Friday, May 16, 2014

Thing 23

My reflection and evaluation of 23 Mobile Things-

I was participating in this for 2 reasons: 1 was for a grad school class and the other was because part of my job at the school library where I work is to research apps that might be helpful for our school to  get for our sets of iPads.  I was able to find quite a few helpful apps that we are adding to our collection and learned a bit more about apps that we already had but I had never worked with.  I can now help teachers figure out how to use some of the apps that we have, like educreations.

My favorite Thing was finding out about Quickoffice because I hate trying to work on documents on a mobile device and this has made things much more easier to edit and work on, this is one of the apps that my school has added to our iPads.  I also like the StandApp because it helps me to not sit too long at my desk at work or sit too long at home.

My grad school class was participating and we would talk about some of the apps during class sometimes and I would also mention this program to the tech and library staff in case they were interested.

One thing that I was disappointed in is that some of the apps did not work really well or at all so I had to find another app to choose.  It was kind of a bummer that I couldn't use my first choice because of these flukes.   One other thing was that I had to create quite a few profiles and my digital footprint has grown more than I had hoped it would.

I would definitely participate in another program like this because it was a lot of fun, it was self paced and it was great that you had a lot of different choices to explore and be able to figure out how to use these both personally and professionally.  I think that it really helps people see that these apps are not only good for professionally but that they are can also be used in one's personal life.  

I would describe my experience as eye-opening, engaging and enjoyable, a completely worthwhile experience.

Thing 22

For Thing 22 - Discovering Apps, I chose the app, Apps Gone Free to look at, this app give a list of the apps that usually cost money but they have gone free for a brief period of time.  Some of the apps are free for a day and some you get free access for a couple of days or weeks, depending on the app producer.  You can also see back to what apps have gone free for quite a long period of time,  I was able to go back to October 2013 before I stopped seeing how far it would go back.  

This is a great app to watch because you never know when an app that you might want could be put on this list.  Also you could find a great app that you didn't know about and lucky you if you get there in time it will be free instead of having to spend the money to purchase it.  This is important because some people are on quite a budget and spending money on apps is not something they can spend money on.   This will be especially helpful to schools who might want an app, but they don't have it in the budget.  It is also a great way to check out apps to see if they will be useful without having to pay and then find out that you don't like it and then you have wasted money by buying the app and are stuck because they don't give refunds.

One thing I wished is that app creators would allow places like schools try out an app for a week to see if this would be helpful to students,  after a week they would have to purchase the app or it would disappear from the iPads.  It would be like checking out a eBook, I think that this would be a very great way to help schools, but until something like this happens this Apps Gone Free isn't a bad way to start.

Thing 21

For my Free-for-All all I chose one of my Mad Libs apps.   I have always loved doing Mad Libs, which are stories but you add different: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and other things and then you turn the page and read what words you chose into the story they have and it is really silly.   I love having this as an app because you can easily do the stories over and over again without having to erase or create the list on another piece of paper.  Plus the stories are all on one app and you don't have to carry around many books.  This is the eBook version of Mad Libs, the app is free and they only give you so many stories free but you can buy other books for $1.99, but you get 25 stories at least per book and if you bought the book in a store it would be about $7.00, so it is really quite a deal.

I love being able to take these with me on trips and do them with my friends, we have many laughs over the fun stories we create, you can save the stories and then email or share them with friends.  This is also a great tool for children to learn what nouns, verbs and adjectives are and how they are used to create a story.

Thing 20

For Thing 20 I chose a game that was not listed, it is Plants vs. Zombies 2.  This is a free app and you have to choose what plants to use to keep you safe from zombie attacks.  There are different areas and each area has 24 levels along with a final challenge to defeat the head zombie (there is one in every area), and there is also an endless zone in each area.    This is an excellent strategy game because you have to plan out where to plant the plants.  You have five "sidewalk" type areas that zombies travel down and you don't know where they will come from and you don't know how strong the zombie will be until they come on to the screen.

I completely enjoy this game because it is a challenge sometimes, I have had to redo a few levels.  My only problem is that it is a fairly new app so not all the levels seem to be written yet, so right now I am playing the other levels over and over again, but it is helping me build strategy and I think if you like playing games which also will help your brain stay sharp then this is the game for you.  It is a challenge even for adults!

Thing 19

For Thing 19 - Hobbies it was also hard to choose which one but I settled to check out one for my love of wine which is Vivino Wine Scanner.  This is a way to keep track of wines that I like, which is great because I have a book where I could write these things down but I don't always have it with me.  So I have forgotten a lot of wines that I love because I couldn't remember it when I got home and I didn't have anything to write down the name of the wine.  Not that I have my iPad on me all the time, but now that I know about this app, I just might make sure to so I can update my wine list.

Personally I can't wait to start creating my list of wines.  I have a friend who is also a fan of wines like me and she would enjoy this app as well.  I like that you can go in and rate the wine, because that would help someone like me because right now I pick the wine based on the bottle.  I know that it isn't the bottle art that makes the wine good, but there are only a few instances where they have have not been a good bottle of wine.  I also like the fact that I can share my favorites with my friends, I could create an awesome wine group and use this app to help us rate different bottles.  This is also helpful to when I am looking for a bottle of wine to give as a gift because I don't drink red wine but I have friends who do, so this would help me find out what they like if we were sharing our wine ratings.

Thing 18

For Thing 18- Education, I had trouble trying to figure out which one I should talk about because there are so many great apps that were listed, but I chose to look at Today's Document which is an app that has 365 documents or photographs about American history from the National Archives.   
This is a great app, it opens with a document for the day, but you can also do a search for anything that you would like to find out about.   You can also share these documents via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Personally I love history, one of my undergraduate degrees is in History so I love being able to look at historical documents or information.  Being able to have access to information without have to be at the National Archives is a great and an amazing thing brought on by technology.  It just amazes me by the different things that we now have access to and how easy it is to see these documents and photographs from history.

Professionally this is a great thing to point out to students or patrons who are looking for primary source documents or for historical information about our country.  It is a great way to have access to these documents or photographs.  This will also appeal to people who just love to look at the historical documents or anything to do with history.   Like I said above this helps people have access without having to be in the actual National Archives.

Thing 17

For Thing 17 - Connecting to Community, I chose to look at the Explore MN app.  I chose this app because I love exploring Minnesota and having this app will give me all the up-to-date information about the things going on in our lovely state.  This app is much better than ordering all the paper brochures plus you can create a list of places to visit.

Personally I would use this to make lists of places that I want to visit, find festivals that are going on in the different areas and new places to take photos.  This would also be helpful to me when I have out of town guest come to visit, because I know I have lived here all my life but there are many things that I still have yet to experience or things that I don't even know about that would be fun to see.

Professionally this would be helpful to guide people to who are in the library looking for travel information about Minnesota.  This would be great to point out to patrons because then they don't have to carry around the bulky travel books and all the information is current.  This would be great in a school library because it would help students who are doing a report on Minnesota find out about places in our state.

This app seems to be a little temperamental right now, but hopefully there is a bug fix coming soon.