App Attack

Apps

Choosing the right apps that work for you is dependant on personal preference, what can work for one individual doesn’t necessarily work for another. As time goes on more and more apps are being created, developed and used and it’s important to find the right set of tools that fit the job. On a few occasions I have been asked what apps I find useful to use within higher education so I thought I’d run through a few here and the reasons why I like them. This is a totally personal choice and by no means am I expecting everyone to like them, but they work for me and are free so thought I’d share!

Please add any apps which you feel are worth mentioning.

Astrid

This is a great “to-do-list” app, great for jotting down tasks or shopping lists. You can sync the web version with ipad and iphone (also available for android) which is great for when you’re on the go. You’re able to share list with collaborators which is another bonus with this app. I think the thing that makes it really usable for me is the easy to use layout, it’s really intuitive and really doesn’t take long to get the hang of.

Dropbox

This app is great for those who are already using the service, you can then integrate your drop box account with your mobile devices meaning you have instant access to all your files. Again the app is really intuitive and easy to use, it also allows you to search from within your drop box. Great for when you want to have your files with you.

EasyBib

I’ve only started using EasyBib recently but it’s a great resource for compiling your referenced material. You can search for a book manually or simply scan the barcode and EasyBib will add the book to your reference list which can then be exported via e-mail. Downside with this app is that it doesn’t include the Harvard citation style, if this could be added to the app I could it becoming more popular. But on the whole I great timesaving product.

Google Drive

Day to day I store many of my documents on my Google Drive. This app allows me to take my documents with me, similarly to the drop box app. You can also edit using the app which is another bonus. Again it’s very intuitive to use and allows you too see documents clearly and concisely, it works really well with the web version also.

Skype

Skype is a brilliant tool for communicating with others, mainly I use it as an instant messaging tool amongst colleagues, whenever I’m out and about I like to still keep in touch and be available, the Skype app allows this to happen through my mobile devices. I’ve been using Skype on my ipad for sometime now, I know some people have mentioned that they can’t seem to enjoy typing on the ipad but this is something I haven’t had difficulty with. You can use the settings within Skype to turn off certain sound notifications if you wish the application to be more discrete, as I don’t have a mobile office phone Skype has been great when I’ve been in various locations.

Twitter

This I can image would be a fairly universal app which features on many individuals mobile devices. It’s a nice minimal version of the web app and does exactly what you need it to. There are many variations of twitter apps available but I still find this to be the best one for me.

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Preparation

deskBe Prepared! That’s what I was constantly told throughout Brownies and Girl Guides, and I guess that moto has always stayed with me. Whatever challenges and tasks we face it always seems a little less daunting if some element of preparation has been taken into consideration previously. For example packing a coat when it looks like it might rain or taking a map if you feel you may get lost in an unfamiliar place, granted these tasks alone are very much related to Guiding activities but this moto can also be related back to learning!

Reading your syllabus, getting books together and finding timetables can all be done in preparation. I like to think I’m quite a prepared person, I know in previous jobs I’ve always taken the view I need to be ready for any eventuality and I’m hoping I treat my learning in the same way. So this week I am gearing up for completing my PGCHE. I’ve booked in appointments at the library to learn how best to use the software and I’ve amended my diary to reflect my assignment dates, I’m hoping this means I’ll be more prepared but we’ll see!

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Introduction

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I guess I should start off this blog as I mean to go on…hopefully informative and most of all enjoyable.

My name is Amy and I’m currently working within Learning Technology within Higher Education.

I originally started working in higher education as a technician when I was 18, concentrating on media equipment and software which is where I stayed for a good few years before moving into the TV industry, followed by a short stint in film. Throughout this time I continually found myself teaching in one way or another and even working within production I was asked to give training sessions to varying ages and abilities. Although I still work within media when it’s possible my main focus is on learning and teaching within Universities.

As technology has improved so has the methods and means to teach and that’s where I find myself now, advising and implementing different approaches to education. It’s a constantly evolving area and I really enjoy finding new uses for applications and empowering individuals to have the confidence to try new approaches to enhance teaching.

I’m currently studying for my PGCHE and this blog will hopefully act as a good notepad for any educational tidbits I find along the way. This is a personal blog so all views and opinions are my own.

Recommended Site

ExploreI tend to get lost amongst some fantastic websites day to day and I just had to post about Explore (http://exp.lore.com), but be warned you may never escape. There really are so many articles covering so many topics that it’s sometimes hard to stop browsing, but if like me you love having a wonder this site is perfect!