Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thing 23

Yeah!  I actually completed the whole thing.  I am really proud of myself.  Before when I tried 23 Things, I only got through about 6 of them.  I guess I have more time now that my kids are grown :)

  • Go back to your thoughts/ideas about mobile devices and apps. Has anything changed as a 
  • result of this experience? Not really.  I have more things to use and play with when I use my iPad which is usually only on the road. I still much prefer my laptop.
  • What were your favorite Things and discoveries? I love the Dragon dictation app. I wish I could get myself to really utilize it, but I don't think I will.  I just don't see myself talking to my iPad a lot. I really like the Color Splurge, though I doubt I will use it as I like to play with my photos in Photoshop.  I still think it is a very cool app.
  • How did you connect with others doing the 23 Mobile Things? I did look at other blogs to see what folks were using and finding, but I never talked to any of the other people doing the course.
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content? It seemed just about right to me.  I might like a longer course, but then I could just go back and look into some of the apps I didn't get to.  I would like to know why I couldn't get some of the apps to come up on my iPad or my iPhone.  That was my one and only frustration.
  • If we offered a another 23 Things program like this in the future would you participate? Absolutely!
  • How would you describe your learning experience in one word or in one sentence, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities to others? Amazing! So many really great apps out there and this program made it so easy to learn them.

Thing 22

I have been using Apps Gone Free ever since Metronet hosted appy hour at Old Chicago in Roseville.      They do have a lot of games on it, which I am not too interested in, but I have found some other very useful apps.  I love the translator I found here, Voice Translator. I can speak into my phone and then play back my message in another language.  This will really be helpful to us when we are in Japan next year! I also found a scanner I sometimes use here.  It's just a really fun app to check each day and see what apps are out there.  I enjoy it.
I could not find Quixey on my iPhone or iPad and of course droid of the day is not for either of these devices.
I did find another app to find apps.  It is called Free App Finder, clever huh. The apps can be searched by type or category. I found an interesting app under utilities. The Anti Dog Bark app.  This app emits a sound at different frequencies.  This could actually work.  I used to have a little device that did the same sort of thing and would work on dogs when I was biking. Unfortunately, some of the apps I tried to download from this service just gave me bad links :(  I think Apps Gone Free is much better.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thing 21

I was surprised that Evernote was not listed.  I had to go back and double check to be sure I hadn't missed it. I tried Evernote on and off for about a year before I really gave in to it.  I mean that I started keeping absolutely everything there.  You can save documents, of course, but also pictures and webpages, just everything you need.  It is such a great place to organize your work and private life.  I keep all of my lesson plans there and can pull them up on a mobile device or on any computer attached to the web.  I do pay for the premium service.  I think it is well worth the price.

I love the app, Chirp.  I haven't used it except for fun in social situations, but I can see it being very useful in classes that have/use iPads or iPhones.  Chirp will send what ever is on your device to every device in the room, or within hearing distance.  It emits a high pitched sound when sending out the page or photo or whatever you are sharing.

I really enjoy YoWindow for weather.  It has a picture and shows the wind or rain or whatever is going on.  As you run your finger across the screen, the photo changes from day to night and shows the changing weather. Oh great, looking at this app I see that it is supposed to snow most of the day on Monday starting at 6 am.  Another wonderful drive time.

Thing 20

I have been playing Candy Crush for at least a year, I think.  It is so addictive and just when I think I can't go any further and I must give up......low and behold I beat the level.  I think I am on level 83 or something ridiculous like that.  It is a real pain, but we love it.

So then I tried the Temple Run....yikes!   It is too intense for me.  I think my blood pressure shot up after the first few tries. I need something a bit calmer.

So now I have to try Frogger.  Maybe others don't know this, but this game was created by Dave Lubar, the author!  He is a big time gamer and has created many. Okay, this game is really sorta old.  I am not enjoying it all that much.

Okay, the Despicable Me app is also a little bit to frantic for me.  I don't like all the running and swiping and ducking and running.  I think I will stick with Candy Crush after all.

Thing 19

I tried the Sibley Guide to Birds.  It is a really nice app.  I especially like that you can hear the songs of each bird.  There are way too few birds in the free app.  I think I might actually splurge on the full app.  I love to watch the birds at my feeder, but I am not really a "bird watcher."  My dad was though and I wish he was here so that I could show this to him.  He used to listen to the bird calls on an old record player we had!
I didn't know that Spotify was available for mobile devices.  This is pretty great news. I have used it on my computer before. I am a country music lover and Spotify has a ton of it for me.  When I play music in my library, I only play classical and mostly Mozart.  I could arrange that on my iPad or iPhone, I suppose.  It might take a little time, but I think I will try to put that together.

Thing 18

These look really cool.  First I am going to try the 3D Brain....I sure could use one.  This is fascinating.  I learned so much in just a few minutes of looking around in this app.  I think I may know what is going on with my daughter's sleep problems!  Well, she can at least ask the doctor about it, anyway.  I believe I shared this app with one of the science teachers at my school in the past, but I never really looked at it deeply.  I will double check with the science teachers on Monday to see if they know about it.  Way cool!
The Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus interested me as we have Nooks in the hands of our ELL students and they might be able to really make use of a good dictionary.  Unfortunately, I think this dictionary would be too difficult for them.  I will, however, show it to the English teachers and see if they would like to try it.  I can easily load it onto the Nooks for them.  I think I will enjoy using this dictionary, though.
Next up is artCircles. I had fun playing with this app, but then I realized it was about selling the art. It is still a fun way to play around looking at art, but I don't like the sales aspect. Maybe I am a snob, but this is no way to buy art.  I happen to be an artist and come from a family of artists, so I guess that makes my take on this app a little different.
I have worked with Duolingo on my computer and it is pretty darn cool.  I can't seem to get beyond the second level of the Spanish lessons, darn it.  Just never have been talented when it comes to math, music or language.  I wish they had an English from Thai or Karen app, but that is probably too much to hope for.  I enjoy working on the Spanish language, but I don't see the app being very helpful to my students as they are all ELL and mostly from Thailand and Burma.

Thing 17

The first app I tried was, of course, the Beer Activist.  Unfortunately, no go.  I could not find it on my iPad or my iPhone.  Poop!  The next app I tried was the State Fair app.  Wow!  Tommy and I love the state fair, so this one will for sure get used next fall.  Unfortunately, I could not load this app onto my iPad.  What is the problem with the iPad app finder?  Arghhhhh, frustration. The same thing happened with Minneapolis by Open Places.  I can't find it on my iPad, only on my phone.  Can someone out there in Thingland please tell me what is going on????  I am going crazy with this problem.
I did get Minneapolis by Open Places on my phone, but then I could not sign in.  I will try again later as it may just be a little glitch today.
I LOVE the Going Out app.  It has so many different venues to choose from.  Sometimes it is last minute and you just feel like going out, but have no plans.  This app would be a good solution.  I like that it includes movies and museums and restaurants and stuff.

Thing 16

Audio!  Ugh, I hate hearing my voice.  I don't suppose I am the only one that feels this way. Your own voice sounds so different in your head than it does in real life.  I will try Audioboo to start off.  This downloaded quickly and easily.  I was able to just login and go to town with it.  I hated every minute of using it, but it worked very easily and well. This app could be very useful for my ELL teachers and students.  Speaking is one of the big hurdles with my students.  They are very shy and afraid to speak up.  I am thinking that they might find it easier to talk to a device such as the iPad so that they can then hear themselves speaking English.  I will introduce this app to my teachers and see what they think.
Next I decided to try SoundCloud.  This was a much bigger hit with me.  I love country music and when I looked for it on SoundCloud, I found a lot of songs I do like. The record feature was very easy to use and I liked seeing the voice detector, or whatever it is, working while I spoke.

Thing 15

Ahhh Infographics.  This is a fairly new phenomena on the education front.  I would say that I generally like them, but I see so many that don't really make sense.  I think it is good to use them to show numbers and statistics.  It doesn't make sense to use them just to put in little icons and stickers to illustrate.  To me, they are being touted as the be all end all and I just don't think it is so.
That being said, I looked at Infographics Hub first.
I like looking at Infographics with this app.  Many times when I try to view one of these things that is posted on the web, I can't even read it because it is so very small. I looked for Infographics about libraries and finding nothing, I looked for book.  Still nothing.  Then I looked for dogs, I love dogs, but found nothing.  Finally, I found three when looking for animals.  I really liked one on Owning Exotic Pets. It made sense to me as it displayed and described stats around exotic pet ownership.  Bravo! Then I looked for immigration.....nothing.  I think it would be hard to use this app very much for school work.  It would be a good way for students to see and explore infographics so that they could get a feel for making one themselves.
Next I tried i Visual Info Touch Lite. It is a simple app to start using right away, but the images to use seem sort of slim. I don't think I would try to teach student to make infographics with this app.  It just doesn't seem deep enough. 

Thing 14

Once again I am frustrated because I can't find any of the apps except for Magisto, on my iPad.  I can find all sorts of apps that have the best of Vine, but not the app itself.  I can't figure out what I could be doing wrong.  When I search the apps, the name will pop up, but then the list will be for other apps such as Vimeo, InstaCollage, etc.  Arghhhh, this is frustrating to the max. I can get any and all of the apps on my phone.  What is the deal?

I did try out Magisto.  As I am home from school on a snow day, I decided to video stuff around the house.  The dogs made a likely topic and I had fun following them around.  Dressing up the video was so easy with this app.  It took maybe 5 or 10 minutes for Magisto to doctor up my video and I liked the way it came out.  I have never been too keen on making videos, but this app makes it so easy, I just might use it for tutorials in the library. It would be really good for my ELL student lessons. I could show them how to use shelf markers, checkout and return books, etc.

I loaded Viddy onto my iPhone and tried it there.  I liked the ease of use, but it seemed to take longer than Magisto to focus and compensate for differences in lighting. The artistic components seemed about the same as well. I can see myself using this app to quickly tape and narrate a video to teach aspects of library use. Still, I liked Magisto better.

Thing 13

I first tried out Deck Slideshow Presentations.  I had never heard of this one. I got a big kick out of this app.  It couldn't be easier to use.  What a great way to teach kids how to make a better, cleaner presentation.  This is a really good tool for teaching people how to make a dynamic presentation.  I would like to show my students how to use this simple app. Since we have 270 Nooks at school, I think I will be using this a lot!
Next I tried out Haiku Deck.  I like this even better because the images are so easy to plug in.  It does a lot of the same things the Deck Slideshow Presentations does.  I can see how it would teach people to make better presentations.  Unfortunately, my kids don't have iPads to try it on so I won't be teaching this one.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thing 12

I am trying out Wattpad first.  It is very easy to get started on.  I was pleasantly surprised by finding  an old favorite book of mine right out of the gate.  The Dirt Eaters is the first book in a really great Science Fiction/Fantasy series. There are some published books here for free!  I think this would be a really good app to teach to my students as they don't have transportation or cash and they could find a lot to read here.  I am wowed by the amount of reading material there is here.  My search for paranormal romance came up with a list of more titles than I could read in a year.  There are also suggested lists that would help my students wade through the titles.  I really liked this app.

Next I decided to try Audiobooks.  I love to listen to books while driving and have a subscription to Audible.  I tried the free books out because that is what my students would use and because, well, they are free.  I tried three different books and I can not recommend them.  The readers are not very good, just serviceable. Still, if you wanted to hear a book read and you didn't want to pay for it, this app would be a good way to do that. I am just too picky a listener. This is a nice alternative for folks that have trouble reading and would like to hear some classics.

I have had the Teen Book Finder on my phone for at least a year, maybe more.  I don't find it that useful.  I wish it would give a little be longer descriptions of most of the books.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Thing 11

I have been using ELM on the phone for at least a year.  Some of my students think it is pretty cool to be able to do their research on their phones. Unfortunately, not a lot of my students actually have smart phones.  I work with a total new immigrant population.  Still, it is very nice to be able to access ELM and especially Ask a Librarian from the phone.
We also use the St. Paul Public Library app at school a lot.  We have 270 Nook HDs and the students use the public library's ebooks.  They often use the library app to get to those books and to look up other local library info. The Nooks give my students the chance to use some of these great apps and find good information.

Thing 10

I have been using SnapChat since a good friend of mine showed it to me several months ago.  It is sort of a funny little app. I can imagine it being used for some not so nice ideas, which may even be why it was built.  I enjoy sending a picture of something different to my friend that taught me about it, but none of my other friends are using it, so I only trade snaps with Meg.  I can't imagine what this could be used for in school, but people do some really inventive stuff.  Someone more imaginative than me may have great use for it in education.

I have not used Instagram before and I really like it. I can't believe I never tried it before.  I did hear some folks mention it on Facebook, but I didn't really know what it was.  I can see sharing a lot of snapshots with this app.  It isn't a lot different than taking a shot with my iphone and then sharing it, but it does allow sharing a lot easier and faster.  There is also some editing ability, but I am not so interested in editing a photo I just snapped with my iPhone.  It is more about the ability to easily share the photo that appeals to me.

Thing 9

I am trying these tools, but I would really rather use my "big" camera and Photoshop for photographs.   I can see these tools as being some quick fun, though.  First I tried out the ColorSplurge.  This is a really easy, fast, way to put color where you want it in a photo.  I tried it out on our little old dog. Fun!  I just am not that crazy about the photos my iPad and/or phone take.
Arghhhhh!  I tried to get Line Camera, but it won't come up.  This is the second app that has done this to me.  It will come up on my phone, but not on my iPad.  Whats the deal with that?
So I used it on my iPhone and tried to share it with my FB, but I seem to have done something wrong as I have just a plain white screen that I don't seem to be able to do anything with. Help!  Now I can't use the app at all :(  Oh, finally I am back to the home screen.  I got my photo to go to FB, so here it is:

I liked these two apps.  I can see using them with my phone or iPad when I am out and about, just for fun.  I enjoy using my Olympus Camera too much to give it up for one of these devices, but for fun I can see using the iphone and these apps.

Thing 8

This thing is taking me a bit longer to try and review.  There are a lot of apps to consider here.  I first downloaded and played with Hootsuite.  This one was fairly easy for me to adapt to.  It is a lot like Tweetdeck which I have used for a few years now.  Once I figured out how to pull up FB and Twitter on the same page, I was in heaven :)  This is so nice to be able to follow both feeds in one window.  I just don't know why once I close Hootsuite, the configuration goes away and I have to pull the Twitter and FB feeds up again by using the edit button.  Now that I have this app, I may use Twitter more often. I really like that I can send a message or post to all three of my social accounts at once.

The next one I tried was FriendCaster which is only for Facebook. It seems to work fine, but I don't see using it over FaceBook.  It doesn't really have any more to offer over FB.

I did like Cloze.  This one offers a single app way to keep up with all of my social networks.  It offers a quick way to see what my closest friends are up to and any messages sent my way. I thought the people the app picked as my closest friends was pretty accurate, too. Now just don't ask me who got the top scores, okay?? Hope I'm in your list!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thing 7

Bitly was impossible for me to find the app for.  The app store had nothing by that name :(

Pinterest is something I have played with on and off.  I am not very good at keeping up with it.  It was a little awkward to learn how to use Pinterest on the iPad, but now I think I might actually like to use it more here than I did on my regular computer.  Pinterest is not, or rather has not been a very serious tool for me.  Maybe now I will see and use it more while cruising around the web.  I have one do you unpin something????

Thing 6

CloudOn: Way cool the way it grabs my Google Drive and Dropbox stuff in seconds!  I think it's a very cool way to get to these documents and products, but I don't really like creating stuff here.  The keyboard is awkward and the print and spacing seemed a bit off to me.  I know I could use a Bluetooth keyboard, but I am forever forgetting to turn them off, so I gave up on that.  Since I can access my Google Drive from an app on my desktop, I'm not sure I would use CloudOn that often.  However, it would be easy to use for adding content, or creating content if I was in a situation where I didn't have my laptop and I really needed to create.  We'll just have to see how this plays out for me. :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thing 5

I tried three of these apps and I really like two of them.  I am not crazy about Remember the Milk, but I just don't need another reminder list.  I like the one/s I use now, so while Remember the Milk looks sort of cool, I am just not interested.
On the other hand....I LOVED the Dragon Dictation.  I had no idea it was available for my iPad.  I tried it out right away and figured out how to email from the dictation page and everything.  I can also see using this app when on the road and trying to get two or more things done while driving.  This is a terrific app.  It understood exactly what I was saying and printed it out correctly.  I figured out right away that you need to speak your punctuation, but that was hard for me to keep remembering.  I'm sure the more I use it, the better I will get at it.  Thanks for this one!!!
I also tried Bamboo Paper.  Very cool. I like all the options for sending and/or storing notes.  It seems very versatile.  I can see using this especially when I am traveling.  It's a good way to be able to draw on photos or just on the blank space and send the product to whomever.  I like this a lot.  I sent a couple drawings off to my hubby today as he is in Philly for ALA Midwinter.

Thing 4

I have been using Flipboard and Zite for sometime now.  I do like that Flipboard connects to my Facebook and Twitter, but sometimes that is too much of a distraction for me.  I do like both apps and go back and forth between them.  These apps are really nice to have when I am stuck waiting somewhere, as I can catch up on the news and other stuff while waiting.

Thing 3

I tried a number of the utilities.  Of course I already had Google search on my iPad, so that was a no brainer.....of course I need Google day to day. I didn't know about Google Now.  My iPad asked if I wanted to add it and so I did. Now I can search by voice!  Very cool.  It also updates me on my calendar, flights, appointments, etc.  I can get notifications about traffic levels on my way to work.  This is like something out of a futuristic movie.  I like it.

The RedLaser app is really cool.   It zaps barcodes or QRC codes with no problems.  I can look up products and find the cheapest price for them.  I can look up the latest info on YA books I might want to read, etc.  It is a good reader.

I also like the Wi Fi finder.  It will look for free or open Wi Fi in the area.  I found six places right near my home!  Can't wait to try it out in Philly this weekend.

I did not try the stand up app.  Exercise????  At work????  Yuk!  :)

Thing 2

My iPad was already updated to iOS7 so I already knew some of the tips and tricks. I really like the search or spotlight feature. So many times I don't know where something is and this easy universal search app is great.
I had no idea that Siri now came in both male and female voices....when will the "he" voice be found on all the talk shows? I also now know why my text messages are sometimes green rather than blue. Lots of cool new knowledge for me. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Here we go again! Thing 1

I have had an iPad for over a year, but I hardly ever use it and when I do, it is only for email and note-taking.  I am hoping this course will get me to familiarize myself with ways that other tech savvy people use iPads or other mobile devices.  I would like to learn about mobile apps that would make my life/work easier as well as apps that are just plain fun to use. It would also be nice to complete the entire course and earn the credit hours :)