The availability of technology, specifically tablets and iPads, and apps to use on those devices has made it extremely easy for people to reduce our footprint on the earth. I bought my 4G iPad 3 last spring, and I haven’t stopped finding new ways to use it. Everywhere I turn, there’s a new idea.
Mainly, I use my iPad to read my textbooks and complete some work for grad school and for coaching. In this post, I’m going to talk about how the iPad and just a few apps has helped me go pretty much paper free for coaching.
For starters, one of my (and my girls’) favorite features is the immediate feedback the iPad can help me provide. I coach varsity cheerleading, so it’s important that the girls are in sync and look like one at all times. I’m able to take a quick video and show it to them right away, so they can make changes and/or see their strengths right away. The screen on the ipad is big enough to see details, unlike watching the tiny screen on a digital camera. I also email a new cheer or dance to the girls if they need to practice at home, or of they missed a practice so they can start to learn the material on their own. Because I have the 4G iPad, I’m able to email them from anywhere.
I also use Scanner Pro to scan and upload all paperwork into Dropbox or Evernote. An injury report, schedule, sign up sheet, etc. all gets scanned. This allows me to hand the paper back to the person giving it, or recycle it. I don’t have to worry about clutter or junk, and I can access everything from any of my devices or online on any computer since Dropbox and Evernote sync everywhere. All my devices are password protected, so all athlete information is safe. In fact, I would argue that it is safer than in a pile or folder with a stack of papers. Each season before the iPad, I had to make sure I properly disposed of any athlete information and paperwork. Now I can just hit the delete button and not worry about it falling into the wrong hands or getting lost.
I also used Evernote to take an inventory of all our uniforms, warm ups, signs, pom-poms, megaphones, flags, and all other equipment. I took a picture of each item (or set of items), uploaded it to Evernote with the tag “inventory”, and noted how many we had of that item. This has come in handy a number of times when trying to remember what is all the way up in our lockers across the school.
I use Noteshelf to take notes about practices or games, take attendance for certain events, and design formations (or plays for other sports). This app is integrated with email, Dropbox, Evernote and more, so I’m able to easily connect it to those apps.
I use GoDocs to connect with my Google Docs account and edit or view them on they fly. I use Google Forms to have the girls sign up for tryouts and collect contact information, so I can look at all of that from my iPad. I also keep a chant/cheer/dance list in google docs, so I can also edit this on the iPad when we make up new material and decide to retire old material. I’ve also shared this document with some of my cheerleaders, so they can help me edit list.
Occasionally, the girls will need me to sign a form, such as a community service sheet. Since I don’t work at the same school I coach at, before the iPad this required the girl to scan and email a form to me, then I would print it, scan it again with my signature, and email it back to them. Now I can open it in iAnnotate, sign it, and email it back. One less piece of paper wasted in the world.
In what ways have you used a tablet to go paper free in your class or after school activity?
Tech to You Later!