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ASUS Transform-ing note taking!

This blog post has two aims. One is to continue the series of posts on my experience of the ASUS Transformer, which is becoming a really inseparable “friend” in my work, and the other aim is to give you an update of the Science on Stage Europe Conference held in Copenhagen last month. The reason I am marrying the two is because I used my Transformer to keep a sort of journal of the event…

So, my adventure in Copenhagen began by using my Tablet on the plane to read the Conference programme I had conveniently and easily downloaded beforehand as a pdf. Two stuarts on the plane asked me if I had broken my laptop in two pieces when they saw me holding the tablet detached from the docking station and on this note I have to correct my earlier concerns about the locking system. I have to say that now that I got used to it, and that I have read the symbol on the lock properly, attaching and detaching the keyboard is very easy and quick!

To take my notes I tried different tools, starting from evernote. It is a shame that iMindMap has not developed a version of their amazing software for Android platforms, or I would have certainly used that. However, Evernote didn’t seem to be the best option for the venue I was in. In fact, for problems with the filters in the network (I believe) Evernote would not allow me to sync my previous notes properly, so I had to abandon the app for Polaris Office, the built in Office equivalent for Android. I was very pleased with the choice and I cannot see any difference, and certainly nothing inferior, to the iPad versions. One of the best things was to be able to capture a photo directly inside the document I was writing from a workshop, or a talk. The integration between the front and back camera and the Polaris Office package is really neat and handy.

So, here is a short account of my favourite parts of the Science on Stage Conference in Copenhagen.

1) Meeting up with the Italian Contingency was a real treat, especially looking at the clever free fall experiments from Giovanni Pezzi (Palestra della Scienza del Comune di Faenza) who attached a wireless webcam inside a box which would contain some experiments (e.g. a mass on a scale) that would go crazy when he dropped the box from a 5 m staircase.

2) The gravitational lenses in teh calssroom workshop where Rosa Ros demonstrated how she uses the base of wine glasses to simulate the effects of gravitational lenses in her classes. Other really fascinating resources can be found on the EAAE’s website.

3) The amazing Mithosis Mamba that Richard Spencer got us all to dance in the “wake up session”. This was an hilarious and very clever way to memorize processes and I can’t wait to make my own dances to teach about physical processes to my classes.

4) The awards ceremony where a number of inspiring projects were given the recognition they deserved:

- High Speed/slow motion –> Micheal Vollmer, Klaus-Perter Mollmann Germany
- Colourful Science –> Catherine Tattersall Ireland
- Thermoelectric Solar Energy –> Inma Abad, Pere Compte Spain
- Cosmi Wants to Know –> Ida Regl Austria
- Studying Chemistry with Pliny the Elder –> Gianluca Farusi Italy
- From Rainbows to the Chemistry of Colours –> Elias Kalogirou Greece
- See the sound, hear the light –> Jan Pavelka, Ondrej Pribyla Czech Republic

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