Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology 2014: Apps Aplenty with Mark Gammon (@markgammon)

This session (the final one of the conference for yours truly) was a light-hearted rundown of some fun software useable for teaching, organizing, and just being an overall happier person.  I’ll give the software, a brief description, let you know what it can be used on, and finally give a TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) summary.

  • Coffitivity:

    • The lead-off batter was something called Coffitivity. Are you one of those people who run off to work at a coffee shop or another location abuzz with human-filled white noise?  The folks over at Coffitivity created an app which emulates the coffee-shop audio atmosphere.   If they could convey smell over the internet it would be perfect.
    • Available on: Browsers, iOS, and android
    • TL;DR: Coffee-shop audio backdrop for background noise
    • coffitivity
  • TodaysMeet:

    • Today’s Meet (I’ll add the appropriate apostrophe) is a website that creates a defined backchannel for discussion about a topic/meeting. Many use Twitter/Facebook/Google for such things (including myself), but in the absence of an account you’re out of luck.  TodaysMeet takes under 10 seconds to set up a room, and then you just tell everyone the address and you’re set.  They put in a name and the chat begins.  It’s free and you can set the chat rooms up to last for a few hours to a month (a year if you pay).  Not all that fancy, but quick and easy.
    • Available on: Anything with a web browser.
    • TL;DR: Quick and easy website for backchannel discussions
    • todaysmeet
  • Haiku Deck:

    • Haiku Deck is a PowerPoint alternative/replacement that enables/forces slides to be very visual and very short. You’re limited to 5 lines of text per slide.  For those (grumble, including myself) who love the dreaded “wall of text” – this might be a way to break yourself of the habit. Other bonuses are that your presentations are kept in the cloud and there’s a search for ‘creative commons’ images (and auto-citation of them) so you don’t have to worry about trademark issues.  I’m going to give it a shot, maybe it’ll lessen my text-dependence.
    • Available on: iOS and browser
    • TL;DR: Online PowerPoint alternative to break you of your text dependence
    • haiku
  • Typeform:

    • Typeform allows you to create really slick online surveys. You can put in pictures, videos (really easily from YouTube), and different types of questions and blocks.  It all flows well.  I’m thinking this could be great for quick feedback after class or to try and keep your professor evaluations from being dry.  As people fill it out you can go into the metrics and stats behind what people are answering and how.
    • I made a quick one, feel free to check it out:
    • Works on: Create in your browser, view on anything (I believe)
    • TL;DR:  Create quick, pretty, and fun surveys to distribute online
    • type 1
    • type 2
  • Socrative:

    • A little gift from one of the attendees of the conference. “Socrative is better than clickers” – it lets you create short questionnaires/quizzes and administer them to your class.  It’s complete with some behind-the-scenes stat analysis (as you would expect) and was overall very easy to get rolling.  Your students merely put in your “room code” into the Socrative site and you can freely administer quizzes (from the ones you’ve created) as you wish.  Pretty slick!
    • Works on: Create in your browser, view on anything (I believe)
    • TL;DR: Replace your iClickers with this online app
    • soc 1 soc 2 soc 3
  • Trello:

    • Trello is a project management and collaboration system that I just have come to really enjoy since the conference. I am currently using it to organize a manuscript I’m preparing.  The app/site lets you create separate boards and sections within.  Each section can have multiple cards on them which can represent tasks, ideas, or whatnot.  Finished with a task?  Drag it over to the “completed” section and take a break.  If anyone else has access to that board, they can see that you finished it and give you a pat on the back.  Overall, really nice!
    • Available on: Browsers, iOS, and android
    • TL;DR: Project management system with drag/drop functionality and a collaborative nature
    • trello
  • The odds and ends:

    • Padlet:

      • An odd little app.  It’s a sticky-note wall website thing that I don’t see myself using, but, maybe you’ll find a use for it.
      • Available: Browser
    • Marksta:

      • If you go from your iPhone/iPad camera directly online, this app allows you to quickly add your own watermark/trademark to it, thereby protecting your work
      • Available on: iOS only
    • Storehouse –

      • Storehouse is a visual storytelling app which looks very pretty and could help hook students who might not see the beauty in a subject, which I can’t access because…
      • Available on: iOS only
    • Workflowy:

      • A cloud-based information organization and note taking platform based on expanding bulleted lists. It allows you to hide huge amounts of data in information organization and notes.  Not how I would choose to organize my notes/life, but up to you.  Here’s a link to someone who uses it well:
      • Available on: Browsers, iOS, and android
      • TL;DR: Possible Evernote replacement for text notes
    • Quizlet:

      • An app of my own addition, Quizlet is an online, easily sharable way to make flashcards. If you’ve got a big chunk of vocab you want your students to be familiar with, just toss them into Quizlet and let them run through it at home, on the bus, or (more likely) in the hallway right before class starts.
      • Available on: Browsers, iOS, and android
      • TL;DR: Online/sharable flashcards

One thought on “Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology 2014: Apps Aplenty with Mark Gammon (@markgammon)

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