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Apps for productivity, travel, geography, and more can help teachers and libraries use and share new resources

apps-productivityAs some schools welcome students back and as others gear up to do the same after Labor Day, teachers and librarians have a chance to become familiar with apps that will help their productivity and increase the resources they’re able to share with students.

In many cases, apps intended for personal use help educators stay organized, manage expenses and tasks that are associated with school, and more. And when students use a wide variety of apps, their knowledge increases, as do the skills they’ll use in college and the workforce.

Not all schools have one-to-one programs or are ready to implement such programs, but because mobile devices are so prevalent among today’s educators and students, apps are some of the most impactful and easy-to-access tools, said Michelle Luhtala, head librarian at New Canaan High School in Connecticut.

(Next page: 50 apps for productivity)

“We’re not all ready to launch into one-to-one, and not every school is ready for one-to-one,” Luhtala said during an edWeb presentation. “But with testing, more schools are looking at one-to-one, or certainly more mobile technology, because testing is going to be computer-based, and we’re scrambling to come up with resources to meet those needs.”

She said that often, schools launch mobile technology but don’t necessarily follow up with training for teachers.

“[Here is an] opportunity for you to take the device you have today and start thinking about it as a computer,” she said, noting that the majority of people have access to smartphones.

Luhtala reviewed 50 apps that can help teachers and librarians organize materials, locate information and resources, and more. Her entire presentation is available here, and resources found in that presentation are available here (free registration is required in both cases).

Twenty-two apps are included below, and you can locate the rest via the two links above.


Airdrop: Users receive a notification that someone wants to share something, they accept, and the resource is shared wirelessly.

Airplay: A neat AirPlay function is mirroring, in which users can take what they do on their phone and display it on a computer. If you add that with a screencasting tool, Luhtala said, you have fabulous tutorials that you’ve made on your phone.


Google Sheets (iOS and Android): Create, edit, and collaborate with others on spreadsheets from your device with the free Google Sheets app.

OneReceipt: Store receipts in the cloud, automatically pull in eReceipts, organize spending, and scan receipts to enter electronically. A useful tool for teachers to keep track of school spending, and a nice way for students to learn about budgeting.

Information management

Feedly (iOS and Android): Feedly is an RSS news reader re-imagined for mobile devices. It makes browsing faster and more fun: the content of your rss feeds, news sites and blogs are transformed into pocket-sized cards which load very fast and are easy to browse.

Flipboard: It’s a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. Add your favorite social networks, publications and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people closest to you.

News360: News360 is an app that learns what you enjoy and finds stories you’ll like around the web.

Pocket: This app helps people save interesting articles, videos and more from the web for later enjoyment. Once saved to Pocket, the list of content is visible on any device–phone, tablet or computer. It can be viewed while waiting in line, on the couch, during commutes or travel–even offline.

Pearltrees: Pearltrees is a place for your interests. This free app lets you organize, explore and share everything you like. Add web pages, files, photos or notes and organize them naturally. Explore amazing collections that relate to your interests and subscribe to their updates. Access your account anytime and share anything from your computer, mobile and tablet.

LastPass: LastPass is a password management app that saves your passwords and gives you secure access to them from every computer and mobile device. With LastPass, you only remember one password–your LastPass master password. LastPass will fill your logins for you and sync your passwords everywhere you need them.


Google Maps (iOS and Android): The Google Maps app for iPhone and iPad makes navigating your world faster and easier. Find the best spots in town and the information you need to get there.

Museum Finder: This app quickly identifies your location and lets you choose the nearest museum. When you select a listing, you can see the museum’s location on the map, the address, telephone number, and the distance from where you are. You can also call the museum directly by tapping on the phone icon on your iPhone.

World Explorer Gold: With more than 350,000 locations, it’s like having a professional tour guide always by your side. Using the speaker or headphones, listen to explanations about locations and resources. The app also has augmented reality features.

LibAnywhere: The library catalog is now available for your mobile phone! Search, discover, and interact with participating libraries–anywhere you are, right away.

History Pin: The Historypin app reveals photos near your current location and allows you to view them layered over the modern scene in front of you. You can also explore Collections of some of the best old photos from around the world, wherever you are.

What Was There: This app will detect where you are and show you any historic photographs that were captured nearby, plotted on a map. Switch into Camera view for an augmented reality experience of the history that surrounds you. If you’re at a location where a historic photo was taken, enlarge the photo to full screen mode to use your camera and the on screen fader to transition between past and present.

FieldTrip (iOS and Android): Field Trip can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun. You select the local feeds you like and the information pops up on your phone automatically, as you walk next to those places. Field Trip runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it will notify you and if you have a headset or Bluetooth connected, it can even read the info to you.


iStopMotion Remote Camera: iStopMotion Remote Camera allows the use of the camera as a remote camera for iStopMotion running on an iPad (2 or newer, incl. iPad mini) or iStopMotion 3 on a Mac. The remote camera is connected via a WiFi connection.

iTimeLapse Pro: Create stunning time lapse and stop motion videos straight from any iphone, iPod, or iPad 2.

Strip Designer: Use this app to create your own personal comic strips, created on your iPad, iPhone or iPod, using photos from your photo album or iPhone camera.

Fuse: Get photos and videos from your mobile device to your favorite TechSmith desktop products. Import an existing photo or video, or capture something new using the app’s built-in camera. Then, send your video to TechSmith Relay, or use the editing power in Snagit and Camtasia to create custom, shareable content.

Twister: Take photographs, enhanced videos and panoramas in a snap. Watch your iPhone rotate automatically when you put it on a flat surface.

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