Tag Archives: mobilelearning

app talk: Managing Your Email

If you’ve ever watched the famous Inbox Zero video presentation that Merlin Mann gave at Google in 2007, you may have been inspired to take a more active approach in managing your email. Today, in 2013, many continue to struggle with the overwhelming task of managing our email inboxes – with the added challenge of doing so via a smartphone or mobile device.

This App Talk post will highlight several popular email apps which may help you manage your email in today’s mobile world.

Mailbox, iOS, free

The new app Mailbox has hit the iOS world by storm and those subscribing to the Inbox Zero approach are excited to get their hands on it. What makes Mailbox so appealing is how it allows you to manage your messages quickly, using swipes to trash, archive or “snooze” messages until a time when you might be ready for them. At this time, Mailbox is only for Gmail users and iOS platforms, but the company behind the app is working on compatibility with other platforms. Download the Mailbox app from iTunes to “reserve’ your spot!

Taskbox, iOS, $2.99

Taskbox, another app currently only iOS and Gmail compatible, is different because it works as both an email client and a to-do list app. Taskbox also makes use of the “swipe” to more quickly handle email – sending them to trash, spam or archive. The key feature, however, is the ability to turn emails into tasks with prioritization, due dates and assignments to others. For more information, vist the Taskbox website at http://taskbox.co/ or download from the iTunes store.

MailDroid, Android, free

Are you a Droid user looking for a replacement to the standard Android email client? MailDroid may be your answer. Nice features – including the ability to save attachements to an SD card and to setup up custom email rules – make it worth looking into alone.  MailDroid supports many email services including Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail and allows you to add POP3/IMAP providers. To learn more, or to download, visit http://slideme.org/application/maildroid.

K-9 Mail, Android, Free

In a search for the top Android email clients, K9 Mail popped up on nearly every “best email app for Android” that I came across. K-9 Mail is an e-mail client with search, IMAP push email, multi-folder sync, flagging, filing, signatures, bcc-self, PGP and mail on SD card. K-9 supports IMAP, POP3 and Exchange 2003/2007 (with WebDAV). Alos, K-9 Mail is an open-source, community developed project – this allows you, the user, to become directly involved in improving the product. For more information or to download K-9 Mail, visit https://code.google.com/p/k9mail/ or the Google Play store.

More information on the Inbox Zero approach can be found at http://inboxzero.com/ and http://www.43folders.com/ .

app talk: Visual Storytelling and Mobile Studying

Today marks the launch of a regular new series on the San Jac EdTech blog: App Talk. Every other week we will present you with a few exciting apps that will enhance your creativity, support your instructional goals, increase your productivity or are just plain fun to use. We will include apps from both iOS and Android in this series, but if you have another operating system or device that you want us to consider, be sure to comment and let us know.

In this week’s post: Make a 6 second movie, shoot with mobile multi-cam, or study on the go. Our app selections this week are all about visual storytelling and mobile studying.

BackSpaces, free, iOS

Allowing you to create stories using a combination of pictures and words, Backspaces has included a few key features that helps it to stand out from other mobile social apps. Imagine if instagram had individual threads that you could post a series of photos in to tell a short story of your day. Rather than posting individual photos randomly throughout the day, you can create a single story for your followers to click which opens a chronologically listed thread of photos with captions detailing whatever story you feel like telling. Its streamlined interface is designed specifically for ease of use and quick browsing. It could probably be best described as an Instagram/mobile blog hybrid. It’s fun to use and free. After a quick browse through, you can see how many creative methods of storytelling have been used here.


Vine, free, iOS
Shoot, Edit, and post quick 6 second videos with ease. You could argue that Vine is just the animated .gif version of Instagram. While for the most part, you’d be right, the added layer of audio and video provides the ability to tell a funny or cute short story in little to no time. It’s definitely an app worth checking out, if for nothing else than to kill a little time. Also, it’s free so why not?


Vyclone, free, iOS
This is a free video app that has a unique ability to save and edit using a combination of multiple cameras and social media. If you and a friend are both shooting video of the same event from your phones, you can use Vyclone to upload those videos within the app and edit the two of them together seamlessly. There’s also an “auto-edit” feature that will take your various uploads and do edit them together for you so the video will appear to be planned out and well done. You’ll always have access to both your original video and whoever else’s original video was combined with yours in an edit.


Sparknotes , free, iOS
Sparknotes.com has huge and continually growing library of online study guides for literature, test preparation, quick how-to’s, and entertaining short articles aimed at the young college demographic. Now it’s all at your fingertips with the free download of their handy app. It has a clutter-free, clean interface designed for easy navigation and quick referencing. You can save preferred study guides and literature in your virtual library within the app, as well.


Flashcards+, free, iOS
Well the name kind of speaks for itself. It’s a mobile, virtual flashcard app. What makes this app so cool is it’s social media feature. Not only can you create your own study cards, but you can even browse and study from the increasing library of user uploaded cards from Flashcards+ own servers. You even get to view your cards with the familiar and comfortable flashcard paper look, without those nasty paper cuts.

2011 NMC Horizon Report Recently Released!

Each year the New Media Consortium (NMC) publishes the Horizon Report to share research on “the landscape of emerging technologies for teaching, learning and creative inquiry” in higher education. Earlier this month, the NMC realeased the 2011 Horizon Report. Topics discussed in this year’s report include:

  • mobile devices
  • electronic books
  • augmented reality
  • game-based learning
  • gesture-based computing
  • learning analytics

If you would like to learn more about the integration of these technologies by other colleges and universities you can download and read the full report at http://www.nmc.org/publications/2011-horizon-report or view the video below.

Mobile Learning – An Introduction

Mobile Learning is one of the recent “buzzwords” in the last year or so – referring to the dissemination of information and participation in courses on a device other than a desktop/laptop computer. Many websites are being designed to be compatible with a Blackberry, iPhone, Droid, and other smartphone devices. By creating these alternate websites, students are able to access information at any time, on the go. There are many companies that create applications/software to easily adapt instructional materials for smaller browsers, such as smartphones.

  • Blackboard Mobile Learn – This mobile app has been developed for the learning management system users to access course/organization information on various platforms, including the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, and Blackberry phones. Because of Blackboard’s widely used platform, this mobile learning app can be implemented by many institutions.
  • Open-source websites – Many schools are creating mobile websites in-house for easier, more convenient access to information. One of the benefits to creating these sites internally is the ability to not rely on a single learning management system. Additionally, mobile websites can also include campus maps, bursar information, etc.

Both of these mobile learning possibilities (as well as other options) provide many outlets for learning to take place. In addition to these platforms, there are other options, such as podcasting, that can play a part in mobile learning. If you are interested in implementing mobile learning or learning about various mobile learning possibilities, contact an Instructional Designer on your campus.

Image from ‘Towards the m-portfolio‘ presented at ePortfolios 2007, Oxford.

7 Handy iPhone Photo Apps


So you’ve gotten your new iPhone, at last. With its 5-megapixel camera, you finally committed to the decision to toss your point and shoot camera in the drawer and minimize your accessories a bit. Okay, so maybe you aren’t relying on your iPhone for all of your photo needs, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. This article is going to guide you through several of the iPhone’s best and new photo apps for your pictures on the go.

Hipstamatic, $1.99

Hipstamatic is a versatile vintage-style photo app that has been gaining quite a bit of popularity lately. Allowing you the creative control to  snap colorful and aged looking photo’s nostalgic of the 1960’s and 70’s. The app features several options for changing out virtual lenses, flashes, and film to customize each of your photos the way you’d like them to look. It comes with a few free, but you can purchase even more photo theme packs for around a dollar each.  The app itself is equipped with a cool vintage camera skin that provides the look of holding and looking through a retro camera. Hipstamatic saves your settings information with each photo you take, so that you can go back and recreate that look anytime. It also allows you to batch upload your images to Facebook to share with your friends.

Photoshop Mobile, free

Adobe’s free Photoshop app is a must have.  It offers so many necessary features:

  • Basics: Cropping, Rotating, and Straightening
  • Color Correction: Exposure, Tint, Black and White, Saturation, Contrast
  • Filters: Sketch, Soft Focus, Sharpen
  • Effects: Vibrant, Border, Vignette Blur, Vintage

Other apps are charging 2 and 3 dollars for half of these features and bad interfaces. This app is very well put together and user friendly. At no cost, there’s no reason you shouldn’t pick this up.

Almost DSLR, $1.99

Almost DSLR (or aDSLR) comes in at $1.99. This is the photo app for you professional photographers out there looking to play on your phone. It comes equipped with such features as exposure control, white balance, tap focus control/lock, adjustable presets, and flash/torch control. aDSLR. With an easy to navigate interface, it’s an app worth checking out.

Incredibooth, $0.99

From the makers of Hipstamatic (Synthetic Corp), we have Incredibooth. Love photo booths and their film strip style images, but can never find one when the time is right? This is your answer right here. Incredibooth has a cool retro photo booth-style wood grain interface that’s very straight forward and easy to use. This is a fun app, producing the timed photo sequence photo strip that’s sure to take you back to your childhood.

Colorblast!, $1.99

Colorblast has a pretty self explanatory title. This app allows you to highlight selected areas of your photo with color. Your image will start out as black and white. Then you can click on a specific area of your image and pull that individual color back into the photo. Once the color is brought back, you can adjust its saturation, brightness, and even hue (allowing you to change it to other colors). After that, you can even bring some color back into your background with sepia effects (amongst others) and even bring saturation back in at any level with an adjustable saturation meter. This is a great app for those of you who have this feature on your point and shoot camera but are on the fence about making the transition.

TiltShift Generator, $0.99

Tilt-shift photography has been around for quite a while, but has recently gained mainstream popularity, once again. The technique here is using a well placed radial or linear blur around the main focus of your image to give the illusion of it being a toy or miniature object photographed very closely. It’s a very visually interesting effect and Art & Mobile’s TiltShift Generator, $0.99, for the iPhone does a wonderful job of digitally applying this look. It works best when shooting from up high with a lot to look at in the image such as city landscapes, looking down off of a building, and crowds.

MonotoriCamera, $0.99

MonotoriCamera is a shallow depth of field enthusiast’s dream. For $0.99, you just can’t pass it up. Simple to use with an easy touch focus area, this app provides a nice, gradual blur around whichever part of the image you choose to focus on. This allows the iPhone the ability to shoot photos with a natural looking depth that looks like they came from a professional DSLR camera.

Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk

Organization is a fundamental skill in being a successful student. Blackboard offers many tools to aid in organization – calendars, announcements, emails, and even the syllabus itself, but all of these components are teacher, and not student, initiated. This is not necessarily a negative for a course, but it doesn’t assist to develop the organization skills that are so often necessary in the work place. Plus, not all professors may take advantage of the organizational tools in their courses.

Fortunately there is a tool that enables the student to keep track of his/her own education through technology without having to rely on the LMS. I am speaking, of course, about Remember the Milk (www.rememberthemilk.com)! This website allows the user to enter assignments and tasks and be alerted through a variety of sources. Whether it’s a cell-phone, gmail, Twitter, etc., Remember the Milk will alert you. The basic software is free, but there is a small charge for some advanced features.

Remember the Milk allows the user to set, prioritize, monitor and close completion markers. It also allows for contact, location and planning information so that alignment with other users is easily accomplished to effectively coordinate information. As an instructor, I would highly recommend suggesting students to use this software.

Mobile Devices as a Lively Sketchbook

Online Seminar, Mobile Devices as a Lively Sketchbook
April 16, 1:00-2:00pm
Online at http://go.nmc.org/connect-nmc

At 1:00pm today (April 16), the New Media Consortium is offering a free online professional development opportunity this afternoon via a one hour web conference.  You may attend during the live event which often provides an opportunity for interaction with colleagues and/or the presenter, or you may choose to review the archive once it is made available.   All details regarding the one hour seminar are available below.

After participating in the live event or reviewing the archive, you are invited to contribute to the EdTech blog your professional reflection regarding the presentation: as a blog post or as comments to a post contributed by a San Jac colleague.  We will continue to post notices of events like this one as “last minute professional development” opportunities which faculty and staff may participate online.

The photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson recorded his entire life’s work using a tiny little pocketable camera, a rangefinder Leica, together with a couple of equally small lenses, and sent his film to be developed in commercial labs. Would he have been able to capture “the decisive moment”, as he called it, unnoticed and unremarked by his subjects, if he had been burdened by a big “pro” system, with lots of heavy bodies, lenses, and the need to drop everything to go to the darkroom to boot?

Can similar acts of joyous creation take place with our mobile devices, without equipping them with every blade, fish scaler and toothpick in the Swiss Army knife catalog? What opportunities can we create – not just for us, but also for our students – when we think of them as much more than tiny laptops and come to view them as lively sketchbooks?

Ruben Puentedura, founder of NMC Corporate Partner Hippasus, has been curious about the contentions that mobile platforms like the iPhone and iPod Touch (and as well the new iPad) are seen as purely tools of media consumption- he wondered, “Was this due to limitations of the device, or of the way it was thought about?”  After spending a few months researching and experimenting with a series of iPhone applications, Ruben proposed his concept of a “Lively Sketchbook”

You are invited to join us Friday, April 16, 2010 at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET (check local time) when we learn more about the Lively SketchBook.

This will take place in our NMC Adobe Connect Seminar room at http://go.nmc.org/connect-nmc and is free and open to anyone interested in participating. This session will be recorded; the archive will be posted to http://www.nmc.org/connect/2010/april/16 within 24 hours.