Monday, March 26, 2012

6 Must-Have Mobile Device Apps for the School Administrator

Ask yourself what makes an app on a mobile device useful, and the answer is that the most useful apps have these four characteristics:

  • The app is available for and syncs across multiple devices. This means users can use the app on their iPad, Android phone, or even their Kindle Fire. Because of this feature, data created or stored by the app is available on any one of the devices used.
  • The app is easy to use. This rule applies to any software, but most especially to mobile apps. It must have an easy to use interface and design. If it is too complicated, the difficulty of use outweighs any positive features the app might have.
  • The app facilitates the easy sharing of data stored or generated. Being able to share using app has rapidly become an expectation, especially with mobile device apps. The ability to Tweet out a note from your note taking app or to email someone found links in your social bookmark app makes the app useful for 21st century learners. Any app that is about collecting needs to be able to share out what is collected.
  • The app is free or relatively inexpensive.  People aren't willing to spend a great deal for apps they use,especially if there are functional free alternatives, which there often is. At the most, the apps need to be inexpensive as well if they are to be most useful for the money.

With those four characteristics in mind , here are my suggested apps for the administrator looking for mobile apps, whether it is the iPad, iPhone, or Android phone, here's my top six.

Note Taking App Evernote Evernote is by far the most versatile note taking app available currently. It easily has all four of the characteristics above. Evernote is accessible on my deskop, the web, my iPad, my Droid phone and even my Kindle Fire. Sharing notes is easy too. Even the premium version of Evernote is quite affordable. For more information check out
Cloud-Based Storage App Dropbox Dropbox is the easiest to use of the cloud-based storage options. Making sure a file appears on multiple devices is as easy as saving in your Dropbox folder. Sharing access to files and folders is easy too. Dropbox meets all four criteria above to easily become my cloud-based storage app of choice. For more information regarding Dropbox check out
Social Bookmarking

Diigo for iPad

Powernotes for Android Device
Diigo is definitely the way to go to customize how you share bookmarks and notes with others. It also has versions of its apps available on anything electronic, and sharing through social media, email or groups is a cinch. Diigo meets all four criteria above as well. For more information regarding Diigo, check out For information on Powernotes, check out
PDF Readers

Goodreader for (iPad)

ezPDF Reader for Android Devices
Good PDF readers allow users to easily access, read, and annotate PDF documents. While neither of these apps meet all of the criteria above, both of these apps make reading PDF documents easy. For information about Goodreader, check out For information about ezPDF Reader, check out
Twitter Clients

Tweetcaster for Android Devices

Twitter for iPad
Tweetcaster is my favorite on my Kindle Fire, and the Twitter app is my Tweeting app of choice for the iPad. The truth is, since Twitter redid Tweetdeck, it is my Twitter app of choice simply because I’ve tried others and haven’t found one I like better. For information on Tweetdeck for desktop, check out For information on Tweetcaster for Android devices, check out For Twitter for iPad, check out
E-Reader Kindle I began using all the e-book apps, iBook, Nook, and Kindle in the very beginning, but I have since become a Kindle enthusiast for a couple of reasons. First of all, I like the selection of books offered by Amazon, and secondly there are some great browser extension apps that make sending documents to read in your Kindle app easy to do. For more information on the Kindle apps, check out

Getting the most out of your technology and your mobile devices means using apps that make our jobs easier. These six apps are at the top of my recommendation list for administrators looking to take advantage of the mobility in mobile devices.

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