Tag Archives: iOS

App Swap Breakfast

Build your own ‘App Swap Breakfast’ event #AppSwap #AppSwapLeic

This morning I saw an innocent tweet from my pal David Walker (@drdjwalker) about the concept of an ‘App Swap Breakfast’. Needless to say it got me thinking …

App Swap Breakfast

It’s quite simple – friends, colleagues, interested individuals, etc. meet at a set time & place and showcase their favourite App of the moment.

So, here’s a call for Leicester friends and interested individuals – do you want to set one up and try it out? Shall we try and engage this on a frequent basis … every month, and if so where? There’s plenty of space.

As per Fiona MacNeill’s insightful post ‘DIY: Build your own App Swap Breakfast Event‘ you will need:

  • A group of people with devices
  • Session leaders (learning technologists / librarians / teachers / student advisers / mentors / etc.)
  • A space/s for sessions to be held
  • Common interests (teaching / learning / scholarship / institutional / subject / revision / reference / entertainment / etc.)
  • Branding
  • Catering
  • A data projector
  • A wall or screen on which to project
  • Resource lists
  • QR Codes
  • Audience Feedback

The concept / idea put forward by Fiona MacNeill, from an idea on LifeHacker website, the AppSwap idea has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License meaning anyone can share and redistribute the materials, and adapt, remix, or transform / build upon them but with appropriate credit is given and that any new work is also provided under a Creative Commons license.

Anyone interested is trying to get a Leicester App Swap Breakfast working? If you are interested (or have a particular reason why not) then please reply below or tweet with the hashtag #AppSwapLeic. If there’s enough interest perhaps we can try it out?

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD App

VideoScribe HD AppVideoScribe HD (iPad): I’ve enjoyed watching videos from RSA Animate, as have others, that take an audio track (usually a presentation or speech) and animates the drawing of concepts and take-away quotes. The best of these is the speech of Sir Ken Robinson ‘Changing Education Paridigms’.

“Award winning software, Sparkol VideoScribe is a completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that’s so popular on commercials at a fraction of the cost.”
VideoScribe HD (£3.99)
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/videoscribe-hd/id505464331

Advertised features of the App include (and are also available on the PC/Mac 7 day free trial):  Continue reading

Blackboard Mobile Learn App

Blackboard Mobile Learn App – examples?

Here’s the question … has anyone designed a Blackboard course purely from the perspective of working from the Mobile Learn App? Is it a mobile-friendly Bb course, or is it in fact a mobile-first approach to course design?

In my very unscientific approach I have seen differences between content I have loaded to a Blackboard (Bb) course and how it is displayed in the browser and in the App, but I’ve not seen what a Bb course looks like if it’s been designed purely for access and interactions through the App. Here’s why i’m asking:

  • I suspect that no one has built one yet.
  • I suspect that the course, designed for mobile, would not work well for a desktop  learner.
  • I suspect that some elements, like tables and other “customization” approaches (as Bb refers to them), will not work pedagogically when we follow the Bb guide and the “suggest adding these content types as a PDF file” advice.
  • Can you create a good ‘design’ that allows for good pedagogy in the restrictions imposed by the App (images, files, layout, screen real-estate, etc.)?

I see plenty of resources that mimic the Bb help pages and resources, but none that actually explain and/or showcase good ‘design’. If you have examples, or links, or screenshots, or reports, or journal articles you can share with the rest of us then please leave them in comments below.

Turnitin iPad App

Turnitin & GradeMark App

Turnitin iPad AppTurnitin (iPad): Many have asked about an iPad App for Turnitin, and we have waited a while for it. But now it’s here, let’s see if it’s any good!

“Everything you love about grading with Turnitin® is now available on iPad, allowing educators to Grade Anywhere™. Teachers using Turnitin’s grading tools save time grading student papers while offering more meaningful feedback and ensuring their originality.”

Turnitin (free): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/turnitin/id657602524

The App offers the same functionality we use and enjoy through a browser but in an App-environment. It does take a while to get used to, especially the subtlety when including and adding QuickMarks or comments to the text.

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Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts App

Google HangoutsHangouts (iPhone, iPod, iPad): From a couple of failed Skype calls recently, and a computer that has decided to not allow the Google+ Hangouts software to be installed, I needed an alternative solution, and quick. One quick trip to the App store, a short search query, and a short download time, and the Hangouts App is ready.

“Google+ Hangouts brings one-to-one and group conversations to life with photos, emoji and video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, phones and tablets.” Hangouts (free):
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hangouts/id643496868

While the App is for iPad and iPod, I’ve only used it on the iPhone at the moment (for you Android lovers out there, you can have it too!). The App is easy to use – just sign in and it picks up your Google+ settings and contacts / circles. The list of contacts makes it easy to see who’s online and who isn’t, and ‘calling’ them or joining a hangout is relatively straight forward.

There are a couple of things I’ll bring to your attention though:  Continue reading

Apps

Question – what app could you NOT live without?

AppsWhat App could you NOT live without? Whether it’s Dropbox for collaborative working, Angry Birds for brainless relaxation, WordPress for your blogging activities, Keynote for presentation creation and delivery, Blackboard Mobile Learn for course/material management, email or calendars  for normal work use, or something else entirely … what App do you use the most or consider the most important in your working/daily life.

I’m not limiting this to iOS ‘apps’ but please consider any ‘tool’ you use on a mobile or tablet device.

Leave a comment below and share your App and reasons for it. If you’ve already written this up then link to your post and share your thoughts and preferences with us.

Foldify App

‘Foldify’ App (#foldify)

Foldify AppFoldify (iPad): I can’t remember how or where I found out about this app but it is one of the best one’s I’ve ever bought/downloaded. It’s a simple idea – use one of the pre-defined blank templates of a 3D shape and draw on the explanded, unfolded, version to design your very printed 3D figurine. Through it’s simple and intuitive interface budding artists (and big kids alike!) can create and share their own unique paper figure creations.

“Draw, create, print and fold beautiful 3D figures with Foldify. You don’t need drawing skills, Foldify has tons of free content to create amazing, high quality figures!”

Foldify (£1.49): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/foldify/id527118971

Watch this video for an introduction on what it does and how it works … it’s really what touchscreen devices were made for!

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Google Maps App

‘Google Maps’ App

Google Maps AppEver since the upgrade to iOS6 the one thing I, and many more, have missed are the Google Maps. Well, ever since news leaked of Google Maps being ready for the App Store we have been waiting for it’s release. And here it is!

‘Google Maps’ (iPhone/iPad/iPod): Thankfully available on the iPhone again, I’ve missed this .. and it’s back and better than before. It’s still a pity that you can’t make an App the ‘default’ for this type of content, like the Chrome browser App instead of default Safari browser, but it’s still good to have the maps back … and hopefully more accurate and ‘trustworthy’ than the ‘other one’.

“Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transport directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favourite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.”

Google Maps (free): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/google-maps/id585027354

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APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book

Book Review: “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book”

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book

“APE is 300 pages of step-by-step, tactical advice and practical inspiration. If you want a hype-filled, get-rich-quick book, you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive and realistic guide to self-publishing, APE is the answer.” Amazon UK

Anyone interested in writing a book (fiction or non-fiction) needs to take note of what Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch have to say in this excellent new book: “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book”. If nothing else, learn from their experiences.

Why am I reviewing a book about self-publishing? Well, publishing your own text is a phenomenon that I think, within academic circles, will grow as the process becomes easier and more people understand the ease and the benefits – and I don’t just mean the financial benefits either. This book from Guy and Shawn is just such a good place to start!

Whether you’re thinking of writing your own course text, writing an in-depth technical guide based on experience/training/teaching, or writing that novel that’s been on your mind for years, now is the time to seriously think about it.

The eBook, for that is what I have,  is 300+ pages of advice, information, details, anecdotal evidence, stories, links, quotes, tables, facts & figures, and entrepreneurial  ’genius’ … all asking you the same question(s): are you ready to self-publish, do you have what it takes, and do you know your market? Re-read the title and you’ll understand this … “Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur”. You need to be all three if you are to make a reasonable attempt and (hopefully) success of your book idea.

Continue reading

Amazon Cloud Player App

Amazon Cloud Player App

Amazon Cloud Player AppAmazon Cloud Player (iPhone, iPad, iPod): If, like me, you download music from Amazon you already know that the DRM-free files load easily into iTunes and play nicely (and with good quality sound reproduction) on all iOS devices. Recently available in the UK is the Amazon Cloud Player which enables you, for free, to access all the music you downloaded from Amazon, ever.

  • Note: I prefer Amazon for downloading music as its (a) usually cheaper than iTunes, (b) better choice on compilation & special editions, and (c) DRM free MP3 files (not AAC, which don’t play on all devices).

So, to the app …

“Your music. Everywhere. Listen to your music collection from the cloud on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad anywhere you are. You can download or stream your library from the cloud – or play the music you already have on your device.”

Amazon Cloud Player (Free): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/amazon-cloud-player/id510855668

You have the ability to match your other downloaded music from other sources (iTunes included) and have these available through the Cloud Player, but you are limited to 250 tracks on the free services – if you want more then you can have the Premium account for £21.99 per year and up to 250,000 tracks! That’s a whole lot of music, and more than iTunes offers at the moment.

  • You can link up to 10 devices to your Cloud Player.
  • You can create your online library to match the music stored on your computer(s) by using Amazon’s “scan and match” technology, which searches a catalogue of 20 million tracks.
  • All matched songs are automatically stored by Cloud Player in high-quality 256 Kbps audio.
  • All Amazon MP3 purchases, including music that you bought before the Cloud was introduced, are automatically saved to Cloud Player for free! Nice

What is also great about the Cloud Player is that you can access it from any web browser so you can have your music playing on your desktop while you work (very useful if you’ve not got much battery life left in your device).

At the moment I’m using my iPhone for recording and editing video so, as I’ve only got the base 16GB model, I deleted all my music and quite a few apps to free up storage space … this app gives me the ability to at least access some tunes.

One aspect of the App that I’m really impressed with is that it continues to play the music even when you start using other apps, it leaves it playing the background. This may be a small thing but other apps that I’d hope to continue in the background don’t and, when you go back to it again you have to wait from them to re-start and re-load the details, often losing where you were in the process.

YouTube: Amazon Cloud Player

Here are some images from the iPhone version of the artist, album, song listing screens as well as the player itself and settings: