out of the cupboard (except I suspect the team leaders have possibly been playing with it – just a bit) and while I’d love to make full use of it, I want my time with it to be productive and useful.
I can think of a dozen things straight away that I could use an iPad for in the workplace – but they mostly relate to the way I organise my day, do my job and communicate with people rather than the way the team might use it. The thing with an iPad or other mobile device is that they are designed to be personal – to provide you with access to the functionality you need to get on with the things you do. Figuring out how to share it and still have it be a productive and useful tool is important.
So, library peeps, I am crowdsourcing. Are you in an outreach/liaison position? It could be any type of library – doesn’t have to be an academic focus. Do you use an iPad as part of your work day? What apps do you find useful, what functionality is important, HOW do you use it in your work day? Remembering that we can’t use it to keep track of email, tweet on the run or check the time of the next bus because we’re sharing it, what CAN we use it for?
Some of my ideas so far:
- I do library tours with groups of international students – would be handy to have the iPad with me so I can also follow along with the virtual tour at the same time – point out that they can book rooms then show them immediately on the library website where they can book rooms
- Collaborative work with another team member creating a document on the run in a meeting room or other space that is not our desktop
- Note taking in a meeting with a School or academic
- Access to cloud services such as dropbox when away from my desk
My browser of choice, both at work and at home is Google Chrome. It’s fast, light, has some nifty features and I LOVE that the URL address line is also the search box – that still thrills me every time I use it, it’s so sensible!
Of course, I can’t use it for everything can I? Log into my Centrelink account? Not on Chrome. Use Zotero? Um, no, that’s a Firefox plug-in. Fill in PD points on the ALIA website? Ah.. no, you’ll need Firefox for that too. Work on the Moodle lessons for Academic Skills? Nope, that works best in IE, although if you want to use Firefox you can. I only discovered the Moodle problem today – it was just not behaving normally and I thought I’d somehow changed the settings within the program and couldn’t change them back and was tearing my hair out – bless our IT guy’s little cotton socks….
So, of necessity here at MPOW, I have 3 browsers installed and have to use them interchangeably, depending on what I am doing that day. I don’t like Firefox (too sloooooow), so I am hoping the new ALIA PD scheme page won’t be so dependent on it and I have found acceptable alternatives to Zotero so I can probably ditch Firefox completely. Windows 7 has restored some of my faith in Microsoft, but I’d still rather not use IE.
Not being an IT person myself, I don’t get it – I’m sure there are explanations, but they won’t help, I still won’t really get it. I just want to be able to get on with my job.