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The iPad – My Professional Development Tool

July 26, 2011

I love my iPad. Well, not in the sense that I’m a huge Apple fan. I’m not. In fact, truth be told, I get frustrated every time I can’t do something because of the Flash limitations. But that aside, the tablet has opened a whole world of personal and professional learning opportunities for me. Given that this magical tablet device has become such a part of my everyday life both personally and professionally, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite apps.

Flipboard – Most reviews refer to Flipboard as a personal social magazine. In my opinion, it is my personal learning content aggregator. All of the content shared by my peers on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is served up to me in a very easy-to-read and appealing magazine-style layout. Additionally, I can subscribe to different content channels such as daily news, trending tech stories, breaking news from Microsoft and my RSS feeds. (I subscribe to some really great blogs.) This app completely feeds my need for information on a daily basis. More importantly, it allows me to easily share what I find with others.

Any Airline App – Not exactly professional development, but having the American Airline app saved me from missing a flight a few months back. Notice of a last minute gate change came through the app just in time for me to run to the new terminal and the new gate and walk onto the plane. The gate in which I had been sitting still had the flight showing on the TV monitor and no announcement had been made. I love knowing where I need to be to make my connections when I’m traveling and when I am on time, I can enjoy reading a book on my iPad.

Nook, Kindle, iBooks – Did you know Nook and Kindle both offer apps for the iPad so you can read your books from the iPad when you can’t travel with your Kindle or Nook? iBooks is Apple’s eBook reader. I have and use all three apps. Most of the books in my libraries fall into the category of professional development. Currently, I’m reading  User Adoption Strategies: Shifting Second Wave People to New Collaboration Technology by Michael Sampson and Trends in Technical Communication:  Rethinking Help by Ellis Pratt.

For those times when I’m not in the mood to read and I remembered to bring my earphones, I can watch an inspirational speech on Ted or YouTube. Or hop on to a free webinar with WebEx or GoToMeeting.

And if any of those apps are not providing enough opportunities for professional growth and development, I carry my OneNote notebooks along with me in the MobileNoter app and read those web articles I’ve collected or client notes to refresh my memory or…

You get the idea. I’ve surrounded myself with an incredible network of smart people and I have access to their knowledge everyday through my tablet. Whether I’m sitting on the couch or in the airport, watching a webinar for work or reading an article on my break, I have the potential to learn and grow. So what’s your favorite app for your professional development? Tell us here nextgenlearning@travelingcoaches.com.

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