Tag Archives: App

50 Great Mobile Apps for Librarians

The theme of the 16th annual Internet Librarian Conference this year was Transformational Power of Internet Librarians: Promise & Prospect. As the conference planners point out, Internet librarians have been revolutionizing the Net for many years, and are poised to transform their communities in exciting new ways. Technologist  keynote speaker David Weinberger said, we have to “build networks that make us smarter.” This event showcased leading-edge tools, strategies and techniques for transforming campuses, communities and organizations.  One of the presentations that might interest you was given by Richard Le, SanRafael Public Library, and Tom Duffy, San Francisco Public Library. Together they shared the 50 mobile apps most useful to them as librarians. Its always interesting to compare your favorite tools to theirs to see how many are a match.

Go to their  slideshare presentation at http://50apps.weebly.com/presentation.html and who knows, maybe you will pick up at least one new tool that perfectly suits your needs. I know I did!

Recommended App: Grammar Jammers Primary Edition

Pearson Education, Inc. has developed a kid-friendly app for learning grammar usage and mechanics. The primary edition of this app promises “catchy animated songs and rhymes [to] make English language arts exciting!”  Grammar Jammers Primary Edition includes unique animations and quiz questions on the following topics: adjectives, contractions, nouns, pronouns, punctuation, sentences, and verbs. The app is free and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later.

Check out this YouTube video for a nice sampling of what’s available on the app. I absolutely love the music and imagine that both kids and adults (parents & teachers) could enjoy listening to it (unlike some cartoon/kids music!).

Grammar Jammers is also available in Elementary and Middle Editions. However, these editions of the app typically cost around $2.99.

My Report on the iOS (iPad) in the Classroom Event

The following observations, musings, and missteps are from my perspective, and by no means capture the brilliance of the presenters or the content at this well-attended  event! Your humble reporter…..Patricia….

Sartell Middle School hosted this free, three-hour Apple event on Wednesday, November 14th (we did an earlier blog post about registration). The event was fast paced and invigorating and many people identified new learning they could apply immediately. I will share a few of the highlights, including the areas where I observed audience engagement and excitement.

Things I Learned about iOS 6

  • Once you move to iOS 6, you can’t go back
  • 200 new features
  • Can lock the device into a single app (to contain students)
  • Guided access allows you to lock parts of the screen while in an app (student control)
  • Your Google Apps will no longer crash with this operating system.

Two hours was spent on short presentations from representatives from Central MN schools. Schools  included: Becker, Sartell, Little Falls, Milaca, and St. Cloud. Presentations were modeled after the famous TED talks, and the presenters did a great job.  It was so inspirational to see a 39-year, veteran teacher (Milaca)  energized and excited about new ways of teaching the subject he loves (biology). Most districts admitted that some teachers are very engaged, others struggle more, so there is plenty of coaching and assistance still needed. A few highlights from the talks or the Q & A that followed:

  • Becker has been doing its 1:1 iPad initiative for several years now, and they are taking pause to ask teachers which apps they use the most. Then, Director of Instructional Technology Ryan Cox, hopes to help teachers develop deeper skill levels with those apps. The three apps that rose to the surface in Becker are: Socrative, Edmodo, and Showbie.
  • I have always wondered how elementary teachers share a complicated url and get their little fledglings safely to a website. Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist at St. Cloud Schools shared that she uses an app called Chirp!
  • An Apple rep shared that if you are looking for an app for moving files around more easily, you may want to invest in Good Reader, the true “swiss army knife” for these tasks!
  • “Release the hounds” became a popular phrase with presenters. When trying to make this shift in education in integrating technology, the teacher cannot possibly know everything ahead of time. Teachers are masters of the subject area, but often need to challenge the students to figure out how they might use a specified app to do their subject-specific-project work. In other words, “release the hounds!” and have them report back to the class! Students love it….
  • I am going to bite the bullet, spend $10, and buy the Keynote app for doing presentations on my iPad. Enough with finding a workaround solution already.
  • Just when I thought I knew something, I learned differently. I assumed that all schools who are doing the 1:1 initiatives, were also doing flipped classrooms, when in fact, Little Falls, who has also been 1:1 for a few years, has deemed that flipped classroom will not serve their purposes! Moral of the story: Stay humble in what you think you know in any given moment!
  • Sadly, I thought I had found the app of my dreams….in a mad scrawl I wrote down, Touch Feel Go, and it was an app that enables you to take a picture of a pdf, which turns the doc into a form that you can type directly into. Then, you can email the doc, or drop it into Dropbox too. Unfortunately, I can find no such app. If you were at this event and can solve this mystery for me, please save me by typing in the comments field to this post. Thanks!

Recommended App: Word Lens

Word Lens lets you see the world in your language! Instantly translate printed words from one language to another with your built-in video camera, in real time! No network is required to operate the app; results appear immediately on your screen when you need it. It is best used on clearly printed large texts like signs or menus. Translated languages include: English, Spanish, Italian, and French. This app is available for most iOS devices 4.3 and later, and is optimized for iPhone 5. Additionally, the app is available for Android 2.3.3 (and up). It usually costs around $4.99. Want to learn more? Check out http://questvisual.com/us/ or watch this YouTube video.

Register for Apple Education Seminar: iOS (iPad) in the Classroom

Register now for the Apple Education Seminar, iOS (iPad) in the Classroom! This event will include demonstrations by schools in “TED Talk like format “(10-12 minutes each) on how they are using the iPads as well as demonstrations and presentations by Apple Systems Engineers and Development Executives on how to best use and manage these devices in a school environment.

Cost: Free!

Date: Wednesday, November 14

Time: 8:45-11:45 AM

Where: Sartell Middle School

Registration and additional information can be found at https://edseminars.apple.com/register/p8W1w-s2d71/&proxy=y.

Patricia and I have registered, and are excited to hear from Apple as well as guest presenters from local schools about their use of iOS devices and apps. The format should be engaging and fast-paced as well — covering a lot of ground in a short time! They’re still looking for presenters for these 10-12 minute sessions, so if you have something to share, consider throwing your name in the hat! Your voice could be unique!