Home Academia & Research Headed to Convention? Navigate Boston With These ‘Wicked Good’ Apps

Headed to Convention? Navigate Boston With These ‘Wicked Good’ Apps

by Sean Sweeney
written by
Boston skyline at sunset

ASHA Convention travels this year to my hometown: the historic city of Boston. While a very walkable city, Boston isn’t known for an easy-to-navigate street grid! This selection of apps will help you explore and learn in The Hub (of the solar system, or the universe—whichever you prefer).

Revolutionary touring

The birthplace of the American Revolution is famous for its many historical sites, from the location of the Boston Massacre (King Street) to the USS Constitution in Charlestown and the Black Heritage Trail® in Beacon Hill. (Boston’s black community was a leader in movements to end slavery and espouse equal rights.)

See these and other notable sights by walking Boston’s historic Freedom Trail®, with guidance from a free National Park Service app (available for iOS and Android). This app provides built-in trail tours with descriptions, audio and video. Use it to build your own customized tour. If you’re into exploring neighborhoods such as the North End—known for its Italian food—download the narrative-based Detour app (for iOS) to learn stories about these areas.

From the Seaport District, where the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is located, you can easily access Boston’s subway system—the MBTA, commonly known as “The T.”  The app Transit (free for iOS and Android) can help you navigate this system, whether you’re going downtown or to Back Bay or Boston’s outer neighborhoods. The app provides an elegant itinerary planner and real-time information on arrival of trains and buses. If you prefer car rides, Uber and Lyft can help you zip around Boston in no time (taking into account our infamous pockets of traffic, of course).

More than beans

For your food on-the-go, know that Dunkin’ Donuts is a New England institution. This hometown chain is said to have a location on every corner. Use the Dunkin’ app to tap its deals and even order ahead to the sure-to-be-busy Seaport location. Open Table, as always, will help you research and book restaurants in the area, and you can view a curated feed of the best places to eat, drink and experience creativity in the city via the Curio app (free for iOS).

Boston is also the home of the famed Sam Adams and Harpoon breweries, among others. Find information on brewery locations, events and tours, and get your brewery passport stamped, via the Mass Craft Beer app (free for iOS and Android).

Cultural activities are in no short supply in Boston. ArtsBoston Calendar provides a listing of stage, music and art events that link to discounted tickets through the BosTix program. Need more ideas? Thrillist Boston rounds up happenings all over the city, along with a calendar for the week.

Olde time favorites

Apps can also help ease your travel to and from Boston. Kayak’s search is a great place to start for everything from car rentals to city guides (like the one on Boston). Want to build visual itineraries of flights, hotels and other important travel details? TripIt and the new Google Trips, if you are a Gmail user, both can help with that. Save paper and heavy lifting with Adobe Acrobat Reader’s apps (free for iOS and Android) to import, annotate and share handouts from your ASHA Planner. You can also use Google Keep and Google Docs to help with note-taking and sharing. If you want the latest convention news, you can try listening for the Town Crier. Or just hop on to Twitter and Instagram and search #ASHA18.

Sean Sweeney, MS, MEd, CCC-SLP, is an SLP and technology specialist working in private practice at the Ely Center in Needham, Massachusetts. He also consults with local and national organizations on technology integration in speech-language interventions. His blog, SpeechTechie, looks at technology “through a language lens.” sean@speechtechie.com

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