Monday, April 21, 2014

23 Mobile Things: Thing 23

Wow!  I made it through all the Things and the survey!  😃  it has been so much so fast, I feel like I just got through a whirlwind of apps.  This program has certainly made me more comfortable with using a variety of functions on my iPad (although, I have to admit, my favorite is still Sudoku).  My favorite Things were Education (#18), Hobbies (#19), and Free-for-all (#21).  I was excited to discover Google voice search, books/Google Play, Spotify, and, especially, Duolingo.  I found the Utilities Thing (#3) very helpful as well, and the games were entertaining--nice break from the serious side.  I now have a rudimentary Facebook page which I will put to more use in future.  

I would be interested in learning one app in detail in order to become proficient in it, such as Google.  There is an overwhelming number of apps available, to the point of information overload.  With such limited time, I would rather focus more in-depth on one to three apps.  I would have benefited from an interactive discussion board (I discovered that the blog was basically a one-person dialogue--no interaction), but discussion boards are usually quite time-consuming.

I would likely participate in a 23 Google Things, 23 EduCreation Steps, or similar program that focuses on more capabilities within one app.  There just isn't enough time to learn a bunch of apps well enough to effectively integrate them into my lessons in a truly meaningful way.  I also tend to feel a bit overwhelmed and rushed trying to absorb so much within a short span of time. 

I can't imagine the amount of time it must have taken to set up this program.  Lots of exploration and research involved.  I sure appreciate those who did this!  I feel better able to keep up with my "wired" students.  Thank you!!  Libraries are all about learning and leading others to information.  This program definitely brought me one step closer to fulfilling this mission.  It was well worth the time and effort.  Thanks again for making this learning adventure available to us!

23 Mobile Things: Thing 16

I chose Audiobook because ipadio requires a phone number and I don't have enough free time to get into something as big as SoundCloud.  Audiobook has a lot of recordings one can listen to, but none interested me much.  I discovered one that was a rap recording.  I'm not really into rap, but it may be fun to make up some library raps!  I recorded our Shelf Marker Song, a song I use with the elementary to remember correct use of a shelf marker, sung to the tune of "Do the Hanky Panky."  I don't have much of a singing voice, but if I could find someone who did, I could play the song in my classes (so the kids don't have to listen to my non-singing voice)!

Other than The Shelf Marker Song, I'm not sure I would use Audiobook much right now.  We just began using Puppet Pals in our lessons, which has it's own mic/audio recording capability, so we will be experimenting with audio through that.

23 Mobile Things: Thing 10

I tried both Instagram and Snapchat,  I couldn't find my friends in Instagram.  Maybe I have to change my Facebook settings?  I tried to send a video to Facebook from Instagram, but it wouldn't work.  Don't really see the need for Instagram when I can send pics/videos directly to Facebook from the iPad Photos.   

It took me several tries to come up with a user name in Snapchat as many were already taken.  Once I achieved that, it became apparent that I couldn't send anything without knowing my friends' exact Snapchat names.  I couldn't send one to my daughter without wifi for her to receive (we don't give her our wifi access code in order to control her electronic use time at home). 

I think both of these functions are more effective via phone; can't imagine carrying around an iPad a lot to send quick pics.  There are new Snapchat apps that are kind of scary that kids should know about like others having an app to keep pics forever.  Kids may not realize this and believe what they send will disappear.  I may use these more at a later time, but probably not in the immediate future.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

23 Mobile Things: Thing 8

OK.  This was a complete fail for me.  I wasn't excited about setting up a social media site as I purposely do not already have one.  I have neither the time nor the interest in publishing personal news or photos.  That said, I did set up a Facebook account which was a headache.  It sent me a code that didn't work, followed by another that did, and in the meantime, automatically created 2 accounts for me without me even entering the codes!  Furthermore, it does not allow me to delete an account (they can only be deactivated), so they are there forever. 😠

I thought it would be helpful to combine my e-mail accounts (3) and Facebook into one access point.  I tried Cloze, but found it very complicated.  I was unable to find a message "delete" button (it just archived everything; I'm a "thrower" and don't want to keep it all).  I was also unable to add 2 of my e-mail accounts as they aren't through common sources and I don't know server info for them offhand.  I ended up deleting this app for now.

I then tried Buffer.  It was very annoying as it wouldn't let me in with an e-mail access; it just kept saying "error."  I got in through Facebook, but then it just took me there and I didn't see a way to access other platforms.  

I will probably get LinkedIn at some point as some employers are using it, but don't have the time at present.  Maybe when I add that, the management tools will be more effective...  Right now, I will just access the different accounts separately, I guess.  However, I AM excited about someday being able to get all my e-mail messages (and Facebook posts) from one source, so the IDEA is great!  😃

Maybe a future training could focus on walking us through one social media management app??!

23 Mobile Things: Thing 21

The app I use the most is Sudoku by Finger Arts, which I mentioned under the Games Thing.  It is a nice relaxer when too tired to read.  It includes different levels of difficulty, from Easy to Expert.  Different styles can be selected for personal preferences.  On the downside, it can be addicting and the images of grid/numbers can get stuck in your head!

I use the app, PicCollage, with my elementary students.  Again, I have mentioned this in previous blogs.  It is easy to work with, but includes many simple options.  Projects can include text, photos from web or camera, different backgrounds, etc., and may be printed or shared via e-Mail, Facebook, Twitter, and more.  The kids really enjoy working with it and stay engaged!  It is a wonderful alternative to the old "scissors and glue" projects.

Another app I am using with elementary is Puppet Pals.  Students are designing a puppet show as part of their Tall Tales unit, but it would work great with other genres as well, especially Folk or Fairy Tales.  We just started this project so I can't judge the success of it yet.  Most of the students seem excited about trying it.  Characters can be selected from options in the program, or pictures may be imported. The kids were having some difficulty with the import function, but I think it was due to filters/blocks specific to our school.  We ran out of class time this week, so I don't know yet if we are able to get around this issue or not.  It appears that many more free character choices have been added in the app itself.  Purchases may be made within the app, but we avoid those!

Finally, I just got the app, Marlee Signs, which is a basic ASL self-teaching program.  It includes finger spelling and a few basic phrases (for free; more could be purchased).  This could be helpful for those working with deaf, hard-of-hearing, and/or non-verbal students.  It gives the option to see gestures in slow motion.  The free app probably wouldn't be the best program for those wanting advanced ASL lessons, but may be helpful for those just looking for an intro, basics, or a refresher.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

23 Mobile Things: Thing 22

Searching with Quixey, I found some apps to possibly explore further (Read Me, Weather).  Several of the apps listed were ones we were introduced to in previous lessons.  I thought Quixey was easy to use with an organized "purpose" list.

I looked at some of the "best of" lists for online searching.  This may be helpful if/when I may be looking for a specific app, but I have enough apps to explore further right now!  :-)

I already had Apps Gone Free, and have used it, although not often.  It's a nice app to have to learn what "freebies" may be available.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

23 Mobile Things: Thing 18

I tried several of the apps listed.  First was ColAR Mix which looks very engaging for students with iPads to see their work in 3D.  I couldn't print directly from my iPad at the time, so e-mailed the free docs to myself to open later and try it out.  Once I've had a chance to try it, I may integrate it into my elementary lessons.

Next, I loaded Duolingo, which is AWESOME!  I went through a few lessons in Spanish and German, and hope to teach myself some more of these languages over the summer (refreshers for one, all new for the other).  It's simply great that feedback is immediate, sound allows for proper pronunciation, and repetition helps it "stick".  I love it!

I loaded Google Earth, which I have accessed before on PC.  It's fun and interesting, but I will need some more time with it to make it truly useful for me.  Many students used to play around with this on the PCs during study halls, but I think the Tech Director may have blocked it as I haven't noticed anyone on it this year.

The Life app is great.  I looked at images of Vietnam in 1966, Marilyn Monroe, Dachau, 1969 fashions, and more.  This could be really neat as a supplement to Social Studies lessons.  Perhaps I can come up with a way to integrate it into my historical fiction genre lessons.

I loaded Ted for the music option, but ended up deleting it as it was not what I had expected or would likely use.

I loaded iTranslate only to be told I needed to download an updated version to get mic capability.  I then downloaded that and discovered the mic app requires a purchase!  😕  I did have fun translating phrases though and listening to how they should sound.  I may use this in conjunction with Duolingo to learn new languages.

I looked at iScript which I think I had before.  I couldn't get it to allow a problem with an "x" and a "y" (it kept changing the y to a number).  I found it too frustrating.

Lots of great options here.  Hope I get time later to spend more time with them!