Monthly Archives: January 2015

Wait!! My iPad apps read to me! Yeah!!!

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Another snowy day in Alberta. After being on the west coast for sometime, it has been a shock to my system to be back in -20 degrees Celsius and below territory.  Today it’s frigid and the snow keeps coming. I have already been out once in my “fancy” snow gear (my trusty grade 6 hot pink snowpants, purple ski jacket and green ski hat) to shovel the snow.

So my post isn’t about the Canadian winters. Yesterday I discovered that my Goodreads app (in the latest update) on my iPad reads PDF articles to me. I also discovered that my Kindle app has a similar feature. All I can say is, “yeah!!! I can spice up my reading now.” As a PhD student, I am sure many fellow students can attest, your eyes are exhausted when you read. It is nice to have an alternative mode.

Of course, this discovery has really got me thinking about how this app could work in a classroom. In particular the assistive technology potential for kids that prefer an auditory mode of learning or need it. It might mean scanning class handouts and uploading them into the app so that the child can annotate or have the app read the document out loud. So many ways to use these apps within a classroom context. Looking forward to sharing more of my ideas at conferences in the future.

What does a PhD student do all day?

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I often get asked what I do all day. Although I am at home and physically not leaving for a “place of work,” my days are pretty hectic. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer. Usually I am answering emails, writing abstracts or writing a paper. I might also be checking on my online class or doing some data analysis. There is never a dull moment in my day.

For example, although I have over a month until my first conference of the year, I am already busy getting ready for it. I have pulled a variety of articles from the library and I am preparing to dive into the literature which will guide my presentations. Today I had to create   a  sub-website for my conference presentation.  I had the usual technical issues which required me to call my web hosting company. As I create this website, I am outlining my presentation and considering what I will be speaking about. Interesting to note that while I am waiting for the installation of various applications on my website, I am multitasking and finishing up an abstract. I am also checking into my online class (answering a student message) and responding to emails that comes into my inbox.

As I type this blog post, I still have half of my day left. I am mentally planning what I need to to get done (e.g., the emails that need to be sent, the writing that needs to be done, etc.).  After I “post” this blog entry, I will begin reading the articles I have pulled. However, I can’t do this until I have checked my email to make sure there is not anything urgent that needs to be responded too.