Jun 252011

Several months ago I wrote about 53 free android apps for education. Because technology advances and new apps come out and apps change, I will have to update that list. I know the Andy-83 app has been pulled and replaced because of demands of TI, so clearly some updating is necessary.

But this post is about the 5 apps I have spent the most time with over the last month. These are all free apps, although some of them have paid versions as well, and all of them have iPhone versions also.

First up is CardioTrainer by Worksmart Labs. I tried a couple of other apps for a short time, but this app does what I wanted. I am not an exercise freak, in fact I have exercised more in the last month that in the year prior. So, I am walking and biking, doing yard work and hiking a bit, and this app keeps track of it all. It uses the GPS to track where and how far I have walked or biked, has voice prompts (which I don’t really use) and music integration if you use the phone as your music player.

I really like how it uploads to twitter and facebook, so I can be public with my exercise routine, which keeps me honest and motivated. It keeps track of distance, time, elevation, sets checkpoints on the routes, and uploads all of this to the companies servers for online viewing, uploads to Google Health (oops that is being discontinued) and stores it on the phone. In addition, the online website allows for the entire data package to be downloaded as a .csv file to be imported into excel. Nice.  Basically, this one program works for 20 different exercise routines, is incredibly flexible, and accurate. I like it.

Second up is Push-ups by Rittr Labs. Yup, can you tell that health is a focus for me right now? My goal is to exercise every day for 1 year to establish a pattern and habit of health. Now walking, hiking, biking are good exercise, but they do nothing for the upper body. Push-ups helps you work up to doing 75, 100 or 125 consecutive push-ups. It sets up a routine of doing reps every other day, starting off from a beginning point you set, and at the end of the workout asking if the suggested rep count was too easy, just right or too hard. It then adjusts the next workout based on your answer. I am currently up to around 40 – 50 per day. Not bad, but my goal is 100 consecutive. I figure by the end of summer I will be close.

Third up is Common Core by MasteryConnect. It is a simple app, that has tremendous power for me. My district is going to be implementing the Common Core State Standards this upcoming school year, so having a quick and easy way to read the standards, find the standards and just have quick reference for the new standards is very important to me. This program serves that need, and I have been using it to find standards as I am building curriculum this summer.

Fourth up is Software Data Cable by Proid Mobile. Remembering to bring the cable with me when I need to hook up my phone to my computer is a pain. When I am at home and need a quick file from my phone this program is awesome. I make sure the wi-fi button on my phone is active, then I open the app. It takes a second and then shows the ftp address of my phone based on its address from my router. From there, I type in the address in my web browser and BAM, I have access to all the files on the SD card and memory. Need a photo, download it.

Yes the cable is faster and easier, if you have it handy. But walking down stairs and getting it from the charger is just so far to walk! (wait, … er, doesn’t that conflict with the first 2 apps? Yes, now stop asking questions.)

Finally, the last app I will talk about is TweetDeck. I had some trouble choosing between this or Words with Friends. I spend a lot of time with both, but more time with Tweetdeck. I use it to keep track of my Twitter and Facebook feeds simultaneously, both at home and away. It is easier to read both on my phone with this app than it is opening up the computer and reading there. If there is a long post I want to do on FB, then I use the computer. But for quick notes to friends, a short response, etc, Tweetdeck makes it much easier to manage the info stream. I have also downloaded the desktop client from TweetDeck.com and found it to be very usable and useful, especially when doing book clubs on twitter!

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