Tuesday, May 20, 2014

23 Mobile Things, Thing #23: Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

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?
I like my iPad a lot more now!  I still wish it had a real keyboard, but I've found some very useful things to do on it.
  • What were your favorite Things and discoveries?
I really like the apps I found in the Education Thing and the Presentations Things.  I will definitely be using those apps a lot.  And I'm super addicted to Spell Collapse now - thanks Rachel!  :)
  • How did you connect with others doing the 23 Mobile Things?
It was really fun to talk about the Things with my co-worker Allyn.  I also liked having a cheerleader. It would have been even better to have more than just one person reading and commenting on my blog. Now that I'm done, I'd like to take the time to go back and lot at other user's blogs.
  • Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
Not really.
  • What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or content?
I'm not sure.  Perhaps make it a required part of the program to seek out and read / comment on other user's blogs?
  • If we offered a another 23 Things program like this in the future would you participate?
Yes, definitely.
  • 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?
I guarantee you'll find at least 23 reasons to like your iPad!  :)

23 Mobile Things, Thing #22: Discovering Apps

I tried out the Quixey website.  I selected iPad as my platform and then since I didn't really know what I was looking for I just searched simply on the word "library."  Some really cool and a few obscure things came up!  

I know a few patrons who will want to know about the JW Library app, which is "an official app produced by Jehovah's Witnesses. It includes six Bible translations, Sing to Jehovah, and Examining the Scriptures Daily—2014."

My friend's son who is taking guitar lessons will want to know about the Guitar Tools app - even if it costs $3.99 - sounds like a great and useful app for anyone taking lessons.

I was very excited to find the Library of Congress Virtual Tour app since I have not yet been there in person. Another great app that I found was the MeeGenius - Read Along Library of Children's Books.  I can't wait to try this with my nephews and niece and to share it with all of the parents I know.  Super cool way to add to the summer reading fun.

There are also a lot of great apps to help manage your own personal library.  This is something that I have always meant to do and someday - maybe soon?  this summer?  I will!

What a great website.  I've bookmarked it for later use.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

23 Mobile Things, Thing #21: Free-for-all

Aside from Facebook and Pinterest, the app that I use the most is MyFitnessPal.  I can't remember if this app was already mentioned in a previous Thing (it probably was).  If not, it's a great app for helping track exercise and food intake.  What I like about it is that it's more complex than just tracking calories and fat but also tracks protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.

There are two new apps I recently discovered but haven't spent much time using yet.  They are Charity Miles (http://www.charitymiles.org/) and Play to Cure - "Genes in Space" (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/play-to-cure-genes-in-space).

With Charity Miles you can track a workout and earn money for a charity of your choice.  Per the website: "It's as easy as this: get moving. Bikers earn 10¢ a mile and walkers and runners earn 25¢ a mile, up to our initial $1,000,000 sponsorship pool."  I haven't tried it out yet, but it certainly sounds like a great idea.

The other app is a game and the website claims, "By playing Genes in Space you'll be analysing significant amounts of genetic data which would have taken scientists hours to do. This data can then be used to develop new life saving treatments."  Again, I haven't tried it yet but what a cool idea!

And this isn't necessarily an app but I just found out about Amazon Smile!  It's regular Amazon except that they will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchase to a charity of your choice.  Nice!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

23 Mobile Things, Thing #20: Games

I am proud to say that I am a reformed Candy Crush addict!  I was super addicted to that silly game but gave it up this past summer and I honestly haven't missed it.

Instead, when I feel like playing a game now, I play Scrabble (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ea.scrabblefree_na) or Sudoku (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.icenta.sudoku.ui).

I was excited to read about all the different word puzzle games in this Thing!  I will likely try all of them eventually but I decided to start with Word Abacus.  Oh yeah, this is a fun one!  You move the letters around - like you would beads on an abacus - to make words and you get points based on the words you make.  Fun!  I can't wait to try the others.

23 Mobile Things, Thing #19: Hobbies

Of the apps listed for this Thing, I was most interested in the MyGarden gardening app.  In the few months we have that allow for planting, I love to grow all manner of flowers and vegetables in numerous containers around my apartment building.  Because I live in an apartment, I can't do a traditional garden, but I've become quite adept at container gardening.  However, I am always looking for more tips and tricks.  The MyGarden app seemed like just the perfect thing.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be totally ready to go yet as many of the plants I clicked on have incomplete information.  Cilantro, for example, says "This plant has no description yet" under many of the topics.  It seems like it has great potential.  I hope to see it grow and expand to include all kinds of gardening tips.  I think the main purpose is probably to be some kind of social media network for gardeners, but that's not really what I'm looking for.

I used to use Spotify all the time on my classroom computer when I taught second grade.  I had all kinds of different playlists:  quiet time and testing music, dance music, kids requests for free time, etc.  I loved using it on a computer; however, at the time, when I downloaded it on my phone I found that I couldn't access my playlists without upgrading to Premium, which costs money.  I'm so excited to know that that has now been changed!  I'm happily listening to all the playlists again, on my phone this time! I like the iheartradio app a lot, which is what I started using after I found I couldn't access my Spotify playlists on my phone.  It will be nice to have options now and to be able to use the playlists again that I put so much time into making!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

23 Mobile Things, Thing #18: Education

Oh my gosh, I am so excited about this thing!  I used to be a classroom teacher (2nd grade) and I still have loads of teacher friends so I will be sharing these apps with them.  Reading through them, it was very hard to choose just one and I am positive that I will be coming back to this Thing over and over and eventually trying almost all of them.  This is definitely my favorite Thing so far.

Because I had to pick just one and get this blog post written and because I'm super interested in what foods I'm putting into my body lately-- and trying to make better choices -- I tried the "Eat This, Not That" app / game.  It's very interesting!  The app works by showing you two food item choices.  You pick the one you think you should eat.  And then it tells you if you made the healthier choice.  If you play the casual mode, you'll get specific details about calories and fat, etc.  If you play speed mode, you won't, but it's more fun that way because you can earn points.  :)  I was surprised many times by which was the healthier choice.  Lesson learned:  bacon is less calories / fat than sausage.  Of course, I like sausage better...  sigh.

Friday, April 25, 2014

23 Mobile Things, Thing #17: Connecting to Community

This is a great list!  I already regularly use the 511MN app.  It was especially helpful while I was commuting to and from St. Kate's for classes so I could check on the weather/road conditions.  I also used the MN State Fair app last summer and found that very helpful.

For this Thing, I downloaded the MPR Radio app and the Explore Minnesota app.  I love the MPR app and will be using that a lot - it will be nice to listen to while I'm cataloging!  I hit a snag with the Explore app though and it froze up one me.  I'll have to "explore" it again at another time.  (: