At the end of last summer, I was first in line at my local Sprint store when the Samsung Epic 4G came out. I wrote a blog post about my favorite 15 Android apps right after that. Since I’ve had the phone for two semesters now, I thought it was time to revisit the post and update it. So here is my current list of favorite apps for professors.
- Attendance: My university has an attendance policy, and I used to make an Excel spreadsheet and manually track attendance each week. Then I found Attendance by Android for Academics. Love it. I just make a quick Google spreadsheet with the students’ first and last names and sync the spreadsheet to Attendance. I take roll reading names off my Samsung Epic now. The app tallies the dates and number of absences and tardies. Super easy.
- BlackBoard Learn: Though the BlackBoard app doesn’t allow me to do everything that my desktop program will do, I can read discussion items, create announcements, e-mail students, and more.
- Google Listen: I’m an avid podcast listener. I add the RSS feed of my favorite podcasts to my Google Reader, then I can easily download and play the podcasts using Google Listen.
- Evernote: Quite often I listen to podcasts while take my daily morning walk. When I hear (or come up with) an idea that I need to capture, I use Evernote’s Audio Note feature. (Typing/texting and walking don’t work well for me. But I definitely can talk and walk.)
- StopWatch & Timer: When students do presentations, I time them using this little app. I can have the app count up (with the StopWatch) or count down (with the Timer).
- TweetDeck: I confess. I am a tweetaholic. I use Twitter, for personal and professional reasons, many times a day. TweetDeck makes it easy to manage multiple accounts.
- Advanced Task Killer: To be sure that unneeded apps are not running and taking up precious battery power, try Advanced Task Killer. It will show you — at a glance — all the apps that are running, even those behind the scenes, and you can choose which ones to “kill.” You don’t want your Epic battery to die during your day on campus.
- Kindle: My husband and I share one Kindle. By having the Kindle app on my Samsung Epic, I can read books in our collection even when it’s his “turn” to have the Kindle. And it’s great to show my students how many free classic books are available in the Kindle store.
- Barcode Scanner: This little app works with your Android camera. It will scan both barcodes and QR codes. It’s fun to show students what those little square codes are for, and equally fun to show them how to do price comparisons while shopping.
- Shazam: When I can quickly refer to songs my students also listen to, it helps me relate to them better. I cheat a little using Shazam. To find out what “that song” is, use Shazam. It will listen to the song and determine title and artist.
So those are my current favorite Android apps for professors. Are there others you’d recommend?
(P.S. Though I love my Samsung Epic dearly, I am not a fan of its battery life. To help with this shortcoming, I’ve purchased two things: an extra battery to keep on hand and the Energizer XP4001 Universal Rechargeable Power Pack. I can’t tell you how many times the Energizer thingy has helped me. . . and my friends who needed a quick recharge, as it can charge two devices at once.)