Apps that transform my daily learning

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I heard a term “device agnostic” recently on the Techlandia podcast and it really resonated with me. When I look at my personal tech workflow, I prefer applications to work on a range of devices as I feel each device shapes and evolves my learning in different ways. So this post is an analysis of my iPad use.

Organise

From left to right, Any.Do is in my opinion the best to-do list on the iPad. It has such a simple interface, is so easy to use, syncs across all devices and I love the fact that I can add something on my iPad and then pop out the to-do list on my computer screen using the extension in Google Chrome. This paired with Outlook really helps me to stay on top of daily learning.  With the amount of passwords I have to remember, MiniKeePass is my saviour.  Encrypted behind a pin code and password, I can keep all my login details safe and secure.  Dropbox is my filing cabinet in the sky.  Working cross campus means that I am constantly away from my desk so this allows me access to all my files, plans, shared folders etc…  It is also one of my gateways to information transfer from or to the iPad. Google Drive is the second gateway but has a lot more to offer than Dropbox.  Forms, docs, spreadsheets, etc…Google truly have got it right with their portfolio of apps. I remember looking at Evernote about a year or so ago and thinking what’s all the fuss about.  Today Evernote houses my every digital move.  Careful tagging allows me to quickly locate a resource, anecdotal note or set of meeting minutes. Web clipping and email uploads allow me to funnel my learning feeds into easy to manage folders.  I can easily capture student work samples or audio clips and the ever growing list of Evernote compatible apps just keeps on growing.  I have invested in the Premium version of Evernote and it is worth every cent.

Connect

I love Twitter so much that I have already devoted a whole post to it.  It has changed my learning for ever! Google+ is fast becoming a really important connectivity tool for me. I love the Communities and Circles aspect as a way of connecting with like minded and thought provoking learners. Google Hangouts – Pirates! Enough said!! My relationship with Podcast has evolved over the years and now that my distance to work is a little further I have reacquainted myself with this excellent app (glad Apple came to their senses and made some updates to it though). WordPress is a newbie on my list this year.  It began as a great source of reading and is now evolving as a means of capturing my learning journey. I have set myself a challenge to post once a week from now until the end of the year so wish me luck.

Curate

I have always loved finding and discovering new toys, tools and tech. I love the possibilities and am inspired daily by the creativity of the human race. Flipboard has made the process even more enjoyable. I can flick easily through a large amount of feeds and content, pick out the articles or posts of interest and then flip them into my own magazine (Sync-ed-tech) or share them on social media. I read recently that Flipboard is soon coming to a web browser and I am pretty excited about that evolution. My only grievance with Flipboard is it doesn’t allow me to add my Feedly as an information feed (Flipboard developers take note!!).  Pocket is my choice for read later apps. It talks to a range of apps and I especially like Lisgo as it reads aloud articles saved in Pocket. Great for listening to great stories on the run. On the laptop, Scoop.it is one of my favourite ways of capturing great resources. Before Read.it, using Scoop.it on the iPad was an awful experience. Now it is another fantastic way to keep informed and be inspired. Feedly is my Google Reader replacement (why Google why!!! It wasn’t broke!)

Assess

The great folks of Evernote have struck gold with their app developer community. KustomNote is one such fine example. I use KustomNote for reading & writing conferences, eLearning meeting minutes and am experimenting with a few other template driven assessment forms. It’s capacity to talk to Evernote is brilliant and it has really lifted the calibre of notes that I take on the iPad. The strength of iAnnotate PDF for me is in the capacity of the app to allow learners to take the show on the road and use a range of tools to represent their learning. I can add audio, images, drawings to traditional pdfs and then easily sync them back to Dropbox or email them directly to students. The possibilities for fieldwork and excursions are areas I am currently exploring at the moment. Explain Everything is the one of the most multi-purpose apps on the iPad. I can create tutorials, provide feedback, annotate, record audio, you name it, Explain Everything does it. The developers really got it right with their import and export flexibility. You can import and export a range of files and from a range of sources. It really makes the workflow a seamless process.

Now I know that my list may not be to everyone’s taste but it works for me. I’d love to hear from others about apps that transform their learning.

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7 thoughts on “Apps that transform my daily learning

  1. Pinterest is a very easy content curation site which I like and I use prezi all the time as it’s transportable like Dropbox. Am going to try some of your suggestions – thanks. Watch later is great for video clips you want to show if you can’t get online and paper53 a lovely notebook app for handwriting, yes actual handwriting – I still do this occasionally!

    1. Thanks for reading Jules. I really need to have another go with Pinterest, I loved the boards that I saw from ISTE. Will check out Watch later, sounds great. Do you use Paper 53 with a stylus?

  2. Thank you Steve, I am an evernote nut. I use it to construct my Blog posts, from technology reports from Feedly and Twits I follow. I have installed many of the apps you suggest in this post and am finding them most useful.

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