Offtime app

The Offtime app might be worth exploring if you are trying to find the elusive work-life balance and find your phone distracts you. It is free but there are in app purchases which you might want to explore before you download the app. Basically, you can turn your phone off for a certain amount of time but can allow certain people to contact you in that time. It’s an app from Germany  and has been around for about 3 years now. Tech Crunch has a comprehensive review of it here. You can download it here. It has had sound reviews across the net and is probably worth at least considering . The official Offtime site explains it all very clearly. The iPhone version appears to be paid and not as versatile as the Android version.

Team effort on the iPad lesson salvage

IYanMy year 8 double lesson was going really well until we hit a pothole. I have been so pleased the Year 9s were making such good progress with GoAnimate and like it. WITHOUT CHECKING FIRST I assumed it would work on the iPads. My mistake. I plead end of term brain fatigue. Always prepare properly with technology. GoAnimate does not work on the iPads because it needs flash. I had the class all ready to use and explore it for our next assignment and then we fell in a hole. The beauty of technology is you can dig yourself out pretty quickly with a team effort on the problem solving. We put our iPads away and had a 5 minute think tank. The best solution seemed  to be to go to the app store to see what free alternatives there were. They had another 5 minutes and had to tell me when they had something good so I could make a list on a PowerPoint slide as we discovered suitable apps. They were so impressed with themselves and so serious about problem solving. I asked them to find free apps because we would be trying them out and  they could be comic strip or animation apps. These are the apps they valued:

IYan
Comic Puppets Lite
Comic Maker HD
Toontastic
Animation Maker HD
Caption Distraction Lite

Some took a photo of the list because they were going to try them all. We all got started on an app to see what we could do and how well we could practice the French we had learnt this semester. We included ComicLife (paid )on our list because a number of students had it and wanted to use it. Once we have done our assignment we shall do a review of these apps because I am pretty sure we are now trialling them all. GoAnimate is going down really well with the year 9s but they have MacBooks. It will be great if we can find something as well thought out for the iPads.

Free app of the day

@creigthomas

Image thanks to @creigthomas

Were it not for my PLN on Twitter I would not have known Apple puts out a free app a day which, after that, you have to pay for. They are beautiful apps and well worth having. Recently I got the one of the Louvre HD because it came up on my Twitter feed. I have known about the free apps for a while but I don’t always remember to go and have a look. This post is by way of reminding myself to take advantage of these offers. So many really good ones come up for classroom use. As for the one on the Louvre, it is now back to 99 cents and still worth it. It brings you some of the most amazing paintings in the world in HD. If you use your iDevice you will also see there are so many amazing art apps for you to have. Some are free and some are paid. I also got ones on Cézanne and Monet since I do French art as part of my year 11 French course. The world really is at your fingertips.

Amuse yourself with Appstream

appstream

So amusing!

I downloaded the free app Appstream onto my iPad today. From the moment I saw it I was engaged. It is amusing to watch the icons move around so it has an instant calming and cheering effect and could well be used as a stress buster and desktop toy! It’s one of those apps which is really well conceived and thought out but falls short of perfect. I wouldn’t blog about it if I didn’t think it was worthwhile and I am keeping it on my iPad because I think it will improve with time. Like many things on the internet it is really important for ideas to be shared and see how consumers are using products before anyone can actually tweak what they are offering to meet market needs. It is very easy to use. I was actually looking for French apps. I could easily find Spanish , Italian, Japanese, Chinese and English apps whether I set the app to France or Australia. When I set the app to France I got more Spanish and Italian apps but found no French apps. This was a bit frustrating. I wanted to set the language or be able to do a search for French apps. What I really liked was I could set the app to free apps or paid apps. This is really helpful. I also liked the gentle push notifications to the right of the screen. I do not mind at all if apps send me push notifications in a considerate manner. This is often how I find out about new ideas or new trends. I shall be using this app when I am looking for new apps. It puts me in a good mood and it gives me ideas. I just hope they might be able to sort the language thing out. The other thing I might mention is that apps like this can concern me a bit because you never know what might come up on the screen. As it turned out ,for the whole time I was working with the app , I was in a safe and considerate environment.

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