In a recent story on NPR, ‘Information Overload and the Tricky Art of Single-Tasking,’ there is a link to an Infomagical challenge–making information overload disappear. My relationship analogy with technology feels that the more tech I have/use, my lungs have de-evolved from breathing air to turning into gills. I am so submerged in this soup I don’t even know I’m swimming in it anymore. My focus is fractured to the point I may need to take drastic, heat-pressure methods to reform my brain cells into more granite-like thinking. Even this post is tough to write: I installed Grammarly, and it’s constantly green/red lighting my typing, editing as I go:
Chasing the purple dragon of ‘the perfect app’ is like lassoing a bubble. There’s always something new, shiny, and fleeting. In this post, I shall attempt to currate some old and new favorites. Some of these items are the equivalent to Russian nesting dolls– stacked inside one another.
Stopping the Noise:
Freedom– if you need time to turn off those ‘quick check-ins’ to Facebook, etc. install Freedom. It was recommended to be by a ‘real writer’ – someone who’s published multiple titles.
WriteAbout, Google Cardboard, Versal, Noisli, Formative, and Periscope.
I have used John’s WriteAbout, and have made attempts to get other teachers/district to use it too, but there have been obstacles. We are on overload right now, methinks. Maybe I’ll try again, because last year was crowded with others agendas.
As far as Versal goes, we are piloting Canvas, and have used e-learning. Personally I prefer UX designs like Versal or Edmodo better, but it any online platform seems fine.
- Screenshot–app for iphones and ipads — annotate, etc. screen shots
- Chomp–very silly–just entertaining
- Talkboard–going to try this and record lessons
- Gaia GPS/Topo Maps–cool way to look at maps
- Word Swag- -makes pretty little posters from your photos
- Snapseed–easy photo editing tools
- Voila–easy screen recordings for lessons/flipped classroom
- Dark Sky–well designed interface for the weather
- Sky Guide–feel like you’re floating through the universe. I get vertigo when I point it at the ground and realize there’s only the earth between me and the universe.
Who am I kidding? I’m not qualified to curate diddly-squat at the moment. During this time, not only do I have Grammarly spying on me, but the laundry is on repeat wrinkle-guard, I’ve read 5 articles on the supreme court issue and new appointee, hit the like button on a few Facebook posts, changed to jammie pants (it’s mid-winter break), watched Principal Gerry videos, sent one email, and thought about “all the stuff I have to/want to do” over break.
Sigh. Maybe it’s time I take the Infomagical challenge, too. I did go to a good, solid old-fashtion art supply store the other day near the UW campus when we met our older son for lunch. It was like going through a time machine for me. I did end up with a box of goodies to take back to the classroom, but even creative-crafty stuff requires focus:
Maybe that’s what we need: plague masks filled with herbs to keep us focused on single thoughts, doing them well and mindfully. Let me go find some paints, brushes, and oh look a text…
…time to use one of my 12 list making apps and start checking stuff off.
Ultimately, what is all this used for? To keep me engaged as well as develop engaging instruction–that’s it. If it doesn’t suit those purposes, perhaps it’s time to tech-purge.