This week my new ClassCaddy app went live in the Android Marketplace and Apple App Store. That has me thinking about which apps are most useful for back-to-school. Here’s a few I’ll be using on my iPhone this fall. Would love to hear about the best picks for Android and BlackBerry.
MentalCase for flashcards. This app is one I’ll be using in my course this fall. I’ve designed a few hundred cards for students to use when prepping for exams. If there’s no time for customization, note that there are many card sets available at Flashcard Exchange that might be right for your course. Mental Case has a free version and a paid ($4.99) version. x
QuickCite lets students “snap a picture of a book’s barcode and send a citation for the book to your email,” includes APA, MLA, Chicago, and IEEE styles. This is one app I wish I had when I was a grad student who essentially lived in the library stacks.
Dropbox is cloud storage to backup your files and sync versions and gadgets. I just stumbled on an excellent blog post by @MrEpid about why dropbox is the app of choice for busy grad students, highly recommended reading (plus it has the best LOL blog illustration I’ve seen in awhile).
Instapaper critically acclaimed app lets you save web pages for later offline reading, optimized for readability on your iPhone or iPod touch’s screen. Another use-everyday kind of app. Instapaper has a freemium model and a paid plan if you need more cloud storage.xxx
Evernote is an organizer app that I was introduced to by my friend and go-to mobile expert @MHP and have used ever since to keep all my tweets, reading, and research categorized. The app “lets you create notes, snap photos, and record voice memos that you can then access any time from your iPhone, computer, or the web.” Super useful free/paid tool for infovores (like me).x
And last but not least!
ClassCaddy is a custom app I configured to help me organize and publish my multimedia learning objects like lecture videos and podcasts, slides and documents, for a large class (over 1,000 students in two sections, one online, one off). I opted to use a mobile-optimized content management system that allows for instant updates without having to go through resubmitting the app to Apple/Android. Much like using WordPress, this CMS approach to app development is an effective way to categorize and curate massive amounts of content and RSS feeds. It also has social integration (Facebook/Twitter/Foursquare) and a few gameification elements (leaderboard) baked in, designed to encourage social presence and P2P community.
What are your picks for back to class apps?