Category Archives: Productivity

Attendance Apps

This week I helped Dr. Helmer’s class learn how to use Prezi, but I learned about something too… iPad attendance apps! Dr. Helmer was using a free app called TeacherPal to take attendance. Dr. Helmer simply set up his iPad, which showed his students’ names and pictures. The students then came up one by one and, with one simple touch, recorded their attendance.

I soon found out that there are several attendance apps to choose from. Teacher Pal is free, but I liked the review for Attendance and the fact that it seemed more geared toward higher ed, so I decided to invest the $4.99. Like Teacher Pal, it allows you to create different classes, add students, and take their pictures. Default attendance options are present, absent, late, excused, and unknown. The app allows you to record notes about individual students and view/email reports. So far, it is working great. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a screenshot, and I can’t show you mine due to FERPA.

Speaking of FERPA, if you are keeping student information on your mobile device, make sure you password/passcode protect that device.

Need to Create a Form?

I just came across a really cool form builder called Wufoo. If you are familiar with Google Docs, then you may know that you can easily create forms there. Wufoo, however, is like the Google Docs form builder on steroids. You can use it to collect and analyze data, or even collect donations (although the latter is only available with a paid plan). As an instructor, use Wufoo to collect info from students, RSVP for class events, create a visually-appealing quiz, etc.

When you first login to Wufoo, you’ll immediately be able to create and start editing a form. As you click through the options, pop-ups will appear to guide you.

To create fields, you can either choose from a predetermined list (i.e. name, address, phone, etc.), or create your own based on field criteria (i.e. single line text, checkbox, dropdown, etc.).

Once your form is created, you can edit the look by changing colors and/or themes. If you want, you can choose to be notified via email, mobile device, or RSS when someone fills out the form. When you’re ready to start collecting entries, you can choose to do so by getting a link that you can share, embedding the form in a website or blog, or sending it as an email directly from Wufoo.

The most useful part of Wufoo is the ability to analyze data from your form entries. You can create reports complete with graphs, charts, and/or grids. Descriptive text can be added as well.

The free version of Wufoo allows 1 user to create 3 forms with up to 10 fields, 3 reports, and collect up to 100 entries per month. Click here for a quick tour of Wufoo.

Free Web Conferencing

If you attended the May 13 faculty seminar, I am sure you understand many of the benefits of web conferencing. I like web conferencing for both face-to-face and distance purposes. In working one-on-one in a face-to-face environment, it allows you to collaborate with another user, each with your own computer. For example, as an instructional designer, I will use it when working with an instructor on a Blackboard course. We can be sitting across from one another, but both working on the same course at the same time. A professor in my doctoral program did something similar in a meeting I had with him. He pulled up my research paper using web conferencing and, as he provided feedback, we were both able to type comments on the paper. For distance education, the possibilities are numerous: virtual office hours, tutoring, group sessions, etc.

Mikogo is a free web conferencing tool that offers all of the features you would want in a web conferencing product (i.e. desktop sharing, remote mouse control, whiteboard, session recording, etc.). With Mikogo, you can work with up to 10 participants, making it perfect for tutoring or small groups.

If you want to work with a larger group, try AnyMeeting. AnyMeeting offers many of the same features as Mikogo, but you can have up to 200 participants. Yes, 200! The catch? It is ad-supported, so users will see ads. If this doesn’t bother you, it’s a great web-based tool.

We are working on getting a campus-wide tool but, until then, try out one of these freebies and get a feel for web conferencing!

Assist Students with Productivity


If your students are bringing iPads, iPhones, or iTouches to class, you should recommend that they check out InClass. This FREE app is advertised as the tool to “organize your schedule, share your notes, and ace your classes.”  Here’s a rundown of some of the things students can do with InClass:

  • Take notes in multiple forms (text, photo, video, audio)
  • Keep a schedule of classes and tasks
  • Set alarms for tasks and homework
  • Record class lectures while simultaneously taking notes
  • Keep track of instructor information by storing their contact details in the instructor tab
  • Share notes with classmates who are using InClass

This really is a great app, and I’m sure students would appreciate the suggestion. With InClass, they can digitize their notes, stay organized, and ultimately be more productive.

I was in a meeting with Lisa Ashby the other day and she mentioned that she couldn’t live without Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it was something to that effect! Anyway, I had never heard of GoodTodo, so I quickly checked it out… and I can see why she likes it so much.

GoodTodo is an online to-do list, but with a lot more functionality than others that you may have seen. First of all, you have the ability to create to-do’s for different days. So, I could create a to-do for today, but if I don’t have to do something until Friday, I could make it for Friday. If, however, I don’t check it off on Friday, it will roll over to the next day. That is pretty nifty, but by far the coolest thing about GoodTodo is that you can email to-do’s. This is a great way to keep your inbox cleaned out. Check out how it works:


GoodTodo is free for up to 10 to-do’s per day. If you are really busy and tend to have more to-do’s than that, you can upgrade for $3 per month. This will give you an unlimited amount of to-do’s and the ability to export your to-do list.

Oh, and for you iPhone users… yes, there is an app for that!

Thanks for the tip, Lisa!