Friday, June 13, 2014

Thing 23 - Evaluate 23 Mobile Things

This was pretty amazing.  As I mentioned many times in my blog, I don't actually own a digital device, and I was only able to start this program a few weeks ago, so my experience is bound to be vastly different from everyone else.

I was impressed with the variety of "Things" and how they were organized.  I also really enjoyed the variety of Apps suggested in each "Thing".

I loved reading and using the blogs written by the other participants.  They gave me insight, tips, encouragement, and often, made me laugh.

Even though I didn't get to use this slowly for 6 months, I do feel I learned a lot during my very intense, very focused study.  It actually was pretty cool to have nothing else distract me while doing this.

I learned many, many things that I have already begun using.  Thank you for this opportunity!

Thing 22 - Discovering Apps

I spent some time searching through Quixey.  Occasionally it seemed to not quite understand my query, but most of the time it was astonishing in its rapid response with seemingly endless choices.

Thing 21 - Free-for-all

I mentioned in the Hobbies Thing that I love the Cruise Critic website, so I was wondering how their App was doing.  When I researched this (on the Cruise Critic forums, of course) I found that they seem to still be working out the bugs, so I am not ready to download this one yet.

However, when they have worked it out I will be thrilled to have it.  I plan many trips, for my family, for extended family, for friends, for all ages and all abilities and hands down, Cruise Critic is my favorite site of all.  Even if we are not taking a cruise, they will have invaluable info on all places that a cruise ship might visit.

The first night I found this website, about 9 years ago, I told my husband, "I have found my people."  No matter where we have traveled I have found detailed information on anything I have a question about.

If you are cruising you don't have much time in any one port, so you need to be able to find the public transportation asap.  This site will tell you exactly how to walk to the train station, complete with photos showing you the sign where you need to turn right, how much the tickets cost, a link to the train schedules, what foods are best to avoid, etc.

As a rule they are upbeat and excited about where they are going or where they have been.  Plus, every location I have researched has at least one local who will gladly answer any question that someone might have.  (My last trip to Bermuda I asked where the closest store was to the ship so that I could buy string cheese.  Had an answer within a day.)  I always think of these locals as personal librarians who just like to help people enjoy their city.

Thing 20 - Games

Well, there really was no point for me to look at these because I am just not a game player.  Maybe, someday I will get into crossword puzzles, but honestly, if I have downtime in a place where I could conceivably spend time on a game, I will instead spend it reading, every time.  Always.

Thing 19 - Hobbies

Spotify!  How funny, since I wrote about that on Thing 16, I have been listening to it ever since.  : )

Other ones I searched out that I use all the time on the computer are Trip Advisor, Seat Guru and Cruise Critic.  Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic are 2 of my most important travel planning tools.  I usually plan out my trips before they start, however, having these websites on a mobile device with me on the trip would make last minutes changes much easier to organize.

Thing 18 - Education

So many choices.  I decided to look at Duolingo, Fooducate, Todays Document, and Quizlet.

All of them were great.  I love history and I love the National Archives, so Todays Document was the first one I looked at.  I liked it so much that I added it to my Facebook feed - which I never, ever do.
I looked back at the last weeks worth of documents and they were a totally delightful assortment of time periods, genres, etc.  Plus, you get to see an actual photo of the document or of the event.

Quizlet was also amazing.  The ability to easily make my own flashcards would have thrilled me while I was in school.  Looking over other sets was pretty cool, too.  I really liked that the language ones also had audio so that you could hear how to pronounce the words.

Fooducate was pretty inclusive and had a lot of good data.  Would be especially useful while you were eating out.

Duolingo really interested me because I love languages.  It seemed to be a very non intimidating way to begin to use a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) language.  It seemed more geared to students, but learning a language is the same at any age.

Thing 17 - Connecting to Community

So much fun!  So many ways to wander.  When I first looked at the list on 23 Things I was immediately drawn to MN 511 and MN Museums, so it was pretty funny to then check Mary and Sarah's blogs and find that those were the two they also picked.

I first learned about MN 511 this past winter.  Our library system used it to decide which days we would be closed this winter and I was so impressed with the program.  It was amazing how accurate it was.  Now, to be able to use this with current traffic conditions while driving would be great.  In fact, I could have used it this morning when there was a 15 car train derailment in Elk River and I was supposed to meet my cousin for our weekly walk.  The road was closed and I had no idea how to get back to where she was.

The museum site made me very happy because I am a total museum maniac.  We have spent a lot of time traveling with our children and they are used to being dragged into every possible quirky museum (and Carnegie Library) that I can find.  This could be a very useful tool.  Not only that, but this entire list shows the potential that exists for tourism of all kinds.