Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thing 23. Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

Wow! What a ride it has been! This is one of the most interesting and helpful 'classes' I have taken in a long time!

As helpful as 23 Things on A Stick was several years ago in introducing me to Facebook, Flickr, Del.ici.ous and others, this has been even more helpful in teaching me about apps for mobile devices.

It's amazing to think we knew we were cutting edge then, when this seems even moreso. I had a working knowledge and experience with many of those sites before my much-cooler-than-I teens were!
Am I ramped up in my coolness factor again? I'll have to test the app-ability of my now-young-adults!

What 23 things will we learn in another five years? One can only speculate.

I'd like to thank those of you who went to all the effort and hard work to put this together for us librarians. We have busy work lives. Budget cuts have made them even busier. Yet, we still strive to keep ahead of the learning curve so we can help our patrons to the best of our abilities. You folks have made this easier for me, and I appreciate it.

We have patrons who use the Overdrive app, which tells me we have patrons who have mobile devices. That knowledge makes me realize that I can now add apps to the repertoire of offerings I give to our patrons for research, learning, and entertainment purposes. Thank you for equipping me to do my job better! :)

Au revoir, until the next 23 Things...

Thing 22: Discovering Apps

Who knew there were apps that enable you to find apps?

I am anxious to try Quixey, the app search engine a sort of catalogue of apps,

but what I focused on for this Thing was:

Apps Gone Free. This is an Apple only app that daily gives a list of apps that were paid, but are now free for a limited time, or just for the day. I have used this app for a week now, and find its offerings useful. Being Scottish, I love saving money, so this is a great app for me!

Also, while it is not at all an app search engine, I still found that I was discovering new apps each day, so it is a good way to find them, a few at a time.

Thing 21. Free-For-All

In this entry we were encouraged to showcase one of our favourite apps.
I do a lot of Bible reading and study, and I had to share the app I use the most.

The ESV Bible App sits right on the dock of my iPhone with the three other apps (phone, Safari, and messages) that can fit there. It is no reflection of what kind of person I am, but it IS a reflection of how important this app is to me, and how accessible I need it to be. I find myself waking up at night, and clicking on this one, reading a few verses of the Bible, then drifting off to sleep. If I were able to also infuse my veins with tea at the same time, it would be a perfect world... :)

Crossway, who produces this app, also has an ESV Study Bible app which is great for that purpose. Both apps connect with their online services, where they keep track of the verses you've highlighted and favourited, as well as notes you've written. This is extremely useful in the unfortunate event of losing your app, which happened to me once!

Another Bible app I really enjoy is BLB or Blue Letter Bible. This one, shown here for iPhone, has most bible translations, a built in concordance, commentaries, etc. It really is a powerful and useful tool. It, too, has a robust website attached to it.

Thing 20. Games

When I saw this Thing, I was sure they would encourage us to try Angry Birds, so I was surprised to find it missing. I have not tried it yet, as I am afraid of the addictive factor my friends have fallen prey to, but I imagine it's not on the last as they assumed everyone had tried it.

What I did find, and really enjoy, is Word Abacus. Like most games, this one starts out easy, and progressively gets harder with more and more obstacles and time limitations added per level. As a writer, I find this sort of game helps me with my writing and thinking skills.

Another word-oriented game I really enjoy is W.E.L.D.E.R.

Thing 19. Hobbies

For this one, none of my hobby interests match the apps offered, so I went off exploring on my own. I have several hobbies, a new one being sewing, but of enduring interest to me my entire life has been the enjoyment of tea.
So, I downloaded a couple of free tea apps. Nearly every app offered had a company behind it, so of course their teas were promoted. Of these, I chose Dilmah Tea. This app has a Tea Sommelier which helps you choose the right kind of tea to serve at any meal. It also has a brewing guide and a timer.
I thought I knew almost all there is to know about tea, but no...there is plenty more to learn, and this app is going to be a great learning tool for me!
I also downloaded the Teavana Perfect Tea Touch app, which seems similar to Dilmah Tea. I will be comparing the two over the next few days to see which I like better. They both have gorgeous graphics, and both send you over to their websites where you can purchase the tea.

While I was searching, I also found a couple of paid apps that I would like to try. Mr. Tea HD is $1.99, but it looks well worth it for someone like me who is crazy about tea!

Thing 18. Education

Again, this was another entry with hours and hours worth of fun and interesting apps!

GoogleEarth was a great one. When I get homesick for the Yukon, I can just zoom over there right on my iPad!

Khan Academy was also a very interesting app. I can't believe all of the education available for free on this app!

TED talks have been of interest to me lately, so it was the perfect time to download and explore this app. I will be sharing this with the young adults in my library!

Thing 17. Connecting to Community

This was one of my favourite Things to explore. There are so many interesting apps showcasing our wonderful state and its offerings!

 I have used the MN511 app several times to check out road conditions before I venture out. I have also used the Mayo Clinic Patient app, which I find incredibly useful (I have used their website to direct patrons to find reliable information about their health conditions.)

The MN Museums app was of particular interest to me. I did not even realize we have over 500 museums in this state!

And, I can already see myself guiding my patrons (and myself) to the


Minnesota State Fair, and

ExploreMinnesota apps.

Thank you for all the great ideas!