December 14, 2018
On the 12th day of TELmas your learning technology team bring to you…
12 apps for using!
Read onwards, intrepid TELmas celebrator, to learn about a variety of useful apps that could help support teaching, research, and life in general.
Blackboard has a very simple app that allows you to access all your modules and course organisations. Whilst you can’t add or modify files/folders you can use it to make announcments and to view and add comments or posts to interactive features such as discussion forums, blogs and journals. The app also includes Blackboard Collaborate our online meeting and webinar tool – so that you can run and present virtual seminars or meetings with students wherever you are. An update is expected soon that will enable you to also grade and provide feedback from within the app (Blackboard assignments only). The app is available for iOS, android and Windows devices.
To match the Instructor app there’s also a Blackboard app for your students to allow them to access all their learning materials wherever they are. They can view announcments, post in discussion forums, blogs and journals, take tests and surveys, and submit some types of assignments. The app also includes Blackboard Collaborate, our webinar and online meeting tool – so your students can access any online seminars wherever they are. The app is available for iOS, android and Windows devices.
Another one for your students (but with benefits to you!), the StudyGoal app is connected to our new Learner Analytics system. It allows to students to view their VLE usage, attendance, and grades. They can also set personal study goals and track their progress. It’s great for personal coaches as it means students can see and understand the same data. And, as lecturers it can be really useful because you can set up a register to track attendance and students can mark themselves as present within the app.
For those who use iPads, Turnitin offers an app that lets you view turnitin submissions and use the full set of feedback tools including quickmarks, overall comments, voice comments, rubrics and grading forms. Great for those who like to work on the go (or from the sofa). Available for iOS only – search for Turnitin Feedback Studio on the AppStore.
MeeToo is our new audience response tool and it can be used on the web or via an app. It allows you to interact with students by sending them polls, surveys or multiple choice questions and can gather responses from up to 500 individual participants. You control when questions are sent out via your app (or the web), and students respond through theirs! Available on iOS, android and Windows devices and on the web.
You might be familiar with our lecture capture and video management tool Panopto already, but did you know it has a great mobile app that allows you to view and upload recordings wherever you are? Once you’re logged in you can access all the available recordings to view. And to make something new simply record using your regular camera app and upload to Panopto using the app. Great for when you need to share a learning activity that requires a camera that can move freely, or for any sessions that happen outside a regular classroom (eg field trips, interviews, lab work, demonstrations, etc).
Available on iOS and Android devices.
Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. You can add papers to your virtual library, access and annotate them from anywhere, easily generate references, citations and bibliographies in a range of journal styles. It has a great app that is mostly intended for reading and annotating papers on the go but all the other fuctionality is available too. Available for android and iOS mobile devices (and as a desktop app and online).
OneNote is a digital notebook that allows you to create and organise notes, web clippings, audio commentaries and more. It can be great for organising and making notes on papers you’re reading, or classes you’re teaching and being able to access them wherever you are. Your notes can be organised however you need wsith infinite books, sections and pages. There’s also a search feature to help you find whatever you’re looking for. OneNote is available on the web, as a desktop app, or as a mobile app on Windows, iOS, and Android devices. As USW staff you already have an account through our Office 365 plan so you can access it without cost by logging in with your uni account.
There are heaps of virtual planning, to-do list, and organisational apps out there but a surprisingly useful one is Microsoft Planner. It allows you to create multiple planners for different projects which can be private or shared with a team. Each planner has subsections for different to-do lists. Each to-do can be allocated deadlines, colour codes, notes, attachments, statuses, and can be shared with (or assigned to) other users within USW. As USW staff you already have an account through our Office 365 plan so you can access it without cost by logging in with your uni account.
It’s an obvious one but if you’ve ever been en route to a presentation and realised there’s an error on one slide then you’ll know how much of a relief it is to be able to edit your slides on the go! It’s also useful if you want to work on slides during a commute or from your sofa. Best on a tablet but perfectly usable on a phone, it’s available on all platforms. As USW staff you already have an account through our Office 365 plan so you can access it without cost by logging in with your uni account.
Podcasts are wonderful things, whether for enjoyment or professional interest, and there’s s many available you’re sure to find one you like. Most devices come with a default podcast app but we like Podbean because it comes with a couple of useful features to optimise your listening experience including voice eq, automatically shortening long pauses, and custom playback speed. These can be customised to each podcast or applied as and when needed. Available on iOS and Android.
This recommendation has nothing and everything to do with work – it’s about mental health and self care. Working in academia is a tough job and it can be hard to switch off or take time to process our feelings. Headspace is a wonderful app for meditation and mindfulness, providing you with short recordings that guide you through the process. It’s a paid app (and it’s not cheap) but an introductory series of 10 sessions, as well as an ever-changing daily mini meditation, are available for free and can be surprisingly helpful. If you don’t like Headspace then there are lots of similar apps including Calm and Buddhify.
And finally we wish you a very Happy Holidays – from everyone in the Technology Enhanced Learning Team.