I’ve been mindful that I haven’t been blogging as frequently and instead, my time being taken up with client work, catching up with reading of articles on the internet as well investing in my own professional and personal development. In a way, it’s been beneficial to me to reflect on what I’d like to achieve in 2015 and put some goals down on paper.
I have had a few requests to give presentations or webinars related to how people can use social media apps and tools for their own learning over the coming year. Also, I have kindly been invited by David Hopkins to review his new upcoming book The Really Useful EdTech Book which is timely for these pieces of work.
In the end, they’re just tools…
There’s no reason to be fearful of them or discount them for your work, your classroom or your own personal purposes.
Many people have asked me what my preferred platform or tools are for working, connecting and learning. In truth, I’m not loyal to any. I like to dabble to find the ones that are “fit for purpose”.
I have an Apple iPhone; a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet, I use Google Chrome and the various apps and tools associated with the platforms – and I also use a myriad of different web based apps too. When I was working within an organisation, I even used the apps that the enterprise social networking platform had (eg. Yammer has a huge app directory of work and productivity related apps that can work on the platform).
Depending on what device determines what app I’ll use for what purpose.
To me, it’s not the tool itself – it’s the behaviour – the attitude of experimenting with it and “giving it a go” and then making some personal judgments on if (or how) this tool will work for you in your own contexts.
For me: it’s important that the app is:
- Quick to learn and immediately apply
- Work and be shared across all platforms
- Do what I need it to do in as fewer clicks as possible
- Be right for the job (bells and whistles not important)
How Do I Find New Apps?
I save all articles, tweets, Facebook posts into an Evernote folder titled EdTech and revisit this once a week usually on Sunday evenings which is my quiet time for experimenting with new apps.
I read the review of the app (whether it’s on iTunes or Google Play or Google Chrome Web Store depending on what device I’m using), download the app and then play with it! It’s that simple. I’ve stumbled upon some great finds this way. The majority of apps that I’m interested are relate to business, productivity, photography, learning, health and well being.
I also subscribe to Apps Gone Free on iTunes which pushes out suggested apps every day (fair enough that many are games but there’s a useful one that pops up every so often) and follow boards on ScoopIt which is abundant in ideas in particularly, Robin Good’s (content curator) ScoopIt page as well as Ana Cristina Pratas Digital Delights for Learners.
Some other sites that I regularly trawl through are:
- Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners
- Free Technology for Teachers
- Make Use Of (there have been some great finds in here with Google Chrome Cast which I have also been using frequently)
- Top 100 Tools for Learning (I’ve gone through each of these which is a MUST for any Learning and Development professional)
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what app or tool you use. There are simply too many out there to choose from but the adventure is playing around with a selection and then using the ones that are right for your context and purpose.
Have you got any apps or tools that you use and would like to share?