It was an electronics Christmas here at the Martin house. I sucked it up and bought my husband a new laptop, which he desperately needed after several years of using my own 7-year old refurbished cast-off. And he got me the new i-Pod Touch--basically an iPhone without the phone part, which is just fine with me. It's replacing my Nano and also giving me more memory that I sorely needed.
I have to say that the thing is gorgeous. I mean seriously a thing of beauty that is actually almost sensual to use. That touch screen is just so amazing--it's beyond me how I can use my fingers to surf the web! And the video is really amazing--incredible quality.
This, of course, sent me back to check out possible options for my viewing/listening pleasure. I mean I doubled my storage and can now watch video, so gotta see what that can do for me, right? Of course, I could have stuck with downloading Lost or Grey's Anatomy, but I also found some great options for learning. Some of what I found:
- 10 Ways to Make Your iPod a Better Learning Gadget--several of these apply to Nanos, not just the Touch. And because these were so interesting, I'm also throwing in 10 Unexpected Uses of the iPod.
- Over at the i-Tunes store, you can download TED Talks--15-20 minute videos on an incredibly diverse range of topics. Now I can have the most inspiring talks, like this one on leadership or this one on compassion with me all the time. I can also download lectures and video from i-Tunes University.
- Also through i-Tunes, I can get KQED's video series on digital story-telling--over 10 hours of free training on how to use video to tell great stories. Makes me think it might be time to produce my own video podcasts.
- I was pleased to find that I can get detailed lessons in how to de-motivate people from Despair.com, one of my favorite satirical sites.
- I could also learn how to use Excel or learn a foreign language or go to business school for free. And I can listen to my beloved NPR, too.
- For management skills, I have Manager Tools (one I've already enjoyed online) and the Cranky Middle Manager. I'd love to find some video versions of these things as I think that it would be great to have the associated facial and body language tips for a lot of these interactions.
What's also really cool about the Touch is that I can surf the web where ever I have wireless access. That means that I need to start identifying locations with free wifi before I head out the door. I also found that I can use mobile versions of Facebook, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google documents (read only, unfortunately), and I can even IM using meebo. My only problem was prying the Touch from my daughters' hands so I could play around with all these features.
Overall, a very cool tool that's a lot of fun to use. It almost makes me wish I commuted further than to my home office. Almost.