Robert Greco December 2010

A Teacher's Desk Photo :: December

Lately, I hardly even open my laptop during the teaching day and mostly use it for heavy emailing and document creation before school and at the end of the day, and for reading, writing, and researching in the evening at home. So, my digital desktop (While always evolving, it’s more consistent than any physical desk space that I use.) has been less Mac OS desktop and more iOS desktop. I was only going to show the first page of apps on my iPod desktop, but as we sat at his December desk, Stephen encouraged me to show all of the pages. View large or full size.

These are the apps that are most valuable to my teaching:

  1. Mail for communications from students, colleagues, and parents, and occasionally to them
  2. Safari for general searching and for whenever there isn’t “an app for that”
  3. Tumblr to follow the stream of posts from students and colleagues
  4. Notes to jot ideas when I’m on the move in the classroom or any other time I’m away from my laptop
  5. Instapaper to read long-form articles, especially while offline like waiting at the pool while my kids are at swim practice
  6. Dropbox to access important documents like schedules, presentation slides and notes, etc.
  7. Twitter to access news, culture, and professional development
  8. Camera/Instagram to document what I experience with photographs and videos
  9. App Store to find applications to recommend to students with iOS devices
  10. Wikipanion to make a direct Wikipedia query
  11. Google Cal to jump straight to my calendar in Safari
  12. Maps to find my way or send others to unknown locations
  13. RjDj to listen to what’s going on in class, but add another layer of sound (Wish I used this more.)

Here are a few lists of other apps without individual explanations:

  1. Up-and-comers: Skype, Evernote, Voice Memos, Adobe Ideas, Netflix, and Dictionary
  2. More reading material: Design Observer and McSweeney’s
  3. Previously useful for student projects in my humanities classes: iPray Lite, alQuran, various Bible apps, Greek Gods, and Poetry
  4. Apps I don’t often use myself, but that I have recommended to students: Dragon Dictation, Dragon Search, myHomework, and various randomizers

Additional notes:

  1. Color-sorting the apps is not an original idea.
  2. The contents of the ‘Zombies’ and ‘Games’ folders are for my kids, as are most of the contents of the ‘Crapola’ folder.
  3. The iPod Touch is nearly ideal for me save for two things: the lack of GPS (would love to make better use of apps like Serendipitor) and a higher resolution camera.
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