Apps Reviews

Thursday, September 17, 2015
The first reviewed app that I choose was the PowerSchool Mobile app (Pearson School Systems, 2015). I have downloaded the teacher version of this app in the past, but did not find it very efficient for my use because I use PowerSchool for attendance and lunch count in the mornings. The mobile app did not offer a way to submit students’ lunch choices. I had not, however, thought about using it for students to see their progress and grades. Older students could certainly benefit from being able to see their grades, average, GPA, etc., to help set academic goals. I don’t agree with the reviewer that it could be used for ages 4 and up, though, because young students need something more developmentally appropriate to explain the grading process to them. We use text description along with a smiley face graphic to help students understand their grades in 2nd grade. I think that students would need to be around 4th or 5th grade before using this app with student would actually be very beneficial.

The next reviewed app that I examined was SurveyMonkey (SurveyMonkey, Inc., 2015). I have completed surveys created using SurveyMonkey at school and to review products or services from a few businesses. Personally I like Goggle Forms, but I might use SurveyMonkey in my class for a quick and fun formative assessment. I could use it with parents to find out their preferences for receiving grades, communicating with the school or me, and what they want their children to accomplish during the year. I could also use SurveyMonkey as a preassessment of what teachers already know, and then use it again after the PD to see what else they might want to learn or to find out how they rate me as an instructor. I think that the original reviewer of this app overlooked that students could use SurveyMonkey to conduct surveys with their fellow students and then write about the information they discovered. This would certainly connect to an informational or persuasive writing standard for any grade, and could even be furthered stretched to cover language and research standards and more specific content standards depending on the assignment.

The apps that I use the most at school include various educational apps for my students ranging from games to books to digital manipulatives. I also use Symbaloo (Symbaloo BV, 2015) for students to find easy access to common websites and as a bookmarking site for myself. For my own professional practice, I use Evernote (2015) to create lists, reminders, and to save important information that I find. Finally, I discovered Twitter (Twitter, Inc., 2015) in one of my classes and have enjoyed using it for personal PD.

I think that churches can use social media to help members and others know what’s going on and for daily encouragement. I have recently benefited from the intersection of faith and technology with Proverbs 31 Ministry’s (2015) new First 5 app. This amazing app continues to offer the wonderful encouragement that Proverbs 31 is known for, but also offers an extension of the day’s devotion with the related Bible study and is even going through the Bible beginning in Genesis. I have thoroughly appreciated the ease of use of the app and being able to connect with other Christian women. I highly recommend you check it out.


References

Evernote. (2015). Evernote (Version 7.7.11) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8

Proverbs 31. (2015). First 5 (Version 1.2) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/first-5/id997457664?mt=8

Pearson School Systems. (2015). PowerSchool Mobile (Version1.0.1) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/powerschool-mobile/id973741088?mt=8

SurveyMonkey, Inc. (2015). SurveyMonkey (Version1.1.0) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/surveymonkey/id723867634?mt=8

Symbaloo BV. (2015). Symbaloo (Version 2.3) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/symbaloo-bookmark-share-your/id521081559?mt=8

Twitter (2015). Twitter ( Version 6.36.1) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/twitter/id333903271?mt=8

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