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Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.....

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Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.....

Old 04-20-16, 04:46 PM
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Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.....

Need some help guys. I am a Park Ranger for the National Park Service and its our 100th birthday this year! Basically its going to be out with the old mentality and in with the new. We want to embrace technology, use Facebook, twitter, everything. We have the #findyourpark initiative and a lot of great things going on this year.

For previous parks (not my current park) I was part of the social media team and did all the social media aspects. But I want to step it up for my new park and start something called "Mobile Waysides". For those who visit parks, there are signs interpreting the history or plants or mountains, basically what you're looking at. Well Park Rangers rove around and talk to folks and see if we can help, if there are questions, etc. I want to be able to enhance the experience by having an iPad or mobile device to show videos, pictures, sound, something. I want to be able to make videos, montages, add music. I have heard keynote (I believe is the program) would be ideal. So I want to be able to enhance a visitors experience in anyway and supply information at an instant!

Here is what I think I would need to tackle this:
  • Portable, durable device built for heavy use and travel (mountain trails, etc
  • Enough room for a lot of photos, videos, programs and apps (8 GB or even 16 would probably never cut it)
  • Wifi would ne nice but not necessary as its rare in parks
  • Able to film and take pictures itself
  • Thumbdrive, CDr, keyboard possible (So I can work easier on it)

I was thinking an iPad would be best but I don't think I can plug in a thumb drive to them. Maybe a mini laptop would be ideal but I don't know what to look for and I don't know if Ill be able to use apps on it. I guess it would need an ios. My budget is low, under $500 is the range Im looking at.

I hope I am making some sense and you can get an idea of what I want to do. Being a park ranger, I haven't lived with internet or even TV for awhile. Needless to say I haven't been able to learn new and ever changing technology. So any input from you guys would be awesome. I am all ears and cant thank yall enough for your insights and help.
Old 04-21-16, 02:25 AM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

You can plug thumb drive into an iPad with an adapter

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD821AM/A/lightning-to-usb-camera-adapter

It is somewhat limited though.I would probably recommend a Windows laptop, unless the apps that you need aren't available on Windows, only ios. For CD-r, an iPad won't do that
Old 04-21-16, 07:10 AM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

I can't help on the tech end, but great initiative on your idea, I dig it!
Old 04-21-16, 09:10 AM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

You didn't mention battery life, which is likely a huge concern. A tablet's battery life is going to vary a lot depending on what it's doing, i.e. playing a lot of videos is going to drain it faster than viewing photos.

Also, You didn't mention screen size. There's 3 different iPad screen sizes, and other tablets can range from 6" to 12".

Also, you're not likely to get one with a built in optical drive (CDR, DVDR). A Windows tablet could use an external drive plugged into USB, but I'm not evern sure that's necessary.

Android tablets could be a solution, especially one with a microSD card slot so you can add a lot of storage to it.

As for being "rugged", that's going to be tricky. Are you planning for the rangers to hold on to the tablets at all times, or will they be handing them off to visitors?

There are some rugged tablets, but they're going to be pricier than the standard consumer products:
http://www.computerworld.com/article...-the-test.html

You could also look into getting a good protective case for a regular tablet.
Old 04-21-16, 10:26 AM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
You can plug thumb drive into an iPad with an adapter

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD...camera-adapter

It is somewhat limited though.I would probably recommend a Windows laptop, unless the apps that you need aren't available on Windows, only ios. For CD-r, an iPad won't do that
Very cool! I didnt know that existed. With a large enough drive maybe I can forgo the thought of needing a cd drive.

Originally Posted by story
I can't help on the tech end, but great initiative on your idea, I dig it!
Thanks man! A lot of parks are against technology growth and some are right with it! I hope to take it to the next level.

Originally Posted by Jay G.
You didn't mention battery life, which is likely a huge concern. A tablet's battery life is going to vary a lot depending on what it's doing, i.e. playing a lot of videos is going to drain it faster than viewing photos.

Also, You didn't mention screen size. There's 3 different iPad screen sizes, and other tablets can range from 6" to 12".

Also, you're not likely to get one with a built in optical drive (CDR, DVDR). A Windows tablet could use an external drive plugged into USB, but I'm not evern sure that's necessary.

Android tablets could be a solution, especially one with a microSD card slot so you can add a lot of storage to it.

As for being "rugged", that's going to be tricky. Are you planning for the rangers to hold on to the tablets at all times, or will they be handing them off to visitors?

There are some rugged tablets, but they're going to be pricier than the standard consumer products:
http://www.computerworld.com/article...-the-test.html

You could also look into getting a good protective case for a regular tablet.
Battery life should be ok with its standard. I don't imagine using it in the field for more than an hour or two tops. And you're right, I didn't think screen size but 8 inches would seem like the best target.

Looking at the links and doing some digging, I think a durable case would work best! Some of those prices are hard to swallow on a beginner project that I am not too sure will work. Im also not looking into letting visitors take the iPads. Rangers will have them and use them, maybe hand it to the visitor to scan through but the Ranger will be there at all times.

I haven't considered an android, but I should have stated above, touch screen is a must. I want the standard apps to reach the public, facebook, instagram, twitter but I need a program that allows me to make a screen that can have text, and video and or pictures. That Keynote I mentioned seems

Here is an example:


Imagine something like this on the tablet screen. But I can arrange pictures and dialogue how I want it, or have a video play at the touch of the screen.

This help with any ideas?
Old 04-21-16, 10:38 AM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

Originally Posted by Ravenous View Post

I haven't considered an android, but I should have stated above, touch screen is a must. I want the standard apps to reach the public, facebook, instagram, twitter but I need a program that allows me to make a screen that can have text, and video and or pictures. That Keynote I mentioned seems

Here is an example:


Imagine something like this on the tablet screen. But I can arrange pictures and dialogue how I want it, or have a video play at the touch of the screen.

This help with any ideas?
Pretty much all tablets have touchscreens. It doesn't sound like anything that you're doing would necessitate an iPad, and if price is a concern, you can get a comparable android tablet for much cheaper than an iPad.
Old 04-21-16, 12:07 PM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

Originally Posted by Ravenous View Post
I want the standard apps to reach the public, facebook, instagram, twitter but I need a program that allows me to make a screen that can have text, and video and or pictures. That Keynote I mentioned...
Keynote only runs on Apple devices. You'll need another program/app to use on other tablets, but there's plenty of them, Powerpoint being the most notable Keynote competitor.

However, those are "slideshow" apps, meant to show a specific linear sequence of "slides." That may be what you want, but you may want to think of using something more "interactive" and less linear, so rangers can "hop" back and forth between subjects. It may be possible to do that with a spreadsheet, but it looks complicated:
https://www2.le.ac.uk/library/manufa...20an%20App.pdf


You may want to consider bundling all your content into an app that not only the rangers can use, but visitors could download to use on their tablet/phone. There's platforms online that allow for simple app creation, like InteractBuilder:
http://www.interactbuilder.com/
Old 04-21-16, 01:56 PM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

How many do you need? If just one, I would think a refurbished Air or Air 2 off of apple's site would work nicely with a rugged case. If you need more and your price range is under $500 for more than 16 GB, you'll probably be looking towards an android tablet.
Old 04-21-16, 06:30 PM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

You might consider a ruggedized Win 10 tor Android tablet or a Lifeproof case for iPads. It seems the devices will take a beating.

Last edited by Kdogg; 04-21-16 at 07:53 PM.
Old 04-22-16, 09:07 PM
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Re: Need help! I want to add technology to my job and wonder if iPad is right for me.

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Keynote only runs on Apple devices. You'll need another program/app to use on other tablets, but there's plenty of them, Powerpoint being the most notable Keynote competitor.

However, those are "slideshow" apps, meant to show a specific linear sequence of "slides." That may be what you want, but you may want to think of using something more "interactive" and less linear, so rangers can "hop" back and forth between subjects. It may be possible to do that with a spreadsheet, but it looks complicated:
https://www2.le.ac.uk/library/manufa...20an%20App.pdf


You may want to consider bundling all your content into an app that not only the rangers can use, but visitors could download to use on their tablet/phone. There's platforms online that allow for simple app creation, like InteractBuilder:
http://www.interactbuilder.com/
Yea man, ideally that would be the way to go but I am not that savvy unfortunaltey lol. Hell I would have a hard enough time creating an app no matter how simple. But I like where youre going with this and it gives me hope and ideas.

How many do you need? If just one, I would think a refurbished Air or Air 2 off of apple's site would work nicely with a rugged case. If you need more and your price range is under $500 for more than 16 GB, you'll probably be looking towards an android tablet.
I would only need one. This is something that I would create and use and show the park what can be done with technology and hopefully if its in the budget, I can get a few and supply them to my team to use for interpretation. If I can get a refurbished one over 16gb and and under $500 I would probably jump at it!

You might consider a ruggedized Win 10 tor Android tablet or a Lifeproof case for iPads. It seems the devices will take a beating.
04-21-16 12:56 PM
Any suggestions for a brand of Android? Again I am ignorant to whats out there and whats good or not lol

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