Tap Your Way to Philadelphia Freedom Use these reliable apps to navigate your learning and networking at convention. App-titude
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App-titude  |   July 01, 2016
Tap Your Way to Philadelphia Freedom
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
App-titude
App-titude   |   July 01, 2016
Tap Your Way to Philadelphia Freedom
The ASHA Leader, July 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.21072016.np
The ASHA Leader, July 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.APP.21072016.np
When traveling, you may be tempted to load up your suitcase with new items. For example, some of us are always tempted by shoes.
However, as with clothing, it may be wiser to depend on technology that you have found dependable. As convention in the City of Brotherly Love approaches, I advise looking to what’s “tried and true” in apps rather than “what’s new.” Let’s review some essential apps for conference attendees to help you with some of your most important activities: traveling, planning, learning and networking.
Travel essentials
Kayak (free for iOS and Android) has become the go-to search tool for travel, allowing you to search for the best itinerary to Philly or any city, at the best price. Be sure to separately check budget airlines that may fall out of this travel search engine’s parameters (see apps for Southwest and JetBlue, which also allow you to check in via your mobile and display boarding passes).
Hopefully you’ll find accommodations through ASHA’s housing services, but rooms sell out fast! If you miss out, try services such as Hotwire that provide a discounted (initially unnamed) booking when you choose a star level and neighborhood near the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Once your itinerary is set, forward all your confirmation emails to the indispensable TripIt (free for iOS and Android), which assembles all your flight, hotel, car or other travel information into one comprehensive “trip” that you can reference any time.
Schedule, organize and share
ASHA’s Convention Program Planner allows you to search and build a session schedule according to your targeted topics and to access a convention app to which you can export your schedule. Advance handouts from presenters will also be viewable and downloadable.
Assembling all of your conference handouts in Google Drive (free for iOS and Android) is a great way to keep this information organized. From a mobile device, you can pull up handouts and “Open In…” the Google Drive app, or download them on your computer and save to your Drive, so that they are “in the cloud.” An additional advantage of Drive is the ability to open Documents (available as a separate “Docs” app for iOS and Android) for note-taking and share them with others on your team who may not be in attendance. The Docs app now also allows you to take photos and insert them right into your document, so you can create visually-supported notes.
Using the same inter-app connections, you can annotate or take notes directly on your handouts as well. The free-and-simple Adobe Acrobat Reader (for iOS and Android) will let you load PDF handouts and insert highlights or text notes as you attend presentations. Send your annotated files back to Drive, again, for easy printing and sharing with colleagues.
If you are looking for a simpler solution, the iOS Notes app (built in to all iDevices) has improved with additional features, including the ability to insert pictures or sketches in notes, create checklists (think: items to buy after exhibit hall visits), or organize notes into folders.
Experience liberty
Of course, part of your trip to convention should involve seeing the sights of Philadelphia. In many cities, I have relied on the apps from Triposo (see the Philly/Pennsylvania versions, free for iOS and Android), which provide great lists of attractions, as well as interactive, GPS-synched maps.
The magazine-style Philadelphia Official Visitors Guide is also available for free for iOS and Android, providing an overview of attractions, tours, restaurants and neighborhoods. Speaking of restaurants, be sure to pack the essential OpenTable app, at once a search, review and reservation booking tool for your days after (or in the middle of) convention!
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FROM THIS ISSUE
July 2016
Volume 21, Issue 7