Monday, May 27, 2013

Apps for learning at CPIT

Sam Hegarty our ‘star’ learning technology advisor and the library liaison team represented by Brian McElwaine and Meg Upjohn have been running a series of workshops at CPIT. One of the lunch time workshops centres around the use of apps for technology enhanced learning and the library’s session focused on using apps to find resources. All the sessions have been well attended.

Apps we introduce are mostly IOS but we have also started a list of apps that will run across all the various tablet platforms – IOS, Android and Windows 8. With BYOD, it is important we make things easy for tutors to use apps for learnable moments.

The main objective is to ensure that learning outcomes come up first and foremost in planning lesson sessions. With the maturity of iOS and tablet infiltration into classrooms across the education sector, a slew of blogs and sites recommend a large list of apps.Some with focuses on specific areas in educations like project-based learning, a list compiled through crowd sourcing, and higher education. There is also a good site that sorts apps into various categories like grade levels and learning purpose. 

As a way to filter through all the information a taxonomywheel (with iOS apps as examples) provides food for thought and a foundation for discussion during the session.

The apps presented include - in addition to ones noted previously include:

- Haiku deck – an alternative to keynote

- Coach’s eye (just over NZ$8.00) – annotation of videos

- Explain everything – similar to educreations but with a more mature user community spanning the school and higher education sectors.

Ones I have been playing with in the last few months include:
- Inspiration lite – mind mapping.

- Comic life (just over NZ$8.00)- used in our original mlearning / mportfolio projects using phones. This niffy app turns photos into cartoon strips. Insertion of speech bubbles etc. is intuitive and fun.

The library is moving into the use of QR codes. So introduced scan life for reading QR codes. The codes can be generated using Kaywa. Codes provide direct access to ebooks, emails to ask for more information or make suggestions and ease of access to websites with long urls.

The two readers recommended are Bluefire which is compatible with the ebook collections at CPIT library and overdrive for access to theChristchuch library’s extensive ebook collection. Both require membership accounts at each of the libraries to be able to access the e resources.