Tech-ED

Enhancing Education with a Touch of Technology

Archive for the tag “iPhone”

Day 4: Zombies, Run

Yes, I took a hiatus from writing about Zombies,Run! for a while now and there is no good reason for that other than mental health.  Zombies,Run on the 4th day ended my mission, and now I am convinced that it is a good app for exercise. I know I said I would give it 5 days for a trial, but the creators that came up with the story re incredibly clever. That is the main draw, is that I can escape my run into this world that is laid out to me in my ears.  Not many people can describe something so well that you forget about what you are doing and lose yourself in the story.

The game has become a book and I am the main character. Yes I am running, and yes it is a little cliché since it is about zombies and that phase might have passed onto something new; however, the game is fun and well funny. The story line continues and I still find myself slipping into the jungle surrounded by a city wall that protects me from the zombies. After 4 days I give this fitness app my approval for beginners.  It is fun and fantastic to take you through your run into another world where Zombies dictate your every move.  The game play is really nice since well you exercise the whole time.

The game continues after your runs too. You can use items you collect to upgrade your city.  I am not sure how much this does for you running, but it will help you and the people you meet survive the zombie assault! Get ready, run, and build you city to defeat the Zombies (if you can) and survive as long as you can! Good luck and boost your life and your miles with Zombies,Run!

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Learning Languages

Recently I have been testing out the website and app Duolingo. There are claims from TechCrunch that the software is actually better and more engaging than RosettaStone and those other guys in this business.  There is much to be said about the newer soft ware, and I really like the fact that as you progress through the levels you are translating words online for others to read. The idea that as I learn I am helping others read these translations is amazing.  When all is said and done, does it really help?

I have used RosettaStone many years ago, but I have seen it in action recently, and it still remains the same. However, there is now some more speaking and you don’t just click on pictures to match words.  There have been many improvements since the early years. The program has been proven time and time again; however, when you think about it how many other language software programs can you think of quickly. If you are like me you can think of absolutely nothing else like this software.  Sure there are online courses for languages, but has RosettaStone been so good because it works or due to the lack of competitors in the market?

Move out-of-the-way Rosetta, you are getting some seriously strong competition! Duolingo has actually worked quite well over the past 3 weeks I have been using it.  The gamification of levels and lives make Duolingo somewhat addicting.  It is incredibly hard to put down once I start on a level I really want to move on to unlock the next level.  The interface is simple and reminds me of Mario Bros. 3 moving from level to level. However the graphics are better even on my cell phone.  Duolingo has me hooked and I am learning Spanish and Italian, but it is because I want to learn.

MarioBros3

Both softwares have the one major fatal flaw, the user.  No matter how many times we look at statistics of people using the software, we need to take into account the learners wanting to learn.  I know that if I was still in school I would prefer to take a course that had levels, and a gaming side to it if it was structured properly. What about those students and people “using the software” but not actually wanting to learn.  This is where I think Duolingo has the leg up in the competition because the software actually keeps the user in the software.

Have you used language software? If so what was your experience like?

Wunderful, Wunderlist

One of the best Apps I have seen for FREE for group organization is Wunderlist.  What is Wunderlist? Well, it is a simple to-do list (version 1.0) that you can share with anyone you would like, and set due dates and add notes.  Ever since the upgrade to 2.0 you can have checklists for your checklists coupled with a notes section to meet most of our organizational needs.

Why is this app so great? First, it works on almost every major platform available from mobile devices, applications, or web apps.  Furthermore, if you are managing a number of projects, or people with projects you can see and/or create a timeline with your team. Lastly, I personally love the fact that if someone is out sick before a deadline you can see how far along they have reached for their specific goals. The only bad part is if the lists have not saved/synced, which happens periodically on the apps, you will not have current information.

Personally the app has made me much more organized and I am working with my team to keep us all organized. There is the occasion that there needs to be a third layer nested for the to-do list, or a way to organize your lists without creating a lis for every piece of a larger list.  However, it works with notes, just not something you can check off and have disappear. Maybe we will see an upgrade with version 3 that every sub list item will have its own note section?

Regardless of 2 minute shortcomings of the service it works incredibly well.  I use it to plan out my blogs and keep the different topics organized for each day I write.  It also sends me reminders when things need to be done, just make sure to set them before the time it is due! Do you use any type of organizational apps, and are they free?

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