Category Archives: New Technologies

New ways to use new technologies to enhance teaching & learning and self development….

Google+ adds an API for apps – but study suggests 40% fall in use

“Programmers will be able to write third-party apps that hook into search engine’s new social service, just as outside study suggests rapid fall in usage over part month

Google+ has launched an API that should allow developers to write third-party apps that will be able to post and read directly to the service – a move that may be sorely needed, after an independent study suggested that the number of posts to the service has fallen by over 40% in the past two months.

However Dave Winer, a strong advocate of systems that interoperate, was dismissive about the API: “Google doesn’t get it“, he wrote:

They need an API with one call, one that posts a tweet to their service. So people can hook up Twitter clients to Google-Plus, so the hundred million active Twitter users can post to Google-Plus from the comfort of whatever tools they depend on.

Of course it isn’t the hundred million that they need, it’s the hundred thousand who do all the work on Twitter. The ones that can’t be bothered with a service that doesn’t have basic rudimentary API support.”

Read the Guardian article in full -> here

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Business Apps

I absolutely love my iPad and often get asked about how effective it actually is as business tool – here’s my answer… the iPad is like any technology tool it can be very useful but it takes time & patience to find how what best suits you and your industry. I have jotted down some of the apps that I find most useful at the moment – but I must confess that I am fairly fickle and do have regular ‘clear outs’ of apps once I find something better. I’m also interested in finding out which apps you use for business – so please let us know using the ‘comments’ section below and we’ll add them to our list.

Name    £ Description

lino

free

Online ‘stickies’ service for making notes; easy to use and linked to email so reminders are sent to your email account. There are no limits to the number of ‘stickies’ or  noticeboards you can set up – so you can set up different noticeboards for different projects easily and colour code them. Can upload docs, images and web links to the ‘stickies’ – a bit similar to Infinote.

Prezi viewer

free

Used to view prezi presentations (www.prezi.com); can drag to pan and zoom in / out of topics during meetings and add in additional notes, comments. I never use ppt now as Prezi has the wow factor in presentations – syncs with the desktop version, enabling presentations to be created & viewed on both

Pages

£5.99

Word processing app – multi touch gestures for creating letters, reports, project plans, etc. Inserting images, tables and text has never been so easy. Once downloaded a tutorial guide is provided which shows you how to use the application fully.

Numbers

£5.99

Spreadsheet app – can be a bit tricky to start with but the tutorial guide covers all the key points.

Keynote

£5.99

Presentation app and can be connected to a projector to deliver presentation to bigger groups – much slicker than powerpoint and again a tutorial guide is provided.

Infinote

free

Another note taking app which is best used during brain storming activities – you can have multiple noteboards, can print from your iPad and has search functionality too.

Flipboard

free

Social media in a magazine layout which makes it easy to read all feeds from my Twitter, facebook, Google Reader and Flickr accounts – highly recommended

Memeo ConnectReader

?

Syncs with Google Docs and can be used to import from Google Docs to Pages, Numbers & Keynote – some duplicate functionality withDropbox but I use both

Adobe PhotoShop Express

free

Used to edit and share photos – particularly useful when illustrating projects to clients

iTranslate

free

Universal translator for the iPad

Good Reader

£2.99

PDF reader for iPad – can be synched with Dropbox and be used to ‘read’ books, movies, maps & pictures

Dragon Dictation

free

Easy to use voice recognition app can be used to send voice notes / reminders to yourself / make notes from meetings and update Twitter etc. Works well but you need to talk clearly and needs wifi to work

WordPress

free

Used to update company wordpress blog – moderate comments, create / edit posts and pages

Invoice2go

Free (Lite)

20 built-in invoice styles, can be used to create / email invoices, keep track of payments owing & made and even calculates totals and tax. Need the full version (£8.99) to be able to add your own company logo to the invoices. It also produces an interesting range of useful reports / graphical displays.

Word Web

free

English dictionary and thesaurus

Doceri Remote

free

Needs wifi! Can launch, present and annotate any document / presentation or web page. Need to download the desktop Doceri onto the pc you wish to ‘control’ – at present the desktop Doceri is free

Stanza

free

e-reader app used to purchase and read e-books

TripAdvisor

free

Travel review app – used to find reviews for hotels, flights and restaurants. Very easy to use

Year Calendar

?

All – in – one year planner which syncs with built-in iPad calendar. Lots of icons and colours can be used to plan events easily

LinkedIn

free

This is an iphone app as yet there isn’t an iPad app for LinkedIn however you can still access discussions, send messages and edit you profile easily

Dropbox

free

Free cloud storage service which syncs files between iPad and pc – folders can be shared with others. Email attachments can be saved straight to Dropbox and you can always have access to the files

Twitbird

free

There are LOADS of iPad apps for Twitter – it’s down to personal preference and I do change apps based on functionality – at the moment this is the one I prefer

iPads for business use … what do you use?

I absolutely love my iPad and often get asked about how effective it actually is as business tool – here’s my answer… the iPad is like any technology tool it can be very useful but it takes time & patience to find how what best suits you and your industry. I have jotted down some of the apps that I find most useful at the moment – but I must confess that I am fairly fickle and do have regular ‘clear outs’ of apps once I find something better. I’m also interested in finding out which apps you use for business – so please let us know using the ‘comments’ section below and we’ll add them to our list.

Name    £ Description

lino

free

Online ‘stickies’ service for making notes; easy to use and linked to email so reminders are sent to your email account. There are no limits to the number of ‘stickies’ or  noticeboards you can set up – so you can set up different noticeboards for different projects easily and colour code them. Can upload docs, images and web links to the ‘stickies’ – a bit similar to Infinote.

Prezi viewer

free

Used to view prezi presentations (www.prezi.com); can drag to pan and zoom in / out of topics during meetings and add in additional notes, comments. I never use ppt now as Prezi has the wow factor in presentations – syncs with the desktop version, enabling presentations to be created & viewed on both

Pages

£5.99

Word processing app – multi touch gestures for creating letters, reports, project plans, etc. Inserting images, tables and text has never been so easy. Once downloaded a tutorial guide is provided which shows you how to use the application fully.

Numbers

£5.99

Spreadsheet app – can be a bit tricky to start with but the tutorial guide covers all the key points.

Keynote

£5.99

Presentation app and can be connected to a projector to deliver presentation to bigger groups – much slicker than powerpoint and again a tutorial guide is provided.

Infinote

free

Another note taking app which is best used during brain storming activities – you can have multiple noteboards, can print from your iPad and has search functionality too.

Flipboard

free

Social media in a magazine layout which makes it easy to read all feeds from my Twitter, facebook, Google Reader and Flickr accounts – highly recommended

Memeo Connect Reader

?

Syncs with Google Docs and can be used to import from Google Docs to Pages, Numbers & Keynote – some duplicate functionality with Dropbox but I use both

Adobe PhotoShop Express

free

Used to edit and share photos – particularly useful when illustrating projects to clients

iTranslate

free

Universal translator for the iPad

Good Reader

£2.99

PDF reader for iPad – can be synched with Dropbox and be used to ‘read’ books, movies, maps & pictures

Dragon Dictation

free

Easy to use voice recognition app can be used to send voice notes / reminders to yourself / make notes from meetings and update Twitter etc. Works well but you need to talk clearly and needs wifi to work

WordPress

free

Used to update company wordpress blog – moderate comments, create / edit posts and pages

Invoice2go

Free (Lite)

20 built-in invoice styles, can be used to create / email invoices, keep track of payments owing & made and even calculates totals and tax. Need the full version (£8.99) to be able to add your own company logo to the invoices. It also produces an interesting range of useful reports / graphical displays.

Word Web

free

English dictionary and thesaurus

Doceri Remote

free

Needs wifi! Can launch, present and annotate any document / presentation or web page. Need to download the desktop Doceri onto the pc you wish to ‘control’ – at present the desktop Doceri is free

Stanza

free

e-reader app used to purchase and read e-books

TripAdvisor

free

Travel review app – used to find reviews for hotels, flights and restaurants. Very easy to use

Year Calendar

?

All – in – one year planner which syncs with built-in iPad calendar. Lots of icons and colours can be used to plan events easily

LinkedIn

free

This is an iphone app as yet there isn’t an iPad app for LinkedIn however you can still access discussions, send messages and edit you profile easily

Dropbox

free

Free cloud storage service which syncs files between iPad and pc – folders can be shared with others. Email attachments can be saved straight to Dropbox and you can always have access to the files

Twitbird

free

There are LOADS of iPad apps for Twitter – it’s down to personal preference and I do change apps based on functionality – at the moment this is the one I prefer

The Benefits of Twitter to ME

I asked my Twitter PLN (Personal Learning Network) to comment on the benefits that Twitter has had on their professional life. Within 10 mins people had started to post their comments. Check it out http://www.stixy.com/guest/98537It was fantastic to read all of the comments people had posted and I have since used the notice board to demonstrate to colleagues the benefits of Twitter!

State schools left behind in iPad revolution

“Funding cuts in state schools mean pupils will miss out on the best IT equipment.

At an age when most children are learning how to hold a pencil, a class of five-year-olds at a school in Scotland are practising writing the numbers one to 10 on their iPads. The Cedar school of excellence in Greenock, an independent school, is thought to be the first in the world where all lessons are taught using iPads.

It is one of a growing number of independent schools and academies that are spending many thousands of pounds kitting their pupils out with mobile technology such as iPads and iPod Touches.

But as teachers eye up all the latest gadgets at the Bett technology show at Olympia in London this week, those in state schools may feel like the poor relations. Technology, one of the most expensive areas in schools, has been among the first affected by coalition austerity. One of Michael Gove’s first acts as education secretary was to abolish Becta, the government’s IT advisory body, and cut by £100m the Harnessing Technology grant, designed to help schools to pay for broadband connectivity and computer hardware.”

By Sue Learner

To read the full article click here

Our View:

In a time when staff are trying to harness new technologies to engage and stimulate students’ learning, funding cuts are making it more and more difficult. Before there had been the recent cuts to funding, schools often didn’t have the money ‘lying around’ to buy a whole class set of iPods, iPads, etc – so teachers were asked to be creative and set up pilot groups to trial projects. The idea being that if the idea had enough ‘merit’ then further resources could be purchased during the next academic year.

I have been involved in such trials – for example using Nintendo DS handsets to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills in low achieving boys. The trials themselves often have amazing results but the initial costs of the handsets and future upgrades means that projects can be disadvantaged from the start – when money is tight an upgrade of the girls’ toilets is often prioritised over a class set of iPods!

Will this mean teachers won’t bother? I believe the answer to that is ‘NO’, mainly because the kind of teacher who sets up a subject blog and wants to trial iPods with their classes, is generally enthusiastic, dedicated and rises to the challenge of such funding constraints (even to the point of securing sponsorship and outside funding to make projects viable). It is because of this determination that our students will benefit through the use of new technologies in the classroom despite of the funding cuts and that fact needs to be recognised!

What are your thoughts? Is your school facing similar dilemmas? How are your staff overcoming the funding issues? We’re interested in hearing your experiences… please respond using the comments box below.

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e-Safety in education

“Schools have the opportunity to transform education and help pupils fulfil their potential and raise standards with ICT. But it’s also important that students learn how to be safe when they are using these new technologies, particularly Web 2.0 collaborative … Continue reading