Sunday, July 6, 2014

4 Free Apps To Make A Personal Learning Network on the iPad

I thought I'd share how I set up my personal learning network on my iPad. That way someone can hopefully tell me what I'm doing wrong.
Here are the apps I use in order of how often I use them:

#1: Zite
Zite is a big recommendation engine that gives you articles based on what you like to read.  Because it learns what you like, its no surprise that I started using it more and more. 
And I guess its no surprise that when it  was bought by Flipboard a couple of months ago they announced that it will cease to exist soon. So Zite really isn't #1 at all. It's #non-existent. Let's try this again.

#2: Bloglovin #1: Bloglovin
Bloglovin' is a free blog reader that worked just fine until an update screwed it up. Here's what I need a blog reader to do:
- Collect blog posts.
- Scroll through the collected blog posts.
- Be able to read the blog posts no matter how I position my iPad
- Save blog posts I like. 
I don't need much. Bloglovin's latest update made it so that I have to position the iPad vertically in order to read anything. That's annoying. 
So I started using Feedly instead.
Let's try this again...

(Update: The July 12, 2014 update of Bloglovin' reinstated landscape view. So it's my favorite again). 

#3: Feedly  #1: Feedly 
Feedly is a free blog reader that is fine. 
Here are the websites that I follow: 
Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Cracked: A humor website that is chalked full of interesting history and information.
Diane Ravitch's blog: Why don't I teach in the US? Diane's blog scared me away.

EdReach: Their podcasts drive me crazy.
Edudemic: Great article titles that often disappoint when I click on them. 
Hack Education: I really like her take on stuff.
Open Culture: Awesome
The Kid Should See This: More Awesome

Free Technology For Teachers IT Babble My Paperless Classroom
Getting Smart Innovation Design In Ed Larry Ferlazzo's Website
Langwitches Blog The Innovative Educator The Tempered Radical

There are some others, but I didn't want to list them all here. This seems like as good a place to start as any though if you want to continue to expand your blog feed. 

Last Place: Flipboard
Flipboard is a twitter hashtag curator that at one time may have been a blog reader but that functionality seems to have been taken away. Since it acquired Zite I hope that it becomes a recommendation engine as well but they could just shut it down. Who knows? 
It's fine. I wish I had more control over the content. People misuse the hashtags all the time though, which can make it frustrating. That's not Flipboard's fault, but they could give more control to the end user. 
Here are the hashtags I use to make my Flipboard:

I can't tell the difference between the #edchat hashtag and the #educhat hashtag, so I made magazines out of them both. #4thchat is specifically for 4th grade teachers. And I made a magazine just out of Larry Ferlazzo posts because he posts so much. By the way, how does Larry Ferlazzo post so much? Is there more than one? Does he outsource? It seems impossible to me, but there he is, virtual proof that there are more than 24 hours in a day.

What do you use as your PLN tools? Who do you pay attention to? Let me know! 

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