7 days of 12 Apps of Christmas #12AoC

I spotted the 12 Apps of Christmas course being advertised in various ways back in November and immediately thought ‘ooooh shiny I want to play’. You can find out more here: https://openeducation.blackboard.com/mooc-catalog/courseDetails/view?course_id=_811_1

Actually I thought it had some potential to keep me out of trouble for an hour or so a day, and also to introduce me to some new cool shiny stuff that might be useful. I finally gave in about a month ago and bought an iPhone 5. This is my first ‘decent’ smart phone as I’ve previously avoided the damn things in favour of iPads, iPods and actual fully grown laptops. But when you spend a lot of time sitting in waiting rooms, and a good bit of time walking outside, a decent phone with Pokemon Go capabilities is a very useful thing. This course is allowing me to really explore some of the stuff my phone (and iPad, and laptop can do).

So far I’ve loved Google Cardboard for 360 degree photos and am just waiting until later to find some double sided sticky tape to assemble my Google Cardboard that finally arrived yesterday. I also loved Lensoo create on the iPad as essentially an electronic whiteboard for making short screencasts. I’ll probably use it later in the week to make some model answers for upload to the VLE.  Skitch/Sketch for annotating photos and files for sharing was useful and after playing with silly photos, I used it for the more serious purpose of annotating work a student had sent me. The student had scanned in hand-written answers to problems, wanted a bit of feedback, and the PDF annotation tool made it really easy to add free-hand and typed text annotations before returning it.

We tried Kahoot for online quizzing and I really like some features but there were a few frustrating bits. Add it to the pile really – I’ve never met an online quizzing app that did everything I want. Habitica, a sort of early 1990s computer game meets productivity app was…not me. I’m not huge on computer gaming (Pokemon Go aside) and so it doesn’t incentivise me to get stuff done. I still prefer Wunderlist for keeping things straight, and my dead-tree diary. SnapChat fell under the category of ‘no way in hell’. I get the point and it could be fun with big group of contacts on your phone, but I’m not that person and I don’t give out my number readily. It’s not something I’m comfortable with in the context of teaching.

So I’m looking forward to the final 5 days, and to playing with the Google Cardboard later. It’s not too late to enrol and look through what we’ve been up to and there are other variants of 12AoC running at the moment.



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