SwiftKey Android mobile app for speedy keyboarding.

SwiftKey mobile app for Android is super great with writing prediction. It can even create meanings from very incorrectly spelt words.  Great for speed writing an also for dyslexic users!”  Andrew (computer science)

SwiftKey have produced a YouTube video of their version 4 of the app where you can also write phrases with word prediction.

Note taking with a digital recorder

Edirol R-09HR digital recorder

Edirol R-09HR digital recorder

“I generally do not take notes in lectures, as I have this problem where I want my notes to make sense, so that if I was looking at them afresh, I would be able to understand them.  Also, I want to concentrate on what the lecturer is saying.  What I do is I use an Edirol R09HR digital audio recorder [now discontinued] to record the lectures, so that I can listen back to them if I did not get something the first time, and I also monitor the recording by using headphones, so it is almost like I am listening to the lecturer through a personal listening device.”

Sam – Live and Studio Sound

Several Olympus recorders offer audio feedback and audible navigational support when saving or erasing files – The RNIB offer a selection of suitable digital recorders.

Recent discussions (Feb 2013) about the use of a Dictaphone in lectures has been occurring on the Dis-forum mailing list (login required) and a useful link was provided to research on student attendance when recording lectures and other aspects of lecture capture provided by University College, London.

Adobe Reader remembers where you last viewed part of a document

“I found it useful when revisiting lectures notes for exams to use Adobe Reader.  It can remember the last view of a document and when I re-opened it I am able to start revising from where I left off without having to look for items or remember the particular slide or page again.”

adobe reader preferences

adobe reader document settings

To check you have set up the settings for this to happen

  1. Go to Edit > Preferences.
  2. Choose Documents.
  3. Check the box marked, Restore last view settings when reopening documents.
The same is possible if you are using Foxit Reader Just select Edit > Preferences > General, and then enable Restore last view settings when reopening.

Free Dictionary on the iPad and Dictionary.com app

Dictionary on iPhone“I like the way on the iPad the dictionaries are available from different apps but I also use the free Dictionary.com and Thesaurus app as it works offline and gives me the pronunciation of words.”  Andreas

There are advertisements supporting the free version of the app.  These disappear if you pay £2.99 for the ad free version of the Dictionary.  The iPad version also appears to work on an iPhone OS 6 as can be seen in the image and you can say the word using speech recognition.

Butterscotch.com have provided a YouTube video about the Dictionary.com app and mentions that you need to be online to use the audio pronunciation.

Wikipedia to help with writing

“I use Wikipedia before starting to write any reports or essays in order to have a broad idea    that may relate to a specific topic. Then I start to look for references, websites, journals and conference papers.”

But as is commented on the page that we have linked to on Wikipedia  “Do your research properly and wisely.  Remember that any encyclopaedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.”  However, Wikipedia often provides references at the bottom of the topic page and can lead to other more academic resources and it even offers advice as to how Wikipedia should be used for researche

There is also a YouTube video describing the way Wikipedia can be used for Research

Using Google Drive and Group wikis for collaboration.

“Another learning issue I have solved is related to collaborative learning.  This is solved by using Google Drive to share information and to collaborate as well as Group wikis on Moodle.” Andreas

Google Drive has Google Docs and many other file formats and apps that can be viewed from the browser or installed on a PC. Google has provided a YouTube video as an overview of the latest version of Google Drive.

A wiki is a good way to work on a project where there are many different areas to be discussed as these can be separated out, but appear all on one website with one web address.  Tabs can be used for the different areas as well as menu pages.  You can set up your own wiki even if you cannot access Moodle or do not have your own web pages – try PBworks as it is free and very easy to use.  You can decide who can edit the pages and you do not need to know any HTML.  There are more instructions on how to set up a wiki on the wikihow.com pages. Below you will see an image of some pages I have set up on PBworks.

pbworks sample page