The Mission Project would like to thank the Westerman Foundation and the McGowan Foundation for making this project possible.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Visual Sequence for Connecting to a New Wi-Fi Network

I am posting this as a resource for the participants learning in this project. 

Just so you understand... "Wi-Fi" is wireless technology that uses radio waves to provide a connection to the internet. It's like an invisible cable that runs from a box (or a modem) to your device (or iPad).  Wi-fi is needed to visit websites, check email, view some apps, watch videos on YouTube, and send pictures to people. 

Some of you have a wi-fi network in your home and some of you don't... that does not make some of you better than others. It is a responsibility and a financial expense to have wi-fi in your apartment so not everyone chooses to have it. If you don't have wi-fi in your home, you have options like using the internet at your parents' house, or at a friends' house, or at a public place like Panera or the library. (Remember the hidden rules of public places though and make sure you use headphones or mute the volume on your iPad.)

These are the main steps to finding the wi-fi network so you can connect to the internet when you are at someone else's home or a public place. In many cases, it is a locked network, and you will need to put in a password before you can get access.  If you are a guest in someone's home, it is important that you ask for permission to use their wi-fi connection.  They have the right to not give you access and not give you the password since the wi-fi belongs to them and they are paying for the service, but I'm sure as friends, you all can work it out. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Getting Access to the Internet on the iPads

I have received emails from parents and participants asking about how to make sure the iPad is connected to the internet.  As I mentioned in the trainings, it is important to note that some apps will work without internet access while some will not. At this point, not all of our participants have wi-fi in their apartments. Those who do have wi-fi access will need to know the name of the network in their home and their password so they can share this information with their friends if their friends want to access the internet with their iPad while visiting. Using Apple Configurator, I have defaulted the wi-fi access information of our office building so that whenever we meet there, everyone automatically gets connected to the internet. One of the reasons I want the participants to learn this process is so they can access the internet on their iPads in public places, such as Panera which is a hangout spot nearby.

Click on this video tutorial below to learn how to connect an iPad to a wireless network: 

Using the iPads to Improve our Health

One of the long-term goals of this iPad Initiative is to teach the participants to use the iPads as a tool to help them improve their health. One of the greatest challenges of living on their own is maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. This weekend I will be introducing an app called, "Eat-And-Move-O-Matic".  It is a a health education app that allows you to search a food item and see how much exercise you would have to do to burn off the calories from that item.  The app is easy to navigate and the concept is simple.  Although this may not result in immediate health outcomes for our participants, it is an important tool for educating themselves about different types of food they put in their bodies and the impact of different types of exercise. 
This is a screenshot sample of the content of the app
This is how the app icon appears on the iPad

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Love Apps When They Are FREE!!

There are apps that are always free in the App Store, some of which are great, and some of which are junk. The good thing about them being free is that you can just delete them if you don't like them with no financial loss.  When you download an app that is a free app, you have to be prepared that it may be a lite version of an app that costs, it may include ads, or it may include multiple prompts within the app for in-app purchases. Even with that being said, I LOVE free apps and 90% of the apps on my iPad cost me NOTHING.  My favorite way of acquiring apps is to grab them when they are featured for FREE!  The app, AppsGoneFree, is my favorite solution for finding these apps. I simply read the summaries on these apps, and then 'purchase' the apps I want for FREE in the App Store. (When you click on the app within AppsGoneFree, it will take you right to the AppStore for installing it.)  There are definitely other 'meta-apps' that serve this same function of featuring discounted or free apps, but this one is definitely my favorite as it typically offers quality apps and ones that can save you as much as $3-6.00 per app. It only takes a couple of minutes each day to skim the apps that are featured and it's definitely worth that time investment for the financial savings in the long run.

This is how the app icon appears on the device.

When scrolling through the featured apps, you will see the original cost of the app, but all of them that are featured on that day are FREE.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reflections from iPad training Session #3

Be sure and review the PDF in the post below that specifies all of the content covered in the 3rd training session.

These training sessions are getting more and more exciting because we're getting more and more into uses of the iPad that are meaningful to each of the participants. We started this weekend's session with a discussion of how the iPads have been used since our last training. About half of the participants actually spent time exploring their iPads and playing on their new apps that they learned about last week, while the other half did not touch them at all. Those who did explore came back with stories about how they shot video footage, made new collages in Pic Collage, took pictures, and improved their score in the bowling app. They asked great questions like, "Why couldn't I get onto the internet?", "How do I find an app about wrestling?", and "How do I send an email?"  I was thrilled with their questions and their enthusiasm!

My predominant model for the training this week was small group stations. Last week I had the volunteers be the ones to move at the transitions but this week I chose to have the participants shift so they had frequent  opportunities to get up and move their bodies, which alerted them and refocused their attention. The small group model of 2-4 participants per volunteer focused on one task lasting for 5-10 minutes was perfect for this crew. Each volunteer was assigned a task (ex. demonstrate and teach use of Photo Booth) and they taught this same station for all 5 rotations. By doing this, the volunteers were able to identify the common challenges across all of the participants they worked with.

Here are some of the challenges that we discovered with some of our individuals:

  • difficulty with the fine motor aspect of touching and quickly releasing small targets on the touch screen (one volunteer recommended we try to use styluses for selection in the future)
  • discomfort with the process of taking pictures of themselves and immediately looking at them. 
  • understanding how to lock the orientation of the screen (portrait vs landscape).
  • knowing what to do when a prompt box appeared asking to "allow" or "not to allow" access.
  • dealing with the anxiety of learning something new and not feeling confident enough to initiate and explore on their own.  
Here were some of my favorite moments of the day... the little moments to be celebrated:
  • ...when one of our guys found a video of his favorite techno artist on the YouTube app... he immediately stood up and started dancing and giggling with glee!
  • ...when one of the women took a picture of me and added bright red lips, a mustache, and a silly hat using the Doodle Buddy app and she cracked herself up!
  • ...when a couple of our women searched the App Store with the term "wrestling" and found free apps highlighting their favorite wrestlers.
  • ...when one of the ladies figured out on her own how to find an app that gave options for backgrounds and she chose the picture and set it on her iPad all on her own.
  • ...witnessing one of the women, who typically keeps to herself, take a leadership role in the small groups and share her knowledge of the iPad with her friends!
We've hit an important milestone now that we're to the point of shopping on the App Store for free apps, customizing the look of our iPads, collecting our own photos, and accessing our own music, because all of these tasks are ones that make each iPad more individualized and also more engaging for each participant. 

Powerpoint from Training Session #3

Click here to access: Mission Project iPad Training Session THREE (PDF)

Photos from Session Three - What a wonderful crew of volunteers!!

Special thanks to our wonderful and gifted volunteers: Dr. Edna Smith, Darcy Lippman, Dana Worley, Renee Griffin, Kelli Christman, Elisa Parker, and Michelle Brewer!!!