5 Top Tools for Tech & Travel

I am currently in Shepparton, Victoria, eagerly awaiting the start of the Slide2Learn conference tomorrow morning.

During my trip, I have been thinking about how much I rely on technology for my travel plans, and how much of a challenge it would be for me to go somewhere without it.

Here is a list of the technology I used to get from my door to the hotel in Shepparton.

1. My trusty iPhone – this is fast becoming my most crucial piece of technology. I seldom go anywhere without it. It is so much more than just a phone, with apps like these:

tripit
I used the fabulous (and free) Tripit to input all my travel arrangements – from flights, to rental cars and hotel confirmations. I didn’t print the majority of these documents.¬†Generally speaking, I just held up the phone to show the relevant information. Easy as pie.

dropbox

Dropbox stored my passport details, entrance tickets to the conference, and other information that is essential to have close at hand, no matter where you are.

pocket first aid
Pocket First Aid & CPR
has my medical insurance details, should any tragic circumstances ensue (I have my fingers crossed they won’t!), as well as first aid information that might help in an emergency.

Angry Birds & Sudoku – my current diversions, are entertainment in my pocket.

IMG_0443

hipstaHipstamatic helps me create moody, artistic photographs that I can share with friends and family (reaching a level of sophistication well beyond the realms of my normal creativity!) – the photo to the right was taken using Hipstamatic, and is the view from the Olivehouse Restaurant, where I had a delicious lunch today.

Just Light Flashlight – my torch in the night

xe
XE Currency
– calculating exchange rates at the touch of a button is always a useful tool when overseas.

Facebook & Tweetdeck for keeping in touch with friends and family, near and far.

2. GPS – Without which, I would have quite literally, been lost. Traveling in an unfamiliar location is tricky at the best of times, and using the sat-nav to get to my destination took all of the worry out of my drive from Melbourne to Shepparton.

3. My iPod Touch – by no means a superfluous piece of technology when one already has an iPhone! I consider myself pretty handy with technology these days, yet for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to make the radio in my rental car go. I needed to make sure I didn’t run out of battery on my phone, and a 2 hour trip goes by ever-so-slowly without a little music to sing to… cue the iPod Touch! It sat happily on the dash, belting out my Glee favourites as we moseyed along the Victorian countryside.

4. My (aging) Macbook Pro – Although I realise this is beginning to sound like an advertisement for all things Apple, it was not my intention! The fact of the matter is they make good products! What the Macbook Pro lacks in portability, it makes up for in ease of use – particularly for blogging on the go. It is always quick and easy to connect to wireless networks too.

skype5. Skype – It would be remiss of me not to mention Skype as a travel tool, as I use it so frequently. I said goodnight to my kids tonight, saw the artwork my daughter had made, chatted to my husband, and made my son laugh. All for free (internet connection notwithstanding).

Technology I made use of at Changi Airport included a DIY immigration, where your thumb is scanned and matched against records in your Green Card. At the Melbourne end, NZ and Australian passport holders could use a fast track service in which you scan your passport (provided it has a microchip in it) and beat the queues at immigration. Thumbs up to these 2 leading airports!

Of course Bump is going to be useful tomorrow – especially at a conference about mobile learning!

I am sure I have forgotten some crucial tools here. What are your tech travel must-haves? I am keen to expand my repertoire…!

Singapore International School Film Fest 2010

It was a great privilege to attend the awards ceremony of the inaugural Singapore International School Film Fest last night. Singapore is certainly home to some talented, creative and artistic students – watch out Peter Jackson!

Established to offer students the chance to showcase their creative ideas, talent and skills through film, the SISFF received more than 100 entries. Films were entered in one of four categories – Public Service Announcement, Video Art, Narrative and Documentary – across Primary, Middle and High School age groups. Students came from a range of international schools, which gave them a unique opportunity to share and exchange great ideas while being immersed in global and multicultural experiences.

I had the pleasure of working on the committee, and through my involvement got to meet a whole lot of new and interesting people. It was a really great experience, and I can’t wait to get going on next year’s festival.

I am proud to announce that one of my Grade 5 students – Jean-Luc – won the technical award for Best Animation, which, considering his entry came from a project I considered one of my failures, was the icing on the cake for me!

I hope you enjoy the top 3 winners as much as I do:

Best in Show

1st Runner up

2nd Runner up (reminiscent of Flight of the Conchords)

I have to also include the winner of Best Cinematography, as it’s such a visually stunning film

And last, but by no means least, Jean-Luc’s winning entry for Best Animation

Singapore International School Film Fest 2010

It was a great privilege to attend the awards ceremony of the inaugural Singapore International School Film Fest last night. Singapore is certainly home to some talented, creative and artistic students – watch out Peter Jackson!

Established to offer students the chance to showcase their creative ideas, talent and skills through film, the SISFF received more than 100 entries. Films were entered in one of four categories – Public Service Announcement, Video Art, Narrative and Documentary – across Primary, Middle and High School age groups. Students came from a range of international schools, which gave them a unique opportunity to share and exchange great ideas while being immersed in global and multicultural experiences.

I had the pleasure of working on the committee, and through my involvement got to meet a whole lot of new and interesting people. It was a really great experience, and I can’t wait to get going on next year’s festival.

I am proud to announce that one of my Grade 5 students – Jean-Luc – won the technical award for Best Animation, which, considering his entry came from a project I considered one of my failures, was the icing on the cake for me!

I hope you enjoy the top 3 winners as much as I do:

Best in Show

1st Runner up

2nd Runner up (reminiscent of Flight of the Conchords)

I have to also include the winner of Best Cinematography, as it’s such a visually stunning film

And last, but by no means least, Jean-Luc’s winning entry for Best Animation