Contributed by: Jennifer Freeman, Orientation and Mobility Specialist
This will be a series of recommended tips and tricks on how to incorporate free and paid for apps into instruction.
However, part 1 is an introduction on a variety of recommended ways on how to stay charged on the go and additional tools that can help you be mobile.
Appropriate for ages: The apps can be used for all ages but I will specify in detail according the category. The recommended equipment in this post can be used by any age according to need.
iTunes: to purchase or add apps
IOS or Apple device: to upload apps on
1. Mophie case: Surprisingly I run into many people who have not heard of a Mophie. A Mophie can be used as a rechargeable phone battery and case. It is semi durable, sturdy and is great for the O&M who is mobile and not near a power source to frequently charge their phone or device. The Mophie case takes some getting used to and can be cumbersome but the back up charge allows me to make it through a busy day when my phone is used for emailing, texts, phone calls, lessons, music and apps during lessons. It is slim enough to put in my pocket and allows me to be hands free and prepared with the extra boost of battery juice as needed. You can purchase Mophie’s at various locations including Apple stores but here are some online place of where to buy a Mophie:
2. Mophie Wireless Charging Car Vent Mount for Mophie cases with Charge Force wireless to be used with a Mophie in the car. This is not a required device as you can charge a Mophie using a USB cable compatible with the case. It’s just another option.
3. Keychain IOS charger for O&M’s on the go. I recently purchased this because I was losing my backup battery chargers and thought that if I added it to my keychain I could charge my phone while it remained in my pocket. I clip my keys and keychain to my pants and put my phone in my pocket so that I can charge on the go without the larger back up battery pack. The one I bought was from Big Lots and is not of the best quality. I have not explored where else you can purchase them in person but they can be found on Amazon:
4. When you are near a plug, don’t forget to use a Multiple USB Quick Charger. These can be found almost anywhere from Target, Walmart, Big Lots or Staples as well as online at places like Amazon: Click Here on Amazon
5. For the ladies you might try a Clutch Wallet Charger. They can be found at multiple stores. Michael’s recently had them on sale for under $15. You can use your teacher’s discount at Michael’s. They can also be found on Amazon. Click Here on Amazon
7. External Battery Pack. There are so many different variations of these out there. You can find them just about anywhere. Here are a few that are useful that are found from Amazon:
8. Car Inverter Charger for your laptop and mobile devices. The easiest place I know of to purchase this item is on Amazon.
9. Since I use a MAC laptop and I am not a huge fan of the mouse they have, I have bought a wireless mouse that I keep in my laptop case. It helps prevent the possibility of carpal tunnel issues down the road. Wireless mouses can be bought anywhere but as you can tell, I purchase most of my stuff from Amazon.
10. Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. I have been recommended that my students learn to use one keyboard and sync it with Bluetooth to all devices so that they only have to learn one keyboard initially. I keep a wireless keyboard with me for lessons and during down moments when I want to work on my iPad. They can be bought at a variety of places but of course you can buy them on Amazon.
11. Bluetooth Transmitter (G7) This is a device for the car. For those of you who do not have the newest cars, you probably do not have bluetooth capability that allows you to make calls and/or play music without the use of a auxiliary cord. I like this device known as the G7 because I can sync my music to the device while traveling from student to student. My student’s enjoy easily syncing their phones to the G7 to play music on our way to lessons while listening to a GPS and voiceover through the speakers of my phone. I originally discovered this device and bought it on Groupon. I have found it on Amazon as well. Click Here on Amazon
12.Wireless Mobile Printer This is a great tool particularly for the itinerant teacher on the go and for additional printing options for students or clients. I have not attempted to try printing from a Braillenote yet but I am sure it can be done! It’s very easy to use your phone to print from. I personally have printing issues from school sites especially when I am online during lunch when all the teacher’s are checking e-mail or are on the web. The wireless printers appear to use their own network when the app is installed but I’ll have to trial this more as well to see if my assumption is correct. The part I like is that it is wireless, cheap, quick and easy. The more mobile, compact printers are more expensive. If you are mobile and need to save time, I highly recommend a wireless printer. Click Here on Amazon
13. O6 Device You can look at Cane and Compass for my post about the O6 device. It is designed for both the sighted and visually impaired. O&M’s can use the O6 while driving and needing to safely drive and use the phone hands free. It may have been originally designed for people with vision but I am not sure of that answer. Of course, I use the O6 with my students as well and explain how to do so in the post about the device. Check out the link to find out where to buy it and how it can be used for a busy O&M on the go. The link will additionally show you all the ways that an O6 can benefit you such as when you’re jogging or exercising, driving.
How the O6 can be used as an accessibility device for the visually impaired with testimonies.
Link to the itunes O6 app: Click Here
I am not promoting these products nor do I get anything out of telling you about them. My goal is to demonstrate all the ways I manage to stay charged on the go, prepared for lessons and work efficiently. In order for me to use apps on my lessons, I have to stay charged or have access to ways for my students to stay charged. I cannot continue to waste more time walking across campuses searching for a place to charge a device or begin to plan a bus lesson on an iPad or my laptop and once I have them up to get working and the devices are about to die. I personally own all the devices I have recommended above. Most of them have been bought with my own money but you can always consider using budget or avenues to purchase some of these items.