What should my next tech purchase be?…

I like tech and I like school. My hobby is finding ways to incorporate tech in my classroom.  At the moment, I’m not using my tech to its potential.  I’m using a Toshiba Z835 ultrabook primarily for word processing and web browsing, and my Galaxy Note smartphone is basically just a PDA/camera.

My tech timing stinks.  After weeks of research and debating between a Windows PC and a Macbook, I bought a Windows PC (the Toshiba I mentioned earlier)…and within a few days, Apple announced iBooks Author.  iBooks Author is a free download from the Mac App Store and is only compatible with OS X 10.7.3 and higher.  I spent my entire spring break trying to run iBooks Author in a virtual machine.  After several unsuccessful attempts and a little research, I discovered that it’s impossible to run many Apple apps (iBooks Author, iWork, X Code) on a virtual machine like VMware and Parallels because they do not support Apple Quartz Extreme/Core Image (QE/CI) graphics acceleration technology.

I considered selling my laptop and getting an 11″ Macbook Air.  I want to be able to create my own interactive books and apps, but I decided that it’s just not practical at this point.  My school doesn’t have tablets for students yet, but I know it’s just a matter of time.

Rumors have resurfaced that Microsoft is working on an Office app for the iPad.  I used an iPad 2 for a while last year, but had to sell it when I couldn’t find a suitable app to us instead of MS Office.  These rumors piqued my interest, so I started doing a little research.  Even if the native MS Office app doesn’t pan out, I found a couple of interesting possibilities.

1) CloudOn

The Good – Gives you access to full featured Word, Excel, and Power Point.  The basic service is free and includes a couple of gig of storage on the CloudOn server.

The Bad – You must have 3G or Wifi access because the office suite is running on a remote server.  In order to have integrated Dropbox, you have to pay a monthly fee.

2)  Splashtop

The Good – Gives you remote access you your computer.  I have MS Office, Dropbox, SMART Notebook, and Exam View Test Generator that I use for school.

The Bad – I would only have access to my computer as long as I had internet access, but on a good note, since I would have access to Dropbox, I could view, edit, and even create docs with iWork on the rare occasions that I don’t have internet access.

One thing is for sure, I’m not making any major purchases until after Apple’s WWDC June 11-15.  I’m hoping to get info on the next iOS update and (cross fingers) a native MS Office app for iOS.

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