Monday, March 31, 2014

Things to keep in mind when looking for Apps for Instruction

Whether you are looking for iOS, Android, or Chrome applications to use in your classrooms you will want to know if they are user friendly, assist you with your instruction, and cover the content and delivery you are looking for. Here are few things to keep in mind when searching for an application to use with your instruction:

Searching- The application stores (Chrome Web store, iOS App store, Google Play Store, or Amazon App store) organize their stores by popular categories. You may find it useful to search under certain categories, like education, for the the type of content you'd like to be covered by the application. You may also just enter in the search bar of the store the content you'd like covered, and the store will give you matches to that content.

Star Rating-The application stores each use a star rating and you will want to look at this first before going into further investigation. I would try to stay with applications that have at least a 3 star rating or higher. When an application is rated below a three, it means it has not been received well by the end user for one reason or another. It may be because the application doesn't run well or the content delivered is not delivered well or accurately.

Description- The second thing you should do when looking for an application to use in your classroom is read the description. The description gives you an overview of the application and lets you know the content that is covered by the application. Many times the the description will have screenshots of the application at work so you can preview the way the content is delivered.

Customer Reviews- You may want to read the customer reviews, many times this will let you know how the application assisted the end user and what were some of the frustrations with the applications. It may give you better insight if the application is what you're looking for and worth the purchase.

Purchasing- Sometimes the applications are available for free so go ahead and download it. If you don't care for the application remove it from your device. Other times it may be available for free in a sample version, if you then like the application you may purchase the full application for amount of money. This is very helpful, because it allows the end user to sample the product before actually having to part with money. We all know in education, money is hard to come by. If the application doesn't have the sample application for free you will want to make sure you have read the full description, looked at the star rating, and read the reviews.

There are so many applications out there for educators to use, please feel free to visit one of the application stores and explore the endless opportunities that could assist you with your instruction.

Here are some links to the different application stores that could assist you.

iOS App Store- This application store is installed on your Macbook, Ipad, Iphone, and Ipod.

Chrome Web Store

Google Play Store

Amazon App Store-

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Technology tools that will assist students and teachers with writing a research paper

Attention: Teachers and Students

I want to highlight some great tools to use when writing a research paper. As teachers and students we are constantly asked to write research papers. Teachers it may be for research on best teaching practices or excellent resources to use.  Students have to write papers for almost all subject areas. When faced with these tasks here are some great resources to use. For starters the research tool within Google Documents is very helpful. Please watch the attached video on the use of the research tool.

This research tool is very helpful when using internet/websites for your research but does not help you with journal articles or books as resources. Well luckily Google just enable a feature to have add-ons with Google Drive. You will notice a new tab on the toolbar that is labeled add-ons. Within add-ons you may add specific add-ons to your liking. I suggest you add the easybib add-on. It allows the end user to put in any type of resource(book, website, or journal article) and it will give the option to site the resource as a reference in APA, MLA, or Chicago formatting.