#iPad Apps for School Board Members (Updated)

Source: http://blog.eboardsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Paperwork.png

Question: 
Our Board members will be getting iPads.  They will use primarily for email and reading TASB BoardBook.  Have any of you found a great way to use BoardBook on the iPad..such as open the PDF in iBooks?  Is there a really easy to use PDF reading/annotation app that would work well for this?

What are the top 3 iPad productivity apps (besides email, PDAS, and browser) you would recommend for principals and other district administrators?  I have a list started, but I would love to hear your suggestions. 
Wondering what's the apt app to put on your school board member's iPad? If so, please find a few suggestions below from Texas school districts that have stopped giving out 3-inch+ binders of paper, laptop computers to their school board members.


This particular perspective was fascinating:

GoodReader
Jonathan-Phi Huynh joined the meeting planning team at the Texas Association of School Boards, Inc. last year and brought loads of techie knowledge with him. These days he doesn’t stray far from his Apple iPad and says his favorite app is Good Reader. The app allows users to open numerous file types including .doc, .ppt, .xls, .pdf, and .txt. According to Jonathan, “One of the features on Good Reader that I love the most is the ability to annotate PDF files. I can edit PDFs to include text boxes, "sticky notes", freehand drawings, strikeouts, and text insertion marks.” Next time you see Jonathan at an MPI event, ask him about all the other cool functions of Good Reader. “File management by itself on an iPad is quite amazing, but Good Reader takes it a step further by adding Text Search! I just type in a key word and the Text Search feature helps me find the exact info I want in any PDF or TXT file.” It sounds like his experience with this app has been nothing less than great.  (Source)


One representative response:
Our board members each have the iPad 2 and no longer use computers at the board meetings. They use GoodReader to open and read the agendas and board packets. It has the capability to annotate, highlight, etc. It is very user-friendly. I would certainly suggest it. Additionally, our superintendent and deputy superintendent along with some other folks gave a presentation at the TASB conference this year for their suggested top 10 apps for leaders/board members. Here is a link to the 6 ½ minute video (YouTube video) which shows each app.
Board Packet App Tool List
  • Document viewer and annotation tool: It's tough to figure out which is the best one, since proponents and users of each will fight to the death, so here they are in alphabetical order:
    • GoodReader ($4.99) - Great for opening, annotating, and lesser known, securing PDF documents. You can secure/encrypt individual files. It is also supported by TASB (Texas Association of School Boards)
    • PDF Expert ($9.99) - "PDF Expert is the only app in the AppStore that supports PDF Forms (even with calculations). It can also save all your changes as Flatten, so your annotations or signatures won't be changed" (Source: Forum post). 
    • ReaddleDocs ($4.99) - Compare this to GoodReader.
  • Remote storage solution:
    • Self-hosted WebDav solution like OwnCloud.org if you want to control security and host documents on a district server OR
    • Free Cloud Storage Provider:
List of Apps for Board Members
Note: Although I like my list of must-have apps, you may not want to put all this on a Board Member's iPad (why not, though?)
  • iFiles ($3.99) - ...allows you to store, share, view and manage files on your iOS device. You can connect to iFiles from any Mac or PC and drag and drop files straight from the Finder, Windows Explorer, as you would with any other shared folder, or you can share files with your friends over bluetooth. 
  • Office Suite of some sort:
    • Office2HD ($7.99) - great, inexpensive Office suite that interfaces with GoogleDocs, Dropbox, and WebDav, as well as many others. Opens MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents.
    • Apple's iWorks Suite - Pages, Numbers and Keynote, opening MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, respectively.
  • Note-taking apps:
    • EverNote Note-taking solution - allows folks to sync notes they take and access them from any device. Board members could type up notes at home, during a meeting and access them from multiple locations.
    • Dragon Dictation (free) 
    • AudioNote ($4.99)
  • SimpleMind+ Mindmapping/graphic organizer
What else would you suggest critical to a school board member?




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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Comments

LisaD said…
There is a nice app called eBOARD that is used by many board members. It has searching capabilities, note taking and notifications. You can see a video here:
http://www.eboardsolutions.com/Products/eBOARD/MeetingsModule/MeetingsAppforiPad/tabid/248/Default.aspx
Nancy said…
I really like the MS OneNote's handwriting program and use it all the time. It is so much easier than typing to add to notes and the such.

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