Thursday, June 12, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 23

This program really helped me to dig further into using my iPad. Before the program I just primarily used the device for checking my email, searching the web, Facebook and playing games.  I now use many of the apps from the program on a daily basis.

I liked learning about apps that I thought my teachers and students could use in the classroom.  I don't have a mobile device to use in the library but maybe by promoting these apps, it would increase awareness of how helpful these devices are and more could be purchased for the library. I know that my teachers were really excited about DragonDictation when I demonstrated this at one of my "Tech Thursday" training sessions.  It was easy to use and as I said in my blog it could decipher an individual who has a distinct accent. I confess that after I explored some of these apps I had them downloaded on to the school iPad carts and had teachers give me their initial thoughts.  

This class was a fantastic way of seeing multiple apps for a variety of activities and I would participate again in the future. I learned some small things that made operating and using my mobile device more efficient and productive.  (More than one browser on my iPad, who knew????) I also learned apps that can have a huge impact on student learning. 

I find it hard to connect with others using the blogging system.  I could follow someone but until they write something you don't know if it will be worth your while or not.  I wish that there was one place for all of us to share our own thoughts about each Thing.  That way you can see the comments made by other participants to determine who has similar thoughts about apps and their use and can readily reply or question posts. This would create a thread of communication.

The one word I would use to describe by experience with this program is Inspirational. I am inspired to continue my learning about apps. I want to inspire my staff to increase their technology integration. I want students to inspire to greater knowledge using as many tools that can be placed in their hands.

Thank you for a great learning opportunity!

23 Mobile Things - Thing 15

For this Thing I chose to explore Visualize. It is an easy program to use and I think that students would enjoy using this program.  While I know it is meant to organize similar facts, it has the feel of Glogster without the animation and audio components.

I tried multiple ways to incorporate information from the Internet.  First I took a screen shot of text and then cropped it in Visualize.  Down side was that the clarity of the image was poor.  Then I saved an image and then cropped it in Visualize.  This had much better clarity.

Sharing my creation was easy as well and the app provided multiple ways to accomplish sharing. I personally liked using the email option.  Once it was in my email, I could then download the image.

I see using this app to create infographics and then turning them into posters so I can hang them up throughout the library or even the school. It would be neat if I could embed them on my Media website as well as having them throughout the school. Topics would include: Teen Reading, Reading Strategies, Popular Books from my Library, and Successful Student Habits. Students could also use this program to share their knowledge about a specific topic instead of creating poster boards.

23 Mobile Things - Thing 16

I used iPadio to create a simple audio file. It was really easy to use once I was able to log in.  I forgot my password and could not figure out how to request a password reset from the app.
I finally used my laptop to access this app from the web. In addition to actually seeing my audio that I made on my iPad, I found a treasure of additional items that could be done with my finished audio file, such as getting the embed code for the audio and downloading the audio file. What great ways to share information with others.

I was also a little confused as to why I could attach an image to the audio file but then the image wasn't shown as the audio was played. I guess it is meant to be the identifier for each audio on the iPad.  For the web version those images (limited to 4) do show up at the bottom of the audio feed.

I am going to use this app to record audio for my library orientation presentation. This would also be a great app for students to use because of the simplicity of the program. Sharing, though, will have to include using the web version if wanting to emb or download the file.  However, the web version shows the latest posts and has a search feature which the teacher could use if only wanting to hear the end result.

I would recommend this app.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 14

My teachers are always looking for ways to create video with students that has no time limit.  Our school has used Animoto (free account is 30-seconds) and often times iMovie is unwieldy. A case in point this year--students wanted to create videos for History Day but were frustrated by the fact that our computers in school are set to make students use the same machine each time they use iMovie and/or students did not have the program at home.

I was hoping that SocialCam would help eliminate these problems for my students and teachers. It was easy to create a short video using this app. A title could be added as well as music that comes with the app. A sound recording could also be created within this app or music from a phone could be added. A video clip could be uploaded to SocialCam but only the title and sound can be edited into the video.  Multiple clips cannot be combined nor images added to video clips. I then used my Google Drive account to upload the video since this is the way many of my students would be using this in school.

At the middle school level, teachers want students to create a finished video that incorporates multiple media.  This is not the app for that purpose.  I see this app being used possibly to record short clips of students interviewing someone or the teacher demonstrating instructions.  It would require a lot of preplanning for students to use to demonstrate their knowledge for a specific subject. Another drawback to this app is that each user needs to create an account.  They would then need to log off the account.  This step is often forgotten at school as our iPads are in a cart configuration and shared multiple times throughout the day.

The social aspect of this app allows the user to follow specific individuals who post videos. Students and teachers could follow individuals for videos on a specific topic. There are also controls to set the privacy of the videos which is a positive feature of this app.

23 Mobile Things - Thing 12

The Audiobooks app gives recordings of public domain books.  Most of the books would be way above the reading ability of my middle school students and I'm not sure how much interest the recordings would generate.  I do like that there is an option to search the books and one option is based on Teen/Young Adult. I could see this app being used as an introduction to the use of audiobooks for reading.  Many of my teachers have to teach a "reading" class and one of the days of the week could be used listening to one book from this app.

I then explored iStoryBook since I have DCD and Autism programs at my school as well as ESL students.  Even though I work at a middle school, many of these books could be used with the above listed students even though the books are definitely geared toward lower elementary students.  I was disappointed, however, when the settings were "read to me" and "movie mode" and neither of these worked. This would defeat the purpose of my students using the app if they do not have a grasp of the English language. iStoryBook also have a parent section which is password protected.  You do need to purchase the premium package in order to receive the benefits of this section.

23 Mobile Things - Thing 8

I have both a Facebook and Twitter account so am familiar with these social media apps. So off I went to explore a new app--FourSquare.  But guess what?  "We're looking into an issue with our servers. Try again in a bit!"  It's been a half hour and I'm still counting.....I wonder how often this occurs with this app?

Now I'm evaluating Hootsuite. I try to keep my personal and professional social media accounts separate but don't often check my professional accounts since these accounts are not what are synced on my personal iPad.  This app now allows me to be able to keep track of what is occurring on these professional social media accounts without logging into and out of my personal accounts using one device.  What a great app and I plan on checking it frequently!

23 Mobile Things - Thing 3

I am embarrassed to report that I did not know that I could add other browsers to my iPad. Great piece of knowledge that I learned from this Thing and was able to download a new browser.

For this Thing I chose to look into Google Search because my school uses many of the Google products for both staff and students.  It is really cool to be able to use my voice to activate my searches. This makes this app perform more like Sirius on my phone. Students will really enjoy using that feature. The downside is that as an educator I try to dissuade my students from using Google search as their primary search engine/directory for their academic searches. The speech feature will be another reason why it will be hard to persuade my students to use Destiny Webquest or SweetSearch as their first choice.

It was interesting to see how the "cards" work with this program. Based on my searches and location history, Google automatically creates information that matches my history.  This is convenient but more and more apps are getting this feel of "Big Brother" watching my every move.

Setting a reminder was not very intuitive for me.  With a little practice, however, I was able to get the reminder to work but there was no sound--just a popup at the bottom of my screen. This portion of the app would be better on my phone than on my iPad since I am more likely to carry around my phone versus my iPad.