Thing 15: App-palooza

This one’s fun because while I don’t have an iPad nor is my school an iPad school, I do have an iPhone and use quite a few apps that are both personal but also professional. So I’ll kind of break them down with how I use them professionally and/or personally.

  • Goodreads: I ran several staff book groups for professional reading, including one this past summer and we use Goodreads as our platform. The exciting thing was that one teacher in particular spent the summer at a camp up north where there was no computer, BUT, he was able to participate because he had the Goodreads app. I’ve only since discovered that the only thing the iOS can’t do is play the videos, which I embedded in our group’s content. Goodreads quickly responded that it doesn’t work, but it’s something that they would consider adding in the future. The second reason I love the Goodreads app is for the easily used scanning feature if I’m somewhere and want to remember a book and also searching my books. Sometimes when I’m booktalking with a student in the stacks and I want to remember an author or a title, I can pull out my phone instead of running back to the desk.
  • Evernote: I have started using Evernote for professional reasons rather than just personal ones and this started at the AASL conference I attended in November. It was easier to pull out my phone and take notes from each session rather than handwrite because each was clearly labeled per session making it easier to go back to or share with colleagues after. Then, I also started keeping to-do lists and upcoming events and ideas so they’re easily found. It worked handily for Regents week when I had a list a mile long of things I wanted to accomplish.
  • Twitter & Instagram: Ah, well I’m just starting this. I keep a Twitter account open for myself personally when I want to search something that’s trending or I’m at an event, but Instagram is all new and I’m now using both to connect with our students. To showcase upcoming events, contests, promotions, etc. Instagram is a bit “confusing” and I’m open to help. My problem right now is first, getting the students to follow us. I’m going to make a few QR codes, like we have already specifically for the library website, but for Instagram, when I’m doing a QR code, I can’t seem to figure out what I have to connect them to to see our feed?
  • Inside Voice/Tally Counter: These are neat apps. Ever think the library is too loud, maybe at the middle level when doing an activity? Open up Inside Voice and use your phone as a gauge for noise! The second, I use when I do events and want to track how many are in attendance. Quick and easy!
  • Common Core: I tend to use this a lot as a reference to try to keep it all straight. Organized K-12 that breaks out each standard.
  • QR Reader: An absolute must as I started adding QR codes around the library to connect them with the BOCES Overdrive and our Upper Hudson Overdrive system. In March we’re going to work with our FACS class for National Nutrition Month and have them do a scavenger hunt to find books with nutritious meals or learn about calories, carbs, and more.
  • Pinterest: I must prefer using my laptop for navigating Pinterest because the pictures are obviously bigger but when I’m bored and need something to do and *gasp* don’t have a book, I troll Pinterest. All of my best programs and displays come from Pinterest and I’ve started creating my own pins (see my previous post with memes/quotes and backgrounds from the last Thing). I do like how holding and moving your finger to the pin/like/send options is easier versus having to click when you’re on a computer.

Now, I downloaded the Gale school app, but the next screen is to select your state then your school. When I selected New York, I did not see my school as an option. So, I need to explore this further, is this something that needs to be worked out with the vendor?


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