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There's a thriving market in iPad accessories. It can be very difficult to know which ones give you the best value for your money.
Some of the more popular accessories include:
Hopefully you have some advice for other network members. What are the best accessories you've purchased for your iPad? Which ones are essential to getting your work done? How have they helped you - both for personal and educational use? List them below and mention the brand and cost if you know them.
I use the Samson Meteor mic for media production in class or elsewhere. It's a high quality microphone that's only about $55 on Amazon because it's a USB mic as opposed to more expensive microphones that plug directly into the iPad (and cost up to $200).
How do you plug a USB mic into the iPad? That's where the 2nd accessory comes into play. Buy the iPad Camera Connection Kit to plug your microphone's USB cable into the iPad. It's available from Apple but you can also get cheaper alternatives on eBay for a few dollars.
We have some money to set up an Ipad studio and would appreciate more specific recommendations. We are doing a lot of video and animation with our 7 Ipads. What equipment would we need to show student work created on Ipads on a larger PC screen? And what would be on your wish list if you had a couple of thousand dollars to spend?
We did about 11 iMovie Trailers this spring on 4 iPads. I needed a way to get them off the iPads and somewhere we could access to share with parents and clear up some storage space. I used Dropbox. If you save the movie to the camera roll, there's a setting in Dropbox to upload. Then you can rename the video there on the computer and view or project from there. Worked like a charm for me.
I assume you are using tripods for animation? We use the regular camera tripods and attach an iPad holder. We already had the tripods, so not a huge expense to add the holder. Can't think of the name of them off the top of my head and school is out.
We're also using the iPads for podcasting using Audioboo and it's great.
Also need a recommendation for an external mic that goes on the Ipad itself and a light for better video lighting that fits on the Ipad.
External mics all cable into the iPad. You can either purchase one that connects directly or a USB mic that connects through the camera connection kit (USB connects on one side and the other end plugs into the iPad). The Apogee uses a lightning cable to plug in directly - http://goo.gl/NN4O2W - but will run you over $200.
As for lighting, depends what you need and it usually stands apart from the iPad. Lighting will be entirely different for a small animation stand than a large set.
We have about a half a dozen handheld mics from IRig that we love. The company is terrific. We have had a couple that were damaged by students and the company replaced them at no charge. They really help reduce ambient noise.
Also, we recently got 5 Rode smartLav bundle with vampire clip and extension cable. They don't do as good a job to get rid of ambient noise. However, you can clearly hear the students' voices.
The kids love both types. Neither is cheap. I think we paid $50 or so for the handhelds and $70 for the clip ons.
It is money well spent as most of us don't have lots of different places for a class of students to work. To be able to have students work in small groups in the same space at the same time and clearly hear their voices is priceless.
I have attached one example though it's a student that went into the hallway to video. Don't have access to any others right now.
This iRig mic cast allows hands free recording and it's directional with a couple of settings http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigmiccast/ costs about $AU50. Just awaiting delivery but expect good things if it's anything like the iRig handheld.
Thank you. These suggestions are very helpful. What would I need to connect the Ipad to a PC USB port and to a desktop Mac in order to show student work on a larger screen
You can use a VGA cable so obviously not USB connected http://store.apple.com/au/product/MC552ZM/B/apple-vga-adapter or an application like Airserver http://www.airserver.com/