Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Make Use Of Highlights the 100 Best Android Apps - Here are my picks to try

I have to admit that browsing the Android Market can be a little overwhelming for me. (The same is true for Apple's App Store). There are so many applications to try that I can easily get carried away downloading all kinds of things that I may or may not end up using. My forth-coming purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Tabwill only make my app downloading habit worse. That is why I was happy to see Make Use Of publish a list of their 100 favorite Android apps. Their list is broken down into fourteen categories for easy browsing.

Applications for Education
If you have recently acquired an Android tablet or your school is considering buying them, Make Use Of's list could help get started selecting appropriate apps. Some of the apps from their list that I have tried and or plan to try include the following:

Juice Defender - a battery preservation app that I use now on my phone.
TED Air - for watching TED Talks.
Wapedia - for easier mobile browsing of Wikipedia.
AnkiDroid Flashcards - A free flashcard app.
Dropbox - for accessing my Dropbox files.
Catch Notes - a note-taking app that I've tried before, but might give another go on a tablet. I'm personally using Color Note on my phone now.
Google Docs - I'm currently using this app on my phone. It's far from perfect on my phone, but I'm hoping it will work better on a tablet using Honeycomb 3.1.

We're Half-way Through the Summer, Have You Tried Anything New?

I was doing some shopping yesterday in Freeport, Maine and saw my first "back to school" display of the summer. After my initial groan at the reminder that the summer is almost half-way over, I started to think about the things that I wanted to do this summer when school let out. I have finished one of the books on my reading list and am well along my way to finishing another. I haven't quite mastered Android app development yet, but I'm working on it. How are you doing with the new things you wanted to try this summer?

If you're looking for some new ed tech resources to explore before the new school year starts, I have 77 suggestions for you here and in the ebook embedded below. 

Free PD Coming Soon to a Computer Near You

Last summer I had the honor of presenting for the Reform Symposium.  The Reform Symposium is back again this summer beginning on July 29 and continuing through July 31. The Reform Symposium is a three day series of live online presentations given by educators just like you and me. This 100% free event offers a large roster of presenters covering a wide range of topics important to today's educators. You can view the schedule of sessions here.

Events like the Reform Symposium, EdCamps, and PadCamp prove that even if your school's budget doesn't have the money for you attend high-priced conferences, you can still experience some excellent PD this summer.

PadCamp - An EdCamp Dedicated to Tablets

PadCamp is a free unconference for educators interested in learning about and sharing ideas for using tablets (iPads, Android tablets, ereaders) in the classroom. The free event will be held on August 9 in Galloway, NJ.

PadCamp will follow the same unconference model used at the increasingly popular EdCamp events that have been held across the country over the last couple of years. The idea of an unconference is that there are not any keynote speakers or predetermined workshops. Everyone comes to the event, if you want to share something put your idea on the proposed sessions board, and people vote with their feet by going to the sessions that they have an interest in. It might seem a little messy at first, but trust me it works.

If you're in the Galloway, New Jersey area and have an interest in learning more about using tablets in the classroom, PadCamp is for you. And did I mention that all attendees get a free breakfast and a free lunch?