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Friday, July 22, 2011

7 Task Management Tools for Students

It's getting close to that time of year when teachers and students will be returning to school for the fall semester. The great thing about the start of a new school year is that it brings new resolutions for both teachers and students. If your students have the resolution to keep track of their assignments this year, here are some tools that could help them toward that goal.

42 Tasks is a free online task management tool. The appeal of 42 Tasks is the simple user interface that it features. After you have registered for an account on 42 Tasks, adding tasks to your calendar is a very simple process. To add tasks just type them into the blank description line in your dashboard then select a date from the calendar. Tasks are automatically arranged in chronological order. You can also place tasks within task categories that you've created.

Pegby is a good website for organizing the tasks that you and or your team need to get done. Pegby is set up like a corkboard with index cards stuck to it. The corkboard has three columns to place your index cards on. A column for things to do, a column for things in progress, and a column for things that are done. Each of index card can be assigned to a person, can have files attached to it, and can have due dates assigned to it. You can use Pegby as an individual or you can share your corkboard with others

Thought Boxes is a task management service with a hint of mind mapping in its user interface. At its most basic Thought Boxes is a place to create to-do lists. You can organize your to-do lists into groups that Thought Boxes refers to as "trains." Your lists can include basic text notes as well as links to other sites. The "trains" you create in Thought Boxes are basically categories for your to-do lists

Remind Post is a simple, free service for sending task reminders to anyone you choose including yourself. Here's how Remind Post works; enter the email address of the person who needs a reminder, enter the task he or she needs to do, select a completion date, then enter your email address. Remind Post sends a reminder on your behalf to the recipient who will confirm completion of the task. If the recipient doesn't confirm completion by the due, Remind Post will send reminders until the task is completed.

The task manager or "to-do list" feature in Gmail can be a handy mechanism for keeping track of the things you need to get done. The only problem with it is is you have to be in your Gmail account to see the list. Tekzilla offers a solution to that problem in the form of a Google Chrome extension called New Tab to Tasks. New Tab to Tasks opens your Gmail to-do list every time you open a new tab in Google Chrome. It's a little reminder of what you need to do before you open Facebook for the tenth time in eighteen minutes.

Soshiku is a free personal planner designed for high school and college students. Soshiku lets students organize their assignments by course, add assignments, and receive text message and or email reminders before each assignment is due. Students can add assignments to their calendars directly on the Soshiku website or via text message. Registering and getting started with Soshiku is quick and the user interface is very intuitive and easy to learn.

Remember the Milk is a free personal organization tool that works online, with mobile phones, and with iPads. Remember the Milk allows students to add assignment due dates to their to-do lists via text, email, or directly on their account homepage. A word of caution, while this services is free, students could incur a lot of charges from text and data communication on their mobile phones so be sure to discuss these options with parents before having students use the text/ data tools.

QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator

Open a magazine, a catalog, or take a look at sign in your local grocery market these days and you're likely to see a QR code. (The QR code to subscribe to Free Technology for Teachers is pictured to the left). QR codes and QR code reader apps are one of the many ways that cell phones can be used in schools for academic purposes. To that end, Russel Tarr has developed the QR Treasure Hunt Generator.

The QR Treasure Hunt Generator provides you with all of the things you need to get started creating your own QR codes and using them in your classroom. To use the QR Treasure Hunt Generator type out a series of questions and answers, generate the QR codes using the tool Russel Tarr provides, then print and display the codes around your classroom or school. Click here to view a sample QR Treasure Hunt.

The QR Treasure Hunt Generator recommends having students visit Kaywa to get QR readers for their phones. My recommendation is if your students have Android phones have them try the free QR Droid app. If your students have iPhones they can try the free NeoReader App.

Applications for Education
Creating QR Treasure Hunts could be a great way to get students moving and learning at the same time. With a QR Treasure Hunt a quest for information can become a physical exercise as well as an intellectual exercise.

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