Fly Away to Convention! The right apps can free you from logistical worries and help ensure that your trip to the House of Mouse is enriching—and fun. App-titude
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App-titude  |   August 01, 2014
Fly Away to Convention!
Author Notes
  • Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com
    Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / ASHA News & Member Stories / App-titude
App-titude   |   August 01, 2014
Fly Away to Convention!
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, 32-33. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.19082014.32
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, 32-33. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.19082014.32
If you’re headed to ASHA’s annual convention in Orlando, apps will no doubt be part of your trip. Can you imagine traveling without them? We use them to plan routes to and from the airport and convention center, check onto planes and into hotels, and so much more.
And once at the conference, apps allow us to access and record session information and navigate the city sights (see Old Orlando). The key, of course, is selecting the right app for the job. Check out these apps to accompany you on your trip to convention in Orlando—“The City Beautiful.”
Get organized
Keeping your itinerary in order can get hectic, and that’s where TripIt comes in. An app I recommended in last year’s column on the topic and continue to, TripIt is available for free (for iOS, and for Android). The app helps you compile air, hotel, car and other itineraries by simply forwarding confirmation e-mails to your account. It’s a lifesaver.
Another organizational gold standard, without which I would forget the details of any professional development session I attend, is Evernote (free apps for all platforms). With this app, organize all your notes via notebooks or tags—complete with those quick camera shots of presenters’ slides—and access them later from any device.
Just list it
A trip to convention requires many lists! If you are always forgetting that toothbrush, start with a specialized app supporting your packing (Packing, $.99 for iOS, or Packing List, free for Android). These apps contain selectable banks of commonly needed travel items so you can build your own checklist.
Once at the Orange County Convention Center, you may enjoy the features of Thinglist (free for iOS), a simple and fun “want-to-do” app. It records lists in categories such as books, ideas and products, obviously suited for convention. Speaking of products, all the consumable, playable or readable stuff you buy in Orlando can be tracked with Expensify (free for iOS, and Android). This cross-platform app (also available on the Web) eases the pain of organizing receipts and mileage data, particularly for the production of expense reports.
Formulate your fun
A break from the bustle of the convention center is a must, especially in a place that has so much to offer. However, time will be at a premium, so a few apps promise simple ways to optimize your plans. With My Disney Experience (free for iOS, and Android), you can opt for rides with the shortest wait times; monitor return times via FASTPASS® return times, helping you get on the most popular rides; and view Disney restaurant menus and even make restaurant reservations.
Similar apps can give you a window on planning a stop at Universal Studios Orlando, and if you are looking for a restaurant away from these resorts, try Urbanspoon. This recently redesigned app allows you to search on-the-go for restaurants based on distance, cuisine and customer rating, with easy integration with OpenTable to secure reservations (free for iOS and Android).
Look it up, fast
Naturally, what you gain from convention sessions is greatly supported by handouts and other references, now all accessible electronically. Use ASHA’s online convention program planner (accessible through your mobile device) to build your own convention schedule and download material from sessions. Notability ($4.99 for iPad) has emerged as one of the best values in this category, combining annotation, highlighting and audio features with iCloud support, which will sync your work across iOS devices. PDF files can be opened and used for note-taking in any PDF Annotator.
Similar but simpler capabilities are available via Adobe Reader (free for iOS, and Android). Want to explore that article referenced by a presenter? Sente 6 (free for Mac and iOS) is a powerful reference manager allowing you to add articles to your research library, annotate and cite entries, and sync across devices. You can add articles to Sente 6 after downloading them from the ASHAWire website or other electronic sources.
1 Comment
August 20, 2014
Russell Cross
And tweet, tweet, tweet!
A delicious set of suggestions from Sean! Just to add a little more flavor, there's always a "shadow conference" going on for folks who use Twitter. The standard Twitter app is a good start but my personal favorite is Hootsuite. Whatever you choose, following the conference on #ASHA14 is a wonderful way to add to your convention experience.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
August 2014
Volume 19, Issue 8