Tools We Use

In TechLab last week, I asked students to share one tool or application they relied on.  We had almost an equal division between “social” tools/apps and “utilitarian” tools. Social (or entertainment) tools included Netflix, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbler and Spotify/Pandora. Our “working” tools included Google things (docs, drive, calendar, slides), Facebook Messenger as a group work tool (interesting!), image editing/storage, music editing software and a proprietary system used to communicated and track fraternity events.

One tool mentioned I hadn’t used and decided to further explore:

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-1-17-44-pmMightyText: this intrigued me. It’s a way to send text messages from your computer. Why? I asked Laura. She said she likes to compose longer texts, but doesn’t like finger typing. From what I’ve learned, the service is only available if you have a mobile number tied to an Android-based phone. End of my exploration.

Other things (to complete my Stros 6 multiple: let’s count MightyText as no.1)

2. Radio Garden ( Tired of listening to your same-old local radio stations? Tune in to stations ALL OVER THE WORLD. I’m currently listening to 98.8 Castle FM, a student-run radio station broadcasting live from Edinburgh, UK. Student DJs are reading poetry (live and apparently unrehearsed).

3. SnapChat: is there a purpose besides time waste? I am late to the game and have figured out how to add dog ears to my image, but that’s about it.

4. Knovio: an easy way to create a quick video-based presentation. Turn on your camera and and mic, upload your slides or images and record. The free version is limited to 5 presentations, 7 minutes each (but you can download and delete, or simply delete when you no longer need the presentation. Or pull out the $ for an upgrade.

5. Google Classroom: I’m working on my TechLab classroom, but I can’t seem to make the leap out of Moodle and in to Classroom completely. I find many similarities to Edmodo, and I appreciate the ability to share resources.

6. The most interesting article I read in the past week: To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation. A long-form piece published on the NY Times exploring what exactly happens to all of the letters citizens wrote to Obama over his terms. It is worth the time to read. Something I found interesting: every day, all emails and scanned letters were turned into a word cloud so staff and various administration could “see” pulse of what writers were communicating.



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