Smart Phone, Tablet Apps for School

Got a smart phone or tablet  for school. Make the most use of it with some of these cool apps.

Always on the go and need to access some stored files, but don’t have the space or time to get them loaded onto your tablet or phone? No worries, use one of these free apps to move files between devices. These apps also allow sharing with others for collaborative projects.

Google Drive is the extension of what Google Docs used to be. It has added a lot of new features but the most interesting feature is the use of Google Drive folder. This addon can be installed on your main PC or Mac. Once installed, anything you save in your Google Drive folder on your machine can be accessed online through or even through the Google Drive app on Tablets and Phones. You can even arrange items in folders and be able to access them anywhere you have an internet connection. You get about 15 GB free and can upgrade if more space is needed.

Another option is Dropbox which gives 2 gigs of free space to use and access anywhere. It has a similar app that can be installed on your PC or Mac or Linux device and can also be accessed on Tablets and Phones. Anything beyond 2 GB requires a monthly fee.

Evernote is a note taking app that also has cloud storage options for your notes and can also be accessed on multiple devices. The cool thing about evernote is that it syncs your notes on all devices. So I often use it to quickly jot down something on my phone or use it in conjunction with an extension for chrome on my computer, to save interesting sites or research I am working on.

Pocket is another app I use to save interesting articles from blogs or sites, to read later. I use an extension available on chrome to save it for later. I can then read it online or using the pocket app, I can read it on my phone or tablet.


Welcome back

Welcome back to Northern Virginia Community College as we begin the 2013-14 academic year! I hope that your summer was filled with wonderful adventures and relaxing times with friends and family.

We look forward to a great year! I wish the best of success to all of you and remind you that the Open Computer Center staff is here to help you in whatever way we are able to. Please let us know how we may better assist you!

Open Sources for Education

Link to presentation

Links and Sources

Article about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Some MOOCs


Learn more about Gamifying Education


Article about Guitar Learning Site


Article on Community College Week about MOOCs


Future of Online Education is Free

This year I am going to test some online education resources to see which ones are better, while also learning something new.

The first of these free online services that I am going to work with is Codecademy. It is a free educational platform that focuses on teaching users programming. It is a community based website that teaches programing in an entertaining, almost game-like way. There are several programs designed that teach everything from Java Script, CSS, HTML and other programing languages. The exercises are simple and easy to follow.

The next one I am working on is a free only course that is provided by Stanford University on their Class2Go system. This is designed more like an online college course and is free for anyone to use. The free classes vary with the newest one being “Introduction to Databases”.

The last free online class service I am trying is edX. This one is interesting as it is supported by many schools but was first started by MIT and Harvard. Like Stanfords system the courses are University level, but because many schools are involved with edX, they offer many classes. The class I am most interested in is the Artificial Intelligence class offered by Berkley.



Evernote is a note taking software/app/service that is accessible various ways. It is a little bit difficult to describe. Evernote’s Tagline explains it the best “Remember Everything” and I think that fits well.

It uses Cloud technology to save your notes, allowing you to have your notes sync between devices, computers and even accessible on there website.

Evernote can be used on your computer, phone, tablet or the web. It works on PC and Mac as well as on iOS and Android devices. I have even installed it on several computers at work and home.

First, to use Evernote, you need to sign up on there website here. Once you have made an account you can begin using it.

You understand the full power of Evernote service when you install the software or download the app. I have this windows program installed on work PC’s I frequent, my laptop, my home PC, on my tablet and phone. So now when I take a note on any device, it will sync to all other devices as long as I log into my account on each device I want to use. Or if you need to quickly access a note on a computer that you do not use, you can access it thorough Evernotes website.

Evernote also has browser addons that allows users to clip websites, images and other notes quickly from a browser.

Some apps like Penultimate also support the feature to clip to Evernote. (I will talk about note taking apps for tablets and phones in a future post.)

The following videos are some examples of how people are using Evernote:

How is it useful to a Student or Teacher?

Using Evernote Web Clipper

How is it useful at Work?

They have other products as well available on there site the work to enhance Evernote like ClearlySkitch and Evernote Peek.


Welcome to the Open Computer Center (OCC) blog. OCC’s new blog home under the schools blog system. Our older blog was hosted by Blogger and then later by site. OCC is part of Learning and Technology Resources at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

This blog will be used to cover various topics that can help students, faculty and staff learn more about the Computer Labs as well as learn more about other computer related topics.