Wednesday, May 21, 2014

There's an App for That! 50 Apps in 60 Minutes

In July 2012, I facilitated an webinar for my Emerging Tech community called 50 Google Apps in 60 minutes. I presented from my hotel room at Alan November's annual conference in Boston, Building Learning Communities. I crowdsourced that whole webinar - picked the brains of some of the most innovative edtechers I know to compile a "best of the best" list of Goolgle Apps for Education.  It was fantastic! I still use much of what I learned that week, and when I use certain apps, I remember conversations I had with friends about what they loved and how they used what they loved.

Fast forward two years. I scheduled another 50 in 60 webinar, but this time, it was all about mobile applications. While I am a dedicated mobile phone user, I don't use iPads for teaching and learning all that much. I knew that with over 2,500 participants registered, many attendees would expect me to talk about iPad use in the classroom, so I did what any sensible 21st century learner would, and I crowdsourced it.

What follows are the Skyperviews I conducted with my five guests.

  • Laura Beals Delia, Elementary School Librarian in Burlington (MA) Public Schools
  • Elisabeth LeBris, Director of Library Technology Services of Kenilworth (IL) School District
  • Brad Ovenell-Carter, Director of Educational Technologies Mulgrave School in Vancouver, BC
  • Emily Valenza, Visual Arts Teacher Grades K-6, Kingsley Montessori School in Boston, MA
  • Meg Wilson, Technology Integrator, Avenues School in New York, NY

I posted on the Emerging Tech discussion forum an invitation for community members to share their favorite apps. I also asked friends and family for ideas as well. Needless to say, selecting fifty out of hundreds of recommended apps was the hardest part of preparing for the webinar.

I needed to organize my apps into lists that would help webinar participants learn more about, filter, and organize featured apps and create their own lists. For this, I turned to Joyce Valenza, who recommended WOW! It was exactly what I was looking for. Here is my list of 50 - except you will note that there are actually seventy apps listed. I cheated just a little by grouping some apps together by functionality. There isn't always just one app that is better at accomplishing a tasks than all the others.

The webinar was covered by both eSchool News and Mind/Shift, which was almost as exciting as having 740 live participants, and 1,120 archive views since the live presentation! A big shout out goes to Follett for sponsoring the community, and making these webinars available for free to the education community!

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