All posts by Phillip Levin
Educators who use new technology in the classroom are awesome. I remember one of my journalism professors regularly using his iPad as a tool in his lectures. I thought doing so was an innovative and creative way of utilizing the at-the-time new device.
Vito Technology dropped us a line this week to let us know that its own apps are increasingly being used by educators and students in the pursuit of learning. The studio’s three apps, Star Walk, Solar Walk, and >Geo Walk, are being called excellent educational tools. News of the apps being popular educational tools, though, doesn’t come too surprising. I had played around with Solar Walk in particular and was quite impressed.
In particular, it seems the two astronomy apps have been the most useful according to feedback from educators.
Star Walk uses the iPhone and augmented reality technology to give users a new way at looking at the solar system – from the perspective here on Earth. Additionally, the app contains an amazing amount of astrology information, including information on stars and constellations.
“Students at Hawaii Preparatory Academy are among the many who are working with Star Walk. Seeing and learning about the night sky and the star systems in a highly interactive way creates immediate learning to many in a way that has never been possible. Through the time machine and search function, students can discover constellations in a way that was never possible before. Interactive education is a great way for students to learn, and this app delivers a truly interactive star system. Many educators are now introducing apps such as Star Walk into the classroom to enhance the education experience, and to keep students engaged and interested,” said Dave V of TopEducationalApps.com.
Solar Walk, meanwhile, gives users an up-close look at the planets of our solar system, along with other details of the galaxy, including satellites orbiating the planet, moons, solar systems and other phenomenon.
"Solar Walk gives your students a realistic look at the Solar System. The time machine feature is excellent and will help students visualize the changes in the Solar System over time. Let your students take a virtual field trip to the planet of their choice to explore and report back to the class about. Students can become astronauts and take a virtual “rocket” ride, flying to the planet of choice, getting an in-depth look at the planet, and exploring each of the planets moons,” said Smartlearning Teacher of Science at Priority Community School Weston Super Mare.
It’s exciting to see how the iPhone and apps like these are shaping the way students are learning today.
Realmac Software updated its website this week with a page devoted to its newest app, Clear. The company’s page on the app doesn’t contain a lot of information yet. All we know is that the app is “coming soon,” and thanks to a teaser trailer on the site, the developer has produced one slick-looking app.
Clear is a to-do list app, and it looks to fill a much-needed hole on the App Store, in my opinion. Indeed, despite there being tremendous innovation in app development, I feel this is one area that app developers haven’t really nailed. For whatever reason, I’ve yet to fall in love with any tasking app I’ve tried. But it looks like Clear has a fair shot at being the very thing I’m looking for.
As said before, there’s little information on the app yet. Just a teaser trailer to go by. But I like what I see. First off, Clear has a very clean, color-themed interface. The minimalist approach appears to make entering and sorting through tasks effortless. The teaser shows a guy in a coffee shop, browsing through tasks like “buy groceries” and “pick up dry cleaning.” Each task is represented by different shades of orange. Users can create a new task by expanding space in between tasks, allowing quick organization. Simply tapping on a task allows users to edit it, while swiping one turns it the color green, marking it as completed and thereby deleting it.
Most of the video shows the guy entering new tasks and deleting old ones, but it also offers a quick glimpse of what appears to be a category system. The actor in the video has a setup including a “Things to Do,” “Shopping List” and “Movies to Watch.” So, even though the app appears to be minimalist in its design, Realmac Software hasn’t left out important functionality like this.
No word yet on a price point – or an exact release date yet – but I can’t wait to download this one.
Check out the trailer below.
Forget paying for a personal trainer. The App store is overflowing with personal trainer replacements in the form of health, exercise and diet-related apps. But with hundreds of apps to choose from, users might feel overwhelmed with options. Indeed, it’s difficult to figure out where to start. That’s why we've come up with four of our favorite fitness apps that will give users the resources of a personal trainer, without actually having to hire one.
Wellness Tip of the Day
This app is great because it offers a variety of broad health-related information. The app updates daily with health and wellness tips from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Enterprise. Tips are classified into different categories, such as Food Favorites, Mind Favorites, Body Favorites and Misc Favorites. The app features two different interface styles – one that lets users pop bubbles to view tips and another more traditional, calendar view.
Part of staying healthy requires balancing one’s diet and exercise routine to achieve optimal results. That’s why Daily Burn makes my list. The app helps users gain weight or lose weight, depending on their needs. Users can choose to follow a plan that’s low-carb and will lead to weight loss, use a bodybuilding routine that will lead to increased muscle mass or choose from one of the app’s many other programs. In addition to tracking calories, protein, carbs and other nutrients related to diet, Daily Burn also helps users by providing a fitness training program that will lead towards accomplishing their goals. And with stat-tracking and data analysis through the app’s website, it’s difficult not to love this app.
This is the most expensive app on my list of recommendations, but there’s reason for it. Fitness Builder contains over 200 different workouts, spread out across 5,600 images and videos, as well as specialized tracking tools and fitness plans. This is a truly comprehensive exercise app, hence the subscription cost. Users aren’t coughing up money for nothing, though. The app also allows users to ask the company’s physiologist their own personal questions. Definitely a nice extra that separates this one from similar fitness apps.
Ease into 5K
I recently started running, and this app is an awesome companion. Ease into 5K is designed to help train users to be able to run 5,000 meters. The app tells users when to switch from walking to running, providing interval training spread out across 3 sessions a week, each being 30 minutes. Ease into 5K also tracks session stats, so users can easily view their progress. What’s more, the app runs in the background, so users can listen to music while using it.
We live in an age where there are countless ways to share photographs with friends and family, and yet, there is always an expanding need for more tools that allow us to do this more efficiently. Enter iPict it.
The idea behind iPict it is to provide users with a dedicated platform for sharing their photos from their iOS device. Admittedly, while users can accomplish similar feats with the use of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, iPict it does offer the advantage of being devoted specifically to one thing and one thing only. And, as a result of this truth, it works quite well.
Users are required to create an account with the service, which they can do from within the app. Then, they are able to create shared albums within the app, which they can share with their iPict it contact list. The app is very intuitive, and it’s incredibly easy to choose who can view which albums and photos – something that’s bound to be a reassuring for users with privacy concerns.
In addition to sharing their own photos with their friends, users can view and comment on each other’s photos. The app also notifies users when their friends have updated their albums.
While there are already a countless number of tools available for users who want to share photos, it never hurts to have another option. If nothing else, iPict it seems to be a solid choice for iOS users who want a very clean, refined experience without unnecessary extras unrelated to photo sharing.
Learning a new language is one of the most challenging endeavors one can set their mind to. And while there are already a couple of options for users looking to utilize iOS in the process, Lingibli offers an innovative and interesting approach to language education.
The company’s app is built on the philosophy that half of everyday conversation in any language is based on just 100 commonly used words. Therefore, the app aims to educate users in the basic, underlying diction that makes up the majority of conversations speakers have on a day-to-day basis. It sounds like a great starting point.
Users can print out QR labels for objects throughout their home, which they can then scan with their iOS device to hear the correct pronunciation of said object. Users can also quickly look up words through the app itself. Lingibli is neatly organized with word categories such as hotel, eating/dining, emotions, shopping and more, making it easy to quickly locate specific words and their foreign version.
Lingibli supports 18 different languages, including: English, German, Arabic, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Perhaps the most exciting part Lingibli is that it’s free. So, for users interested in learning a new language, hit up the iTunes App Store and download away.