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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Three Mobile Apps That Can Help Students Search

Students might forget their lunches, their gym shoes, and their homework assignments when they leave their houses in the morning, but they never forget their mobile phones. We can help students put those mobile devices to good use through the use of mobile search apps.

Google Goggles is a free Android app that lets students take a picture of an object and then search for similar objects. In the search for similar objects Google will include links to the pages that host the pictures returned in the search. Google Goggles also works when students take pictures of passages of text. The image below outlines the type of searches that Google Goggles is best at conducting.

If you are an iPhone or iPad user the Google search app has a search-by-image option. Samantha Morra outline how to use it in this 2014 guest post.

As I featured last week, CamFind is a free Android and iPhone app that works in a manner similar to that of Google Goggles. CamFind is a free iOS and Android app that enables you to take a picture of any object and then instantly conduct a web search about it. For example, when I take a picture of my computer bag CamFind instantly starts to search for objects like it as well as web pages about computer bags. I've also used CamFind to take pictures of blocks of text and let CamFind then search for web articles related to the text in my picture.

Blippar is an augmented reality app available for iOS, Android, and Windows phones. Like the other apps in this list Blippar uses the image captured by your camera to search for related pictures and articles on the web. I have used this app the least of the three on this list, but I included it because Blippar does work on Windows devices and is developing an education-specific product.