July 1, 2013 Columns

App-titude: App-ing Up for ASHA Convention

Need help managing travel, contact and session information? These apps can help.

ASHA's annual convention offers an enormous opportunity for learning and connecting, but it can be overwhelming to manage all the accompanying information about networking, events and logistics in an unfamiliar city. Applications on mobile devices can help conventioneers have the best possible experience during their time in Chicago.

What's your itinerary?

Getting to the airport on time and arriving at the correct hotel are obviously first on your list. You can avoid searching for information about your itinerary in your e-mail account by using the free TripIt app and Web service (available on the Web; for iOS; and Android). When you make your plane and hotel reservations, forward your e-mail confirmations to TripIt, where they will be organized neatly in your electronic itinerary, accessible any time through the app. I know I check frequently! iOS users also can use the free USA Today AutoPilot app, which syncs with your TripIt account, to track flight and gate information—so you don't have to go searching for airport monitors.

Explore the area

Your trip to Chicago may extend beyond McCormick Place to some of the wonderful sights and sounds (and tastes!) of the Windy City. Although there are many sightseeing and restaurant-finding apps available, one of the newest and most interesting is Google's Field Trip (free for iOS and Android). This location-sensitive app seeks to "help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat and have fun," alerting you to points of interest as you approach them. Chicago is bustling even without a mass of invading speech-language pathologists and audiologists, so once you find a restaurant of interest, be sure to make reservations. Open Table's free and easy-to-use app allows you to make, modify and even cancel reservations right from the app. Using it, you can even make some foodie plans a few weeks before you arrive (for iOS and Android).

Remember everything and everyone

I have frequently mentioned Evernote (free apps for all platforms available) in this column, and this app will come in handy at convention, too. Create a convention notebook in which you save your session notes, posters attended and snapshots of products and apps in the exhibit hall, and you'll get the most out of your convention experience. Evernote Hello (free for iOS and Android) syncs with your account and will let you keep a record of professionals you meet in Chicago. You can add a contact through a simple business card scan (free unlimited scanning for 30 days, and five cards a month thereafter for free). I suggest installing this app before your arrival to give this feature a try. The app also allows you to snap photos, add notes and locations of meetings, and automatically send a LinkedIn request to people you meet.

Save your shoulders (and some trees)

Our professions' love of handouts needn't force you to wait in line at printing stations or lug reams of paper around McCormick Place. When session documents are posted, you can easily save them on your device for reading and annotation. Adobe Reader (free for iOS and Android) provides an easy-to-follow tutorial on this process when you first open the app. Using Adobe Reader or other PDF annotators allows you to save handouts in your app and make notes on sessions you attend. You can always print your documents—or share them electronically with colleagues—after returning home.

Happy trails to Chicago!

Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Newton, Mass., and consultant to local and national organizations on technology integration in speech and language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie (www.speechtechie.com), looks at technology "through a language lens." sean@speechtechie.com

cite as: Sweeney, S. (2013, July 01). App-titude: App-ing Up for ASHA Convention. The ASHA Leader.

  

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