I spend a great deal of time on the go. From working with all the schools in my district to traveling to far off lands to work with teachers, I sometimes feel like I am disconnected from my learning. And that bums me out!
There are a few apps (and some sites too) that I rely upon to keep me updated with whats happening and to teach a me a thing or two as well.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Zite-A lot of folks reading this have probably heard of Zite. But just in case you haven't, Zite is a curated magazine type app that delivers content to you based on your interests and feedback. When you create an account the app asks a couple of questions about what you'd like to see. They have thousands of sources so just a few key words and you will be greeted with hours of reading and learning. You can also choose to bring in your social feeds from Twitter and Facebook too to further the reach. I have a couple Education phrases along with Leadership and some technology stuff as well.
Flipboard-Similar to Zite, Flipboard looks and feels like more of a magazine. You can subscribe to your favorite sites with a simple search (or RSS feed address) and you can search what others are curating too. I will often times go into Flipboard and do searches to see what others are reading. That really helps me expand my learning. One board you will want to check out is FieldFlips from AnEstuary.com. They have lots of great education topics curated for you.
Podcast App-The popularity of podcasts seems to come and go. A few years ago loads of folks were listening and creating their own. Then the excitement seemed to wane but now they are on the rise again. I like hitting up the Podcast store in iTunes and seeing whats new in the Education, News or Tech categories. I can be walking through an airport but still feel like I am learning something new. #Edchat has its own podcast where you can hear a break down of that week's chat. But I also like the NPR Technology podcast and one of my favorites is the Get-It-Done Guy, which is full of short productivity and life hacking tips.
Lifehacker-Speaking of life hacking, I am a huge fan of Lifehacker. While it isn't an app, it is a pretty awesome website with tons of advice for, well, hacking your life. They have everything from design tips for presentations, to ideas for cutting the cord from cable or satellite, to what to do when you don't feel like working any more. I can always spend 5-10 minutes (but most of the time, way more) there and learn something pretty neat.
TED Talks-I've written about the power of TED talks before and their app is no different. All of the talks are available there along with short spinets which are great when you don't have the time to watch a full talk.
Twitter-Of course I have to list Twitter. But when I am on the go I spend a lot of time with Lists. Lists help me organize tweets into specific categories. So I have a list for tweeters I don't want to miss, policy folks, funny twitterers, etc. Lists are a great way to not feel like you have to be tied to Twitter all the time.
There are lots of options out there to keep up with learning. What are some of your favorites? Leave some suggestions below.
cross posted at blog.web20classroom.org
Steven W. Anderson is the Director of Instructional Technology for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in Winston-Salem, NC. He also regularly travels the country talking to schools and districts about the use of Social Media in the classroom. Steven has been recognized with the NOW Award and the 2009 and 2011 Edublogs, Twitterer of The Year Award. In 2012 he was named an ASCD Emerging Leader. Read more at blog.web20classroom.org.