I wanted to write this article a month ago, since we started using the Ipad, so it could have been useful to everyone… But I had to learn it myself first, and I’m not the fastest one when it comes to technology.
Most of the things I’m gonna write down have already been explained, but please take a look anyway: you may find something you didn’t know, or at least reviewing everything!
So, the first time I heard about the Ipad was in the beginning of last term: “we’re going to replace all the textbooks with the Ipad” didn’t sound too good for me, and I seriously started to panic.
Until last term we were using normal textbooks: the main one for grammar and then kanji (one for studying and the other one to practice the writing), Maeda House (basically, a story based on character conversations and interactions, the funniest thing during lessons), Shadowing (listen and repeat exercise) and self study materials. The total cost was around 5000 円 per term.
Having the Ipad would have meant no more paper materials, the only exception being kanji’s, and we would have been able to use 7 gb of internet per term thanks to the agreement with Softbank; this means that new students didn’t need to sign a contract for the japanese cellphone anymore, which believe me, is a HUGE AND EXPENSIVE pain.
What about the cost, then? Well, considering everything, 10000 円 per term is still pretty cheap… IF you are a new student.
Because the others already had their cute expensive cellphone (well, I’m talking for myself, since I have to pay around 6000 円 monthly) and weren’t so happy about that.
And guess what? We got a discount and will pay half price until the end of our studies.
Ok then, everything it’s settled and I’ll skip the basic rules (use always “find my position” and ICloud, don’t break it, don’t lose it, pay the full price of the Ipad if you’re not returning it at the end of your studies, ect) to show you which apps we got inside.
This is how I organised my apps. Let’s take a quick tour into the official one from school!
- ITunes U: where everything starts, all the materials are here, waiting for being downloaded. The biggest difference with Dropbox, which just hosted files, is that ITunes U is full interactive: you can use “Discussion” to directly contact your teacher for a question, sending homeworks, tell the class you’re sick and won’t come to school… Also, the slide from the lessons are uploaded daily by the teacher, so you can review everything you’ve studied so far!
- IBooks: everything you download can be stored here, making it easy to use and organise materials.
- eDoc Reader: the problem with Ibooks is that you can’t insert text except for making notes, so if you want to write down into an exercise you should download a program like this or Acrobat Reader. Be aware: you have to download the pdf file from Dropbox to be able to modify anything, because the IBooks format doesn’t allow it.
- Keynote, Pages, Numbers: ok, Apple would probably kill me for what I’m gonna say, but they’re basically Power Point, Word and Excel. Just working better for this kind of device.
- Japanese KAI: the main dictionary I’m using, you can check words during lessons! Just use your finger to slide from the center of right side of the screen to the left (a small arrow will appear anyway if you can’t find the spot, so just press it), choose this app in the menu and that’s it! You can use the dictionary without going back to the main screen! I really love this app, created just for us students: aside from dictionary, you can make lists of vocabs you choose, making notes, changing colors, hearing the pronunciation, and study using the flashcard option!
When you’re looking for some words, you can choose among three methods: type the word, writing down the kanji with your finger or choosing the radicals. With the second option, please be sure to write it near the center, or it won’t work.
- Imiwa?: the one from Apple, useful and funny thanks to the example in many languages.
- Memrise: based on flashcard system, you have to registrate before using it. You can find lists already done or create them by yourself!
- Dragon Dictation: I personally hate it, but it can be useful if you want to practice your pronunciation. Basically, you just need to tap on “registration”, saying something and it will write down what it captured. So, if you’re saying a word in a wrong way, you will know, but mine doesn’t even work with teacher’s talking, so I gave up.
- Special Features: not apps, but are really usefuls at school! I’m talking about AirDrop (to share files using wireless function) and AirPlay (to connect to a projector, if you want to show something to the class).
And this was my resume for KAI DLS! I personally came to like it, aside from the green cover (which you can decorate, but not change or remove), but of course there are also students that don’t feel the same way as me. This term is the first one, so it’s still being tested, and there will be more improvements thanks to our hard working staff.
So, what do you think about KAI’s Ipad? I would love to read everybody’s opinion and share advises and complaints!