Friday, November 30, 2012

An Innovative iPad Charging Station

Front view showing the whole unit
I was part of an IT group meeting today where one of the topics of discussion was about iPad management in the classroom. I was able to see a really neat, homemade charging and syncing station that was able to accommodate 24 iPads. This little beauty easily holds the iPads including their cases/covers and will sit on a table or desk nicely. Those of you that have done some shopping for iPad carts know that they can become very expensive. They can also take up quite a bit of space and are not always the most user friendly.

Closer view of the iPad bays.
Two iPads will fit in each bay.

This unit cost approximately $350 in materials and of course some time to build but the construction of this unit is not a complex one. It helps keep the iPad easy to get to and plug in for charging. Since there are power bricks all along the top of the unit, the cables reach nicely as you move down the station.

USB connections can be easily moved to
the powered hubs  for syncing

There are four powered hubs along the top near the power strip which allow for easy access when moving the USB cables so that the iPads can be synced up as opposed to charging. The design also allows the majority of the cabling to be nicely tucked out of view and out of the way.

Rear view showing power strip for hubs
and cable management

You can also see the iPad power bricks placed along the mounted  power strip on top of the unit. This larger strip has a long power cord that should be able to reach your available power outlet easily enough. Overall, I thought that this was a really neat and relatively inexpensive solution to an increasing need in our districts out there that are implementing iPad solutions. The largest expense was in the four 7-port hubs which ran about $40-$45 each. One would likely find a less expensive option here and save a bit more.

A big thank you to Bruce Turner at the Spring Valley School District for showing us the wonderful idea.

A top-rear view

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Split Your Keyboard On iPad

Have you ever tried to hold the iPad with both hands and try to type using just your thumbs? Well, unless you have the keyboard split, that can be a pretty good challenge. Here is a way you can split that keyboard so it is a bit smaller and easier to reach with your thumbs.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Change Default Format: Microsoft Word 2013

There are a few people that just don't like the Calibri font that is now the default for Microsoft Word. If you just plain don't like it or if you just need to have a special setup - this will show you how to go about making the changes.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Keep Friends Off The Ballot

Here is an example of a small project created with PowerPoint that utilizes the technique demonstrated in the Remove Background tutorial for PowerPoint.

Remove Background Using PowerPoint 2010

Here is a fun and simple technique for removing pieces of the background from photos that you put in your PowerPoint presentations. It is quite fun and does not take a great deal of time or skill to accomplish. What's more is that you can create some amazing effects this way that just might "Wow" your friends.

If you try the technique - feel free to share some of the examples you come up with.