Whether you’re making notes for a lecture or using a virtual whiteboard in class, apps can be very useful for helping you teach. They can also be helpful when working in office. Here’s Etown’s 2014 List of Top 10 Apps for Faculty & Staff:
- iAnnotate PDF
One of the most popular productivity apps, iAnnotate PDF can be used to read, mark, and share PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoints, and images. This useful app, available on both Android devices and iPads, can even be used to created new PDFs! With new updates all the time and developers who actually respond to feedback, this app is adding new features all the time. Although free for Android users, this app is $9.99 for iOS devices.
This unique app, also known as If This Then That, uses triggers in your phone to start commands that you choose. For example, “If it rains tomorrow morning, remind me to leave for class thirty minutes early” or “If I am emailed from an @etown.edu account, send me a text.” IFTTT is fairly new so it’s being updated with new features all the time. This free app also works on both Android and iOS devices.
This app is another PDF reader that works on both iPhones and iPads (sorry Android users, not for you). You can use PDF annotations to type in text boxes, draw lines and arrows, add sticky notes, and even make a freehand drawing. On sale in the Apple store for $2.99, this app is a wonderful alternative for iOS device users who don’t want to pay the full cost of iAnnotate PDF.
- Dragon Dictation
Ever wanted a hands free voice-to-text app to use for emails or text messages? Well, now you never have to use the keyboard on your phone again. With 31 languages to choose from, you can speak as you normally would and the app will type out what you’re saying for you in sixty seconds. This app is available for iOS devices only for free. (Sorry Android)
Do you use EventBrite online to schedule extra class sessions or meetings? How about using it to sign up for those handy ITS Workshops? (You really should attend those, you know.) Well, now there’s an app for that! Free for both Android and iOS devices, this app allows you to not only manage your own events, but discover more events, like concerts and gallery openings, near you! Open up a whole new world with the EventBrite app.
This app caters exclusively to instructors and allows you to manage your courses and students with only a few taps on the screen. Available on most iOS devices, this app has multiple languages and also works on Windows 8 devices. You can track attendance, participation, and grades. For those teaching education courses, this app would also be a good recommendation for your students who are student-teaching. The best part? It’s free.
- Cloud On
If you enjoy using Microsoft Office at work, then you definitely need to download this portable version on your devices. Create Word documents, PowerPoints, and Excel spreadsheets at the touch of a button. Although it doesn’t have all the advanced features of the full version, it is an app you’ll love for getting work done at home. This Microsoft Office alternative is free for both Android and iOS devices.
- Atomic Learning
Ever useful for training and instructional videos on hundreds of programs, this website has gone portable with the Atomic Learning iPad app. It’s free for iPads only (sorry everyone!) and allows you to watch all of the videos you desire. You can download a series or single videos to your iPad for viewing later without a Wi-Fi connection and can even store your certificates of completion.
While whiteboards may be the next generation of chalkboards, ShowMe is the next generation of whiteboards. This easy-to-use app works as an electronic whiteboard that you can use to create tutorials with voice-overs to share online. With the ability to draw and erase while recording, there is no limit to your creativity. You can record for as long or as short you like and there is no restriction on how many files you can create. You can even pause during recording if need be. This app, only available on iPads, is completely free.
Another interactive whiteboard, this app allows you to screencast as well. You can annotate, animate, and narrate anything you like as you explain concepts and create videos for class. After making your tutorials or lessons, you can share them with just a click of a button. This app is free and available only on iPads.
1. Explain Everything
This $2.99 interactive app allows you to screencast for class. This app supports most file formats, including PDFs, PowerPoints, Word files, and more. Simply import your file and annotate, narrate, or animate the file before sharing it with others. This app is available for both Android and iOS users.
2. Blackboard Learn
You know the website and now you know there’s an app! If you want to work on Blackboard from your tablet or iPad, this app can be extremely useful. It’s free to download but costs money to access your courses, relegating it to an Honorable Mention.