Since purchasing my iPad 2, I’ve used the VGA adapter, Digital AV Adapter (HDMI) and most recently, Apple TV & AirPlay to project iPad content. Though I’ve had little need lately to travel with the IPEVO, I did make good use of it in my home office. When I first began recording iPad video tutorials last year for my new, online iPad Academy Master Class for beginners, I used the IPEVO. After recording about half of the 21 videos in the series, I discovered the HoverCam T3 USB camera. I contacted the company and they were kind enough to send me a T3 unit for review. I’ve been using the HoverCam for the last few months, demonstrating it at teacher workshops, and using it to complete the training videos for the Master Class.
Though the T3 costs nearly three times as much as the IPEVO P2V ($220 vs $70), the quality and versatility of the HoverCam makes it a good value. The HoverCam is now my favorite tool for recording and projecting iPad content.
The HoverCam T3 is a clever, tower design, with a small but steady base for support. Standing 14 inches (36 cm) tall when collapsed, the unit telescopes to 21 inches (53 cm) when fully extended. The adjustable height made it easy to capture my iPad screen at just the right size for recording in QuickTime on my Mac. Powered by USB, the flip-up, 3 megapixel camera arm includes a lens focus ring, microphone and bank of 6 LEDs to illuminate the object viewed. The microphone and light panel can both be turned off if desired, or you can choose a different microphone input via software. So this HoverCam is a telescopic, 3 megapixel device, hence the “T3” name.
Besides being a high quality video camera, the HoverCam can project clear images of documents, clippings, and 3-D objects. The T3 can also act as a scanner to digitize documents and save the resulting file in a variety of formats. The HoverCam works with Windows or Mac computers and includes software to adjust the image and manage what you capture. I recommend you check the website for the latest versions of the included software or new releases by the company.
As I mentioned above, I used the HoverCam T3 to complete the Master Class series and improve video quality. Though the IPEVO P2V is a fine camera given the price, the T3 offered improved resolution, higher frame rates and better detail. I also employed the HoverCam recently during an online videoconferencing session using Skype. If you need a portable solution to project the iPad screen, paper documents or 3-D objects, you should definitely consider the HoverCam T3.
The second group of educators was in the state of Washington, attending an event sponsored by ESD 113 called AppStock. I joined in via Skype, using a two-camera setup. One camera was the common iSight built into my MacBook Pro to show yours truly. The other was the clever HoverCam T3. The HoverCam was trained on my iPad so I could show and share content as well as demonstrate multifinger gestures and other features.
There are more than 50,000 apps in the education category in the App Store. Having access to this amazing collection is great, but it makes finding good apps challenging and time consuming. So during my time with these Georgia and Washington educators, I shared a number of ways to find iPad apps for teaching and learning. Here’s the resource list we worked from as we explored finding apps for the iPad.
App Store – App Collections for Educators
Language, Grammar, Vocabulary
1300+ educational apps selected by Apple Distinguished Educators
IEAR Education Apps Review
30 volunteer app reviewers and over 500 educators contribute to this site.
Apps in Education
Curated collection of educational apps.
Apps for Finding AppsAppShopper
App Deals (Free) – Daily Deals on Top Apps
Need to do a quick web search on your iPad? Don’t wait for Safari to start and then enter your search. Use Spotlight Search instead. From your first screen of apps, one tap of the Home button or a simple flick to the right will bring up the Spotlight Search screen. On another app screen? Tap the Home button to return to your first screen of apps, then tap it again to get to Spotlight Search.
Type the phrase you’re searching for and tap Search Web
Safari launches and displays your search results
Or choose Search Wikipedia to perform your search on Wikipedia.
Update the iTunes Program First
First update iTunes on the computer you’ll sync with.
iTunes should prompt you if your version is out of date.
If not, look for Check for Updates inside iTunes.
Install the iTunes update. Restart your computer and then reopen iTunes. Agree to any messages to confirm the installation.
Back Up Your iPad
Connect your iPad to your computer via USB. It will appear under Devices in iTunes in the column on the left. Make sure your iPad is selected (highlighted). Click once on it to select it.
You should sync your iPad with only one computer (one iTunes collection), so use the computer where you originally connected your iPad. If you see this message after connecting your iPad, you are attempting to sync with the wrong computer.
If you’re on the correct computer, you should get a prompt that your iOS is out of date. Don’t download and update yet. Cancel instead. To be safe, we’ll first do a backup of your iPad.
Make sure your iPad is selected under Devices in the left column, then click the Sync button.
iTunes will make a backup during the sync process. Wait for this to finish. To manually initiate the backup, you can control-click on the iPad under Devices and select Back Up from the drop-down menu.
Update the iPad
Click on the Update button on the Summary page.
The iOS download and installation will take some time. Allow at least an hour for the process to complete. When the process is complete, your iPad should have the iOS 5 update and the contents of your iPad should be restored, If not, that’s why we made a backup first. You can Restore your iPad from this backup if needed. Most likely, that won’t be necessary. The update of your iPad will proceed without problems and you’ll be enjoying the features of iOS 5 soon.
MacWorld How to share a family iPad
ZDNet YouTube launches education-only option for teachers worldwide
Lifehacker The Best Digital Digests apps on iPad and iPhone
9 to 5 Mac Apple clarifies iTunes Match with new setup guide, walkthrough video
Macworld Buying guide: iPad styluses Review
Macworld 2011 App Gems Awards
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Next Master Class opens in March. Watch the iPad Academy blog for announcements.
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Link to More Information
Register On Any of the Sample Video PagesSample Video One
Sample Video Two
Sample Video Three
Screenshots from inside the Master ClassScreenshot One