Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thing 23-Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

Whew!!  I made it!  I have completed the other 22 things and the evaluation survey for thing 23 and I managed to do it before school was done for the summer.  Yay!

I really enjoyed learning about all the different apps that were available for the iPad.  When I started this program I had only recently gotten an iPad so I was very new to the device.  I found the device tips in thing 2 very helpful!  I have gotten so much more comfortable with this device as this program has progressed.  I still use it more for entertainment than productivity but I do like that it can be both. I love the Bluetooth keyboard that allows me to type regularly on keys and not on the screen.  It makes this blog entry much, much, easier!

My favorite apps that I have discovered through this program are GroupOn, RoadNinja, Spotify, Minnesota511, Kindle, Evernote, SignNow and Quizlet.  Many of these I like for personal use but a few can be used in the library where I work as well.

23 Mobile Things was a fun self paced learning adventure.  Perfect for busy professionals that can carve out a few minutes here and there to learn a new trick or two.

Thing 22-Discovering Apps

I attended the preview webinar for 23 mobile things way back in January or February and was introduced to the AppsGoneFree app.  I really like this app because it compiles a list (and usually has some sort of category) for each day of apps that are free for a limited time.  As I mentioned in my last post, I like to get deals so if I can get an app for free that usually costs money, I really like that.  I can't recall how many apps I have downloaded because I found them on AppsGoneFree but it is quite a few.  I don't check it everyday so sometimes miss out on ones I might have liked to try.  I have noticed that they sometimes cycle back around though so just keep checking.  I find it very easy to use.  If you are looking for a specific kind of app, AppsGoneFree might not be for you but if you just want to know what's available for free that usually will cost you some money this is a good app.

Thing 21-Groupon (Free-For-All)

For Thing 21 I am choosing to blog about the Groupon app.  I love this app because  I love to find great deals.  The area I live in doesn't really show up but I use it to find deals for going on vacation or when we go to visit the Mpls/St. Paul area. You can search by your current location or you can type in a location to search.  This allows you to find deals in or near the cities that you plan to visit.  There are some really great deals on there!

Thing 20-Games

I have been playing Candy Crush for quite sometime.  I really enjoyed it at first but then it got more difficult.  I still play it occasionally but not nearly as much as I used to.  It is an easy game to pick up and put down so I do like it for when I am sitting in the car waiting to pick up my kids from various activities.  The other game app that I started playing is HayDay.  It is a virtual farming game and you can connect to friends through Facebook and/or GameCenter (the maker of HayDay).  It is very similar to Zynga's Farmville that I used to play through Facebook but I like it better because in HayDay the crops don't die if you don't make it back in a certain amount of time.  But it has consumed way too much of my time the last month or so because it is fun and there are all these goals to try to reach and I got sucked in.  The laundry is still getting done and the kids are still fed and bathed so I guess it could be worse.  :)

Thing 19-Hobbies

For this thing I looked at a couple different apps.  First I tried Spotify.  I liked it.  I hadn't used the iPad to listen to music before trying this app so don't really have any others to compare it to but I did like this one.  It was easy to browse and find playlists to listen to.  I imagine I could create my own playlists for the library or my own personal use but for now I am content to just listen to the ones I find.
I also checked out Road Ninja.  I think I will really like this the next time we go on a road trip.  I will need to find it for my phone though as my iPad only works with WiFi.
I was going to check out the Vivino Wine Scanner app but I was at work when I was doing this and didn't have a bottle of wine with me to check it out.  I like to tour MN wineries so think it would be great if they had an app like the MN beer app a few "things" back.

Thing 18-Education

For Thing 18 I tried out the quizlet app.  I loved it!  I was orginally thinking I could use it to help my son study his spelling words because sometimes making a set of flashcards is one of the suggested activities for studying spelling words.  I quickly realized that it is much more than just flashcards.  There are several different activities that you can do with your quiz sets once you have created them.  I think this would work well for some Info Lit activities.  The students could complete the activities built around concepts and terms that I put together.  I reallly like that you can access your account through the website www.quizlet.com as well as through the app.  One of my favorite apps so far in these 23 mobile things...

Thing 17-Connecting to Community

I found several apps to try for Thing 17.  My favorites were probable 511mn and the Duluth News Tribune app.  I use 511mn.org on the computer quite a bit in the winter to check on road conditions.  Since I wasn't checking the app during any bad winter weather, I couldn't tell if the colored road conditions would show up on the map or not.  I really hope they do because then this would be great. It is very helpful to have that information when planning routes.  It did show blockages, detours, etc which would be helpful for planning alternate routes as well.  I wanted to use the Explore MN app but ran into problems with it not opening pages.  I think I will just continue to use this on the computer or through the browser on the iPad.  The Duluth News Tribune app would be helpful in keeping up with the news from the Duluth area when I don't have access to the actual Duluth News Tribune paper.  The Hibbing Daily Tribune supposedly has an app as well but it did not work for me.