Mobile devices in hand, more than 30 Samuel Merritt University (SMU) students and faculty members attended a recent technology workshop to learn virtual ways of getting organized and staying connected.
Instructional Designer Ted Curran, Academic Support Coordinator Mark Abelson and Librarian Hai-Thom Sota shared their favorite apps for boosting productivity as part of SMU’s Community Learning Series.
For purposes of collaboration, Google Drive was an all-out favorite tool for putting documents in the cloud and then taking advantage of its free editing interface. Also recommended was Google+ Hangouts for video conferencing and text chatting.
Sharing documents remotely with classmates and professors is easy with Dropbox, a free service that Curran described as “an external hard drive in the cloud.”
Curran said that staying organized in an overloaded world is easier with Evernote — a tool for remembering that allows you to save all of your notes and favorite webpages in one location. He said Evernote also allows users to share everything from recipes to planning a wedding with others.
Similarly, he said, Trello is a free cloud project management and to-do list app. Trello also can be a substitute for Canvas for organizing a course and planning lessons. But if you need a to-do list app that will nudge you out of procrastination, Curran recommended Any.do because of its friendly (it tells you to smile) reminders.
Healthcare professionals can benefit from the use of Lexicomp or Micromedex, which Sota said provides databases for looking up information on drugs and calculating medication dosages through mobile apps and online software.
Feedly is an RSS reader that pulls together feed from multiple news sources and blogs and organizes them unto a magazine-like interface. “This is the number one way I stay up to date with what’s happening in the world, in technology and education,” said Curran. “It’s like having your own newspaper that you organize how it is presented.”
When choosing apps for use on your computer or mobile device, Curran recommends those that work on both Apple and Android or Windows platforms. He also suggested that users read reviews beforehand and noted that many paid apps have demonstration versions and video tours that are worth checking out.
Click here to visit the Student Software Portal designed by the SMU Instructional Design department.
pictured: Hai-Thom Sota (left) and Ted Curran (right)