Thursday, June 19, 2014

I got a badge!

So when the one month extension was announced, I was somewhat disappointed. When July 15th came and went, I had not completed the challenge, but at least the guilt was over. Then an extension - AND ANOTHER WHOLE MONTH OF GUILT!

Well I decided the best way to get rid of the guilt was to displace it with a sens of accomplishment: two more Things DONE!

Thing 5: Notetaking

I feel like crying. Why is there no Dragon Dictation for Android? That is what I want - a clean, simple way to speak my thoughts, then clean up the text and save it in other files/projects.

Springpad and Bamboo Paper are not in the Google Play store. I tried Remember the Milk but I'm not interested in "to do" lists.

How long before there is an Android version or knock-off of Dragon Dictation?

Thing 4: Keeping Up

How many times have you been told "a picture is worth a thousand words?" So many times that the phrase has reached the status of LAW? Well, Flipboard just taught me that it's not always true. One picture only tells one story and takes up considerably more screen space than a list of headlines.

I was excited about trying Flipboard since seeing it featured in the 23 Mobile Things webinar I attended in December. In this age of information overload, successful strategies to "keep up" can be great time savers. I loaded Flipboard onto my tablet, connected a few accounts and gave it a spin. I can understand why some people prefer content that places more emphasis on images, but I prefer text. Maybe it's just the way I use RSS feeds; I subscribe to numerous feeds and am interested enough to read about 5-10% of the content. That is manageable when I am scanning lists of headlines - but time-consuming when the lists have been edited and photos added.

One feature that I did like and will continue to use is viewing my Facebook content. It makes it real easy to see news about companies and organizations whose pages you have liked. It even encouraged me to go through and cull out those companies that were not important to me beyond the contest/service etc. that I had to "Like" a page in order to access.

Of course, CMLE is still on the list of my Liked pages.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thing 3: Utilities

This semester, our library has had a new scanner system on a trial basis; once you scan your document, you can save it to a flash drive, send it to email or - and this is the relevant part - it will be saved as a unique web site and a QR code will appear on screen for you to scan with smartphone or tablet.

We figured (correctly) that email would be the most popular, flash drive would come in second and QR code scanning would be a distant third. Unfortunately, for the first week the scanner was set up, we were having trouble with email and the USB port was hard to access until we installed an extension cord. To get to the point, for the first week, the QR code was the easiest solution - if you know what they are and how to scan them. Some instructional signage was called for.

After a little research, I put together the following sign:

I even created a QR code to collect feedback online.

I had used both Google Goggles and Red Laser before starting this project. I don't like how Red Laser is so shopping-focused and it is much slower than other apps when scanning a QR code. Google Goggles is better, but I don't like the way it tries to turn every photo I take into an image search or the way the image searching function has become less effective. Both apps hit the trash bin for me.

I do really like this idea of making QR codes more aesthetically pleasing.

When I made a poster for a recent library event, the QR code was built with a colored background to match the color scheme of the poster. Nothing fancy, but it wasn't so stark as black on white.

 As to future uses, I've thought about adding QR codes to the title labels in our print periodicals collections. It can be very confusing to figure out where older issues are located; oftentimes there are runs of years in different formats. A QR code linking to the title's catalog entry might be just the ticket.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thing 2: Mobile Device Tips

No. I haven't forgotten about 23 Things. I actually did this Thing in early February - it is the blogging that has held me up. I think partly because this was a pretty big thing. I first viewed the videos for my device - a Google Nexus 7" - on my device, but quickly decided I needed to watch the videos on my desktop while trying the different things on my tablet.

I tried the different locking options. Facial recognition was interesting and I wouldn't mind that method, if I didn't have to see my face on screen every time I unlock it!

I played a little with arranging shortcuts on my home page, but had a lot of trouble dragging them to the extra screens - they would get stuck in the quick task bar, then I couldn't drag them out. I still have more work to do with setting up the screens for frequent functions.

I really like the live wallpaper. I do find that my battery life is significantly lower now; I think the wallpaper choice is a big part of that. "Cool" may have to be dropped in favor of "long-lasting."

One thing I hate about my device is the mechanism for doing a screen capture; it is very difficult to press the power and volume buttons simultaneously - I'm as likely to turn the tablet off as take a screen cap.

The "how to" websites are definitely worth adding to my bookmarks page; they are a good way to discover what your device is capable of; a google search is still best to find instructions how to achieve a specific goal.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thing 1: Blogging and Registering

I am looking forward to working through the 23 things with my co-workers. I almost always have access to a pc so it is already a challenge for me to limit myself to doing these tasks on my tablet - a full keyboard and mouse is just so much easier. I'm resolved, though. I realize the only way to get better is through practice.
By improving my comfort level with the tablet, I hope to be able to take advantage of those apps that are only available on mobile devices.