The Northwood Omniscient
There's an app for that, and everything elseFriday, June 01, 2012 By Ally DeJong & Madison Roberts
Want to know the weather for today? There’s an app for that. Want to learn Spanish? There’s an app for that. Want to know what you would look like with a “few” extra pounds? There’s an app for that. So is there really an app for everything? With over 350,000 apps available to download for the iPhone and iPad, Northwood students and faculty are coming to their own conclusions about whether or not this is true. Junior Stephanie Thompson says she used the DECA app during her trip to Salt Lake City, UT for nationals and it helped her navigate the city. “It helped me not get lost in Utah, and I wasn’t late,” said Thompson. Sophomore Darby Leinbach says her favorite app is Twitter, because she is able to access it anywhere without having to be at home on a computer. “I can see what celebrities are saying and I can keep up with my friends,” Leinbach said. “I can look at it anywhere I am, and it’s faster [as an app]. It’s a different layout [on my phone] than on the computer.” Social studies teacher Phillip Little says one of his favorite apps is RedLazor, which helps him compare prices when he goes shopping. “You can zap them and it will tell you if there’s any place nearby that offers the same thing,” Little said. Sometimes the apps aren’t what people expect them to be, so they end up getting rid of them. “I delete apps a lot. I’ll go to a website and look at the most popular free apps and about two-thirds of the time I’ll end up deleting them,” social studies teacher Roddy Story said. “I like to keep my phone clean of stuff I don’t use.” Leinbach said she has also deleted quite a few apps from her iPhone. “I deleted an app called the Ugly Meter,” Leinbach said. “I thought it was going to tell me I was pretty, but it told me I was ugly, so I deleted it.” Despite the wide variety of apps that are available, Little actually has some ideas for apps of his own. “I have had a lot of ideas for apps that teachers could use in their classrooms,” Little said. “It is a market, and I wish we could teach a class on how to make apps because it’s the next big thing. If you know how to create [an app], you can make some money.” One of Little’s ideas for an app that would be a “cool way to keep up with assignments” is to have the desks laid out on the screen and when a student is absent, to tap the desk of the missing student, which would send a message to the administration, and allow the teacher to keep up with that student’s assignments for all the days the student was absent. Although Little believes that there are some apps that could be developed to improve education technology, Northwood students and faculty have used some apps for school purposes. Senior Mikkie Gallagher uses the SparkNotes and CliffsNotes apps for English. Story uses an app in his classroom called DocScan. “It allows you to take a picture of a whiteboard and it centers it into a PDF file and makes it look like it’s on a piece of paper,” Story said. “Sometimes when a student has been absent, instead of writing down all the notes, I take a picture of my board and email the PDF to them.” Although there are a variety of apps available on the market, from entertainment purposes, to games, to education, Northwood students and faculty realize that although there may not be an app for everything, most find apps that they like to use. “I don’t know about everything, but [Apple] definitely has the market on them pretty good,” CTE teacher Rick Parks said.