NGS Conference: App Primer

NGS app faceFrom the previous blog posting about the NGS Conference 2014, you know I am a fan of the conference app.  If you are unfamiliar with the app and are just a beginner–this is the place for you.  We will investigate using the conference schedule, called “Sessions” and your personal calendar, called “My Schedule.”  If you get that far you have 80% of the good stuff. While there are a many other features, you probably will not use them all.

You do have to have a laptop, smart phone and/or a tablet to do this, so for those of you who do not have a “window” on your phone and cannot load apps (tiny computer programs to run on your phone) you may now close this posting and go on with life, but if you do have a smart phone/ laptop/tablet, or have ever wondered about the advantage of having the ability to download an app, read on!

Starting is very easy:

  1. Go to the conference website for the app:
  2. Watch the video. I learned something new when I viewed it just before writing this blog!
  3. Scroll down below the video and depending on your device, choose the compatible method and download the app.  I have an iphone and ipad, so I went to the App Store, searched for NGS 2014 and downloaded the app to my phone and then repeated that for my tablet. It’s free.
  4. Your screen will look something like the inserted figure 1 on the left.
    a. under the word “Dashboard” is the leader-this will change every so often…think of it as advertising.  In this example, it says “Join NGS…”.
    b. Under the leader are the words “Upcoming Schedule”- this will show the next program you are interested in based on the time of day and date.  Since we are a few days in advance of the conference, this is the first program I have “starred” on my personal schedule for Tuesday morning,
    c. On the menu are 14 individual icons, each represents a feature of the app.  Feel free to explore each one.

We will look only at the first two: “Sessions” and “My Schedule” but once you feel comfortable with those two, I urge you to explore the others.

app1Click on “Sessions” and you should see something that looks like the second figure on the left.

This is a catalog of all the sessions arranged by topic.  You can see all the sessions if you touch “Browse by Day” or “All” (below “African American.”)   If you touch on one of the tracks, you will see only the sessions that have been tagged as being in that interest category.  Touch the button for DNA, for example and on Friday there are a series of offerings.  None are offered any other day.

Scroll through them all so you can see how this screen is arranged and what topics are being presented.  Now click on “Browse by Day” or “All.” (both take you to the same screen.)

app2Click on the right hand carat (>) at the leader which should take you to Wednesday’s sessions.  My Wednesday calendar looks like third figure on the left:

Only one session is offered at 8:00 am, the plenary session, and I have touched the star to the left of the plenary and the star is now black.  By turning the star black, it will now show up on “My Schedule.”  Look at the 11:00 am session–eleven sessions are offered and 2 are noted with black stars indicating that I wish to attend two sessions in the time slot.  Try this- touch the star to the left of any offering, it will go black; touch another in the same time slot.  The app warns you that you are double booked.  No problem, ignore the message because you can double book.  (But the Laws of Physics do not allow you to “double-attend” unless you have signed up for the Live Streaming option.)

See the little house at the top and the arrow pointing left?  Touching the left arrow will take you back one screen.  Go back to the Dashboard by touching the house.  Now touch on “My Schedule” and  touch the > until you are on Wednesday’s calendar. Your entries that you just selected should show up side-by-side indicating the double booking in the same time slot.  Just by turning a star dark, you place it on your personal calendar.

To undo a dark star, just touch the dark stars and they will go light again and be removed from your personal calendar.

Tip:  NGS uses a smart numbering system for their session numbers.  The W precedes all sessions offered on Wednesday , T for Thursday, etc.

app4Now review all the sessions on all the days, darken all the stars of sessions that interest you.  Look at “My Schedule” and you now have a listing of all sessions that interest you at this time.  I go back about once a week and adjust my calendar, adding and subtracting sessions each time. Being organized will allow you to “beat the crowd” to the popular sessions.

One last tip! Touch the session name on “My Schedule.” Look at some of the features describing the session etc.  Notice the tabs at the top.  Click on “Actions.” At the bottom (see fourth figure on the left) touch “Rate Session” to contribute your evaluation of the session. I fill this out during the Q&A session at the end.  How easy is that!

Another last tip! A reader has pointed out that you can add personal appointments, dinners, etc.  On “My Schedule”, touch the + at the top right.  enter your appointment and click done.  Personal appointments will show up as blue on the calendar.  Yeah!  Thanks, Pam.

Happy Hunting!


Things I have done since the last posting: attended the SGS  Board meeting where I advanced the motion that SGS join FGS and sponsor a scholarship.  We haven’t belonged for 10 years or so.  I like to think it was an oversight.  I organized the labeling, stickering of the Bulletin in preparation for mailing; I also contacted a mailing service to get a quote on how much it would cost to handle all of this–cheap at twice the price.  Worked on my presentation of a case study for determining the village of birth.  Almost done with that one.  Started by presentation on self-publishing for OGSA and WSGS.  Less inspiring.  Turned in my assignment for ProGen on a Marketing plan–mediocre.  Went to yoga twice!  I needed it.


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