Wednesday, June 11, 2014

23. Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

Blogging for this Thing:  Here are some questions to prompt you:
  • Go back to your thoughts/ideas about  mobile devices and apps. Has anything changed as a result of this experience?
This experience has really impressed on me the large gap in my trust between iSO apps and Android apps.  I don't feel nearly as secure with Android apps.  
I still am not fond of the process of having to create so many username/password accounts only to delete the app when it doesn't live up to my needs as an educational tool.
I like how I arranged my blog pages with a copy paste of items that I am able to use at a later time, and still be able to add my "Homework" blog entries into each post.  I didn't really get the hang of how I wanted to lay out my blog entries until about blog posting #9.
  • What were your favorite Things and discoveries?
Favorite Things:  I am rather jealous that the larger cities have their own apps.  I think I will contact my city hall and ask for someone to create an app for our small SE metro town.
This process made me feel older than I actually am because my fingers don't work well on my phone (which I already knew due to Raynaud's) or any touch surface.  I also felt out of touch with technology with my apprehension and with my lack of app knowledge.
  • How did you connect with others doing the 23 Mobile Things?
I read through other people's blogs.  Seeing so many that were not finished made me realize how unhelpful I was with the 23 Things on a Stick round 2 when I did not get very far.  How my lack of participation might have actually been roadblock for other participants.  I should have actually commented and asked more questions on other ppls blogs.  I might still do some of that-if the participants blogs actually stay live.  Might be nice to have participants listed or grouped in order from those that finished all 23 down to those that finished 1 or 2 to make looking at the blogs a bit easier.
  • Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I am surprised that I am still very apprehensive about Android apps.  I feel that I have no reason to feel differently but will research some 'Top Developers" in the Google Play Store and make my own list of trusted apps.
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content?
Perhaps have the participants tag their blogs as to which online tool they are using for their blog. I didn't realize that to view a blog in Tumblr, you actually have to follow that blog.  I don't want to follow the blog but rather just read through other people's entries to see what they have learned that I may have missed.
I think having their device tagged with both Apple or Android, and what type of actual phone would be helpful as well.  I would love to see what other librarians with Motorola Razr Max phones are using as far as useful apps.
  • If we offered a another 23 Things program like this in the future would you participate?
Yes, I really enjoy the format of the Things program.  I possibly found the past ones more useful but that is because I am rather timid with downloading things onto my phone.  I still carry my camera around in my purse.  I didn't buy my phone to take pictures, I bought it to communicate with other people via text and voice. I do use it to scan barcodes so perhaps I am just a late bloomer.
Thank you very much to the creators of 23 Mobile Things.  I greatly appreciate the time you took so that many other librarians like me could use this program to become more comfortable using and recommending apps to others.
  • 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?
Participating in the 23 Mobile Things gave me a hands-on way to explore and learn the technology that is used by those that I assist in our school library.
Congratulations!! You’ve reached the 23rd thing. Give yourself a pat on the back for completing the program. We hope you have enjoyed the process and learned some things. Tell us, please!
Give us your feedback on your experience by completing this online survey and by reflecting on your learning by posting a few thoughts.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

22. Discovering Apps

Blogging for this Thing:  Use at least one of these websites or apps and write a blog post about what you found and how this may or may not be a good way for you to discover new apps. If you know of another website or app that would fit under this Thing that you like better, tell us about it in your blog, too.

I really was expecting better things from Quixey.  I had high hopes.  There was 1 app for and iPhone or iPad under Learn --> Education.  ONLY 1.  There were 7 apps for Android devices under the same path of Learn --> Education.  This "Search Engine for Apps" was a huge disappointment. 
After I got my Android, I did subscribe to an RSS feed for the Android App of the Day which alerted me to free apps during that 24 hour time period.  I did pick up a handful of apps and while most were games, I soon ran out of the free use time and would have needed to purchase the app for cash to continue using the 'free' app.  I deleted many apps from my phone through this process.  It seemed the 'free' time period got shorter and shorter that I spend more time loading and deleting the apps than actually using the apps so I stopped looking at what was free for the day and stopped the notifications.
Interesting to me, after the Heartbleed alert I actually was hacked via a fake paypal email.  Grrr  I guess since then I don't take this whole download, try, delete process lightly.

The only viable alternative to the Google Play Store for Android apps is the Amazon App Store.  I'm not so sure how they are different.  I will look into more as to how they are different and which 'Store' screens their apps more closely.
I really feel like I want the security of the iStore but the flexibility of an Android.  Yes, I want my cake and to be able to eat it with lots of ice cream too.  Wow I didn't realize self-discovery was part of this whole 23 Mobile Things.
There are millions of apps, which can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s hard to find new apps that you may enjoy, but there are websites and apps that can help you. Yes, apps can help you find more apps. In this Thing we’re going to introduce you to one website and two apps you can use to find apps.

quixey logo

Quixey: Website for Apple, Android & More /Android app

Quixey is the app search engine and it’s a great way to discover apps. It allows you to search for the type of app you’re looking for and it gives you great suggestions. It’s a much better way to do some keyword searching to find apps than you’ll get in the Apple or Android stores.

dotd logoDroid of the Day: Android only

Droid of the Day (DOTD) is a great way to find free apps in the Google Play Store. DOTD will present you with a unique app every day that you can even get via a daily notification. Apps may be productivity apps, game apps, notetaking apps, photo apps, etc. There’s no guarantee you’ll like every app, but you’re bound to find some good ones from time to time.

apps gone freeApps Gone Free: Apple only

Apps Gone Free is a great way to discover apps from the App Store that have gone free for the day. To get the word out, apps will occasionally go on sale for a day or a week and this app lets you know about them. You’ll find five to ten apps of all different kinds highlighted per day.

Searching online

You can also find great apps by doing searches online for things like “Best of” or “Best of 2013,” etc. Check out some of the tips we have for searching online, and some of the great lists we’ve found.

21. Free-for-all

Blogging for this Thing:  Write a blog post telling us about an app you love and why you love it. Make a good case for its awesomeness and we may just include a link to your blog post here.

You may have mentioned Grocery Store apps, but I don't recall.  The CUBFoods app is one of my frequently used apps.  I really like the eCoupons they have via this app.  No more clipping;  just flip through the list and save the ones I want to use.  
I wish Favado, which compares grocery ad prices would include Cub Foods in their list.  Cub is a huge MN grocer;  it is surprising that they are not included.
This Thing is going to be short and sweet because this is the one where YOU choose the app.
We picked a bunch of apps to include for all the other Things, so now we want to hear from you. What app did we not include that you love? What app can you not live without? What app can you not believe we didn’t include because it’s just so amazing?

Finding apps

If you don’t have a great app you want to share and need some inspiration in finding a good one, jump to Thing 22 and check out our suggestions for finding apps.

Participant blog posts

  • We’re just waiting to include information about apps that you love…

20. Games

Blogging for this Thing:  Use at least one of these apps, or, if these suggestions are not games you’re interested in, treat yourself to find an app that fits your passion and use that for Thing 20. Write a blog post about the app you have chosen and why it may (or may not) be a good game app for you.

Gaming:  Everyone does some sort of gaming.  I do play Candy Crush, but didn't realize I should sign on with my computer now and then.  I don't understand the whole connection to FB, but I willingly send lives to friends via Candy Crush.  My son-in-law was the one that told me how I could sign in on my computer to connect the two and then be able to receive extra lives from friends.  Before he told me this I was stuck on a certain level for 3 weeks.  There is no way I am paying money to be able to move on.
I also play the free version of Smarter Than a 5th Grader, which I only occasionally win.  It is so very sad.
Candy Crush and Spider Solitaire are the only mindless games I play.  I had Bubble Mania/Bubble Buster on my phone for awhile, but the free version was a bore so I removed the app.
I might have to try WordMaster because I am super bad at word games.
For Thing 20 we’re not going to give you in-depth information on how to play these games. We’re just going to give you a selection of games (a lot of them, we like games) that we think you may enjoy, so whether you want to stretch your brain with word games and puzzles, or stretch your fingers with action games, we’ve got some suggestions for both the young and the young at heart.

game ratingsGame Ratings for Age & Content by Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB): Apple / Android

Easily find a game’s rating in order to know if it is age and content appropriate for your child. Search by game title, platform, rating, or content. This mobile app, from the non-profit Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), makes it easier to determine the right games for your kids, whether at home or in the store.

bubble maniaBubble Mania: Apple / Android

If you think Candy Crush is addictive, try Bubble Mania. The baby kittens have been stolen and you need to get them back by matching bubbles. Match bubbles of the same color to drop them and get to the kittens. There are over 150 levels and they become more difficult with a variety of different types of bubbles the higher you get.

candy crushCandy Crush Saga: Apple / Android

We can’t really add games without talking about this behemoth. If you haven’t yet taken time to try this very popular game, now’s your chance. There are over 400 levels in this addictive game where you match candy to either get a certain amount of points or bring the candy ingredients to the bottom. There are in-app purchases, though you do not need to do them to play the game.

DrawquestDrawQuest: Apple only

Join people of all ages coming together to complete daily drawing prompts—or “Quests”—that are sure to tap into your creative side. You may get asked to draw a tree, a superhero, something from your dream last night, your Thanksgiving dinner, and so much more. Find and add friends in the app so you can see what they draw for each quest.

froggerFrogger Free: Apple / Android

You know you remember Frogger. Okay, maybe you’re too young (or too old?) to remember Frogger, but it’s a very fun game where you have to help the frog cross the street so he doesn’t get killed by a car. This was a very popular arcade game years ago and now you can play it on your mobile device.

funny animals appFunny Animals: Apple / Android

Funny Animals helps a child to: develop auditory, visual and fine motor skills; recognize animals; and relate animals to their names. There are many colorful nature themes with animals shown in their original interactive habitats.

take tenTake Ten!: Android only

Take Ten! is a brain puzzle game: the rules are simple, your main goal is to remove all the digits from the game field. This is done by deleting pairs of equal digits or pairs of digits that add up to ten. If no more moves are possible (this is not a bug, but a feature of the game. In this case, you may wish to “undo” some of the latest moves to redo “adds”) the game is over. There are a lot of ways to solve the puzzle.

temple runTemple Run: Apple / Android

Temple Run is pretty simple. You’ve stolen the cursed idol from the temple, and now you have to run for your life to escape the Evil Demon Monkeys nipping at your heels. Swipe to turn, jump and slide to avoid obstacles, collect coins and buy power ups, unlock new characters, and see how far you can run. And once you master Temple Run, try Temple Run 2: Apple /Android.

word collapseWord Collapse: Apple / Android

Each puzzle in WordCollapse contains a number of words on a theme, such as fruits, sports or animals. All letters are mixed and you find a word and swipe it. The tiles disappear and the remaining tiles collapse into new words. The tricky bit is to remove the words in the correct order so you clear the board and complete the level. 70 levels, more via in-app purchase. 

wordmasterWordmaster: Android only

Wordmaster is an addicting anagram game where the object is to form as many real words as possible based on a scrambled 6-letter word. There are two ways to win each round: solve one of the 6-letter words or solve at least 50% of all words in the round.

19. Hobbies

Blogging for this Thing:  Use at least one of these apps, or, if these suggestions do not cover a current interest of yours, treat yourself to find an app that fits your passion and use that for Thing 19. Write a blog post about the app you have chosen and why it may help you with your hobby. If you know of another app that would fit under this Thing, tell us about it in your blog, too.

I downloaded RoadNinja and looked at things nearby.  Very Outdated information on this app. I found a Timberlodge Steakhouse listed on Robert St in West .St. Paul. Timberlodge left this location about 2009. I tried several times to post this information on the website but was unable to update the incorrect information.  I also left this information on the 23 Things RoadNinja page.  I had just registered for the RoadNinja site so that I thought I would be able to leave comments to update this information, when Blaaah the blue screen of death hit my computer.  I certainly hope I was not infected with a virus.  I proceeded to delete the RoadNinja app from my phone immediately.

This whole 23 Mobile Things has me wondering if I should have gotten an iPhone.  I really don't like that Android apps are not tested and deemed virus free apps.  My phone is not what I use for music and in my school library I had a heck of a time getting Spotify off of some of our school computers.  To me it was the program that wouldn't die.  Spotify would actually stay running in the backround and ramdomly pop up in the bottom right corner of the machine.  Students would call me over to the machine and ask me to get the box off of their screen.

Typically my hobbies are things that I create.  I do use websites to enhance my hobbies, but don't need to wear down my phone battery with an app when I would rather be enjoying active hobbies.

There are a lot of hobbies out there and there is almost an app for every hobby you can imagine. We’re also willing to hear about apps you discover for your hobby.

MyGarden iconMyGarden: Apple / Android

For those with a green thumb or interest in discovering who online might have gardening advice, try MyGarden. This web service and companion mobile apps categorizes itself as the Facebook of gardening.  Share what is in your garden, ask for help identifying plants you would like to add (or eliminate), and get useful information for your growing zone.

Vivino iconVivino Wine Scanner: Apple / Android

Vivino Wine Scanner is a quick, easy way to keep track of wine you and your friends like…or don’t like. Just snap a photo of the wine label, record your likes or dislikes, and share them with friends. You can also discover wine this way, too. Snap a photo of a label to see how Vivino users have rated that wine.

RoadNinja icon.jpgRoadNinja: Apple / Android

When you are on a road trip, you often want to know what services are at upcoming exits. RoadNinja helps you by providing information on restaurants, gas stations (including gas prices!), hotels, shopping and more. The app brings you services that are within 3 miles of a given exit. This is a free app available for both Android and iPhones.

ESPN SPortsCenter androidESPN SportsCenter: Android only

SportsCenter is an Android/iPhone phone app, but works on a tablet or iPad. It has more teams/sports to follow including more non-US teams than ScoreCenter. It has all the same features as the ScoreCenter app with live scores, breaking news, video highlights, in-depth analysis, personalized alerts plus a few more. The iPhone app is identical to the Android app, except the buttons are at the bottom of the screen.

spotifySpotify: Apple / Android

Spotify is now free on mobile devices, and it’s a must-have for any music fan. With Spotify, you have access to a world of music. You can listen to artists and albums, create your own playlist of your favorite songs, or listen to ready-made playlists. We’re even going to challenge you to make a playlist for your library.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

18. Education

Blogging for this Thing:  Use at least one of these apps and write a blog post about what you think about the app and how you may be able to use it personally or professionally. If you know of another app that would fit under this Thing, tell us about it in your blog, too.

Duolingo is on my phone and I am using it to learn Spanish.
I really wish Khan Academy would get an official app for Android. I have it on my computer and think a mobile app would be handy.
TED talks app is also on my phone. Friends in education are often sending me links to TED talks. It is handy to view these in the app so I am able to save them in my favorites if I want them bookmarked to re-watch.
Because of Thing 18 I have downloaded Quizlet so I can use the flashcards made by others to practice my Spanish

3d brain3D Brain: Apple / Android

Use your touch screen to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures. Discover how each brain region functions, what happens when it is injured, and how it is involved in mental illness. Each detailed structure comes with information on functions, disorders, brain damage, case studies, and links to modern research.

10monkeys10monkeys Multiplication: Apple / Android

Free the trapped monkeys by using your multiplication skills. Bo’s ten monkey friends are in trouble – they are trapped. To free all the monkeys you need determination to master times tables from 2 to 10. 10monkeys Multiplication is a math learning education app aimed for children, and builds up multiplication skills in a fun environment. Available in English, Suomi, Deutsch, and Espanol.

advanced englishAdvanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus: Apple /Android

WordNet® is a large lexical database of English with up to 140,000 entries and more than 1.4 million words, developed by the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University.
Instead of following the standard dictionary format, the WordNet dictionary is organized with an innovative and convenient approach. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms, interlinked by means of conceptual-semantic and lexical relations. In addition to the straightforward definition the dictionary shows how each word is linked to other words in terms of synonyms, opposites and similar words, but also hyponyms and hyperlinks within the group.

b rhymesB-Rhymes Dictionary: Apple / Android

B-Rhymes describes itself as being: a rhyming dictionary that’s not stuck up about what does and doesn’t rhyme. It gives you words that sound good together even though they don’t technically rhyme as well as regular rhymes.

colAR MixcolAR Mix: Apple / Android

Augmented reality technology can sometimes seem like a gimmick, but there’s huge scope for it to be used in fun and educational ways in children’s apps. This falls into the fun category: you print outlines from the colAR website, get your children to colour them in, then point your smartphone’s camera at the paper to turn them into 3D objects. In-app purchases for additional pages to color.

duolingoDuolingo: Apple / Android

On many “best of” lists, Duolingo is a free app to help you learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Totally fun. Totally free. Use it by yourself or compete with friends. This would be great help for students trying to learn a different language.

fooducateFooducate: Apple / Android

Fooducate is marketed as a weight loss app, but what it does is educate you about food. Scan in a product and find nutrition information and foods that would be better for you. Great way to learn about what’s in the food we eat. There are over 200,000 unique items added to the database and it keeps growing.

google earthGoogle Earth: Apple / Android

Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger with Google Earth. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search for cities, places, and businesses. Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more. Visit the Earth Gallery to find exciting maps such as real-time earthquakes, planes in flight, hiking trails, city tours, and more. Integrated Google Maps Street View allows you to explore the world at street level.

khanKhan Academy (unofficial): Android only

There is no official Khan Academy app for Android, but this unofficial one works pretty well. Access many of Khan Academy’s library of videos covering a massive number of topics, including K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even the humanities with playlists on finance and history.

MyScript Cal iconMyScript Calculator: Apple / Android

There are a lot of calculator apps, and your device may come with some, but have you used the calculator where you can write the equation with your finger or a stylus? MyScript Calculator allows you to write out your equations and it gives you the answer. It’s such an easy way to do quick equations, though it also does pretty advanced ones, too.

project noahProject Noah: Apple / Android

Project Noah is an award-winning mobile application that helps nature lovers discover local wildlife and aspiring citizen scientists contribute to current research projects. Noah stands for networked organisms and habitats. Think of Project Noah as a tool people can use to document and learn about their natural surroundings and as a technology platform research groups can use to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

science 360Science 360: Apple / Android

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science360 provides easy access to engaging science and engineering images and video from around the globe and a news feed featuring breaking news from NSF-funded institutions. Content is either produced by NSF or gathered from scientists, colleges and universities, and NSF science and engineering centers.

socrativeSocrative: Apple Teacher & Apple Student / Android Teacher & Android Student

Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Engage the entire classroom with educational exercises and games while capturing student results in real-time. Interact with the data to further student understanding in the moment, and review the reports to prepare for future classes. In order to make this work there is teacher and student app.


todays documentToday’s Document: Apple / Android

Today’s Document is an interactive gallery that displays a significant historical document or photo for each day of the year. You can learn what happened on your birthday, search for a document by keyword, or just browse. Featured documents have included the Declaration of Independence and Emancipation Proclamation as well as lesser known documents like the Zimmerman Telegram, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell address, and a handwritten draft of President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural Address.

quizletQuizlet: Apple / Android

Quizlet is a great app to help study with flashcards. Create your own flashcards or search through Quizlet’s database of over 21 million user-created flashcards. Pick from 3 mobile-only study modes to suit learning styles and take advantage of audio in 18 languages to reinforce pronunciation and retention