IT Innovation

Mash Up

News, views, trends, and tools

July/August 2015

Apps: Mobile Learning
Don’t wait for back-to-school to keep learning—from pocket converters to news aggregators, there are educational apps for every conceivable subject.

Math Ref
Featuring an expanding inventory of tools for common tasks, Math Ref provides formulas and equations to go. Browse more than 1,400 figures and examples to help you with math, physics, and chemistry. US$0.99 Android, US$1.99 iOS.

Offering courses created by its community in everything from history to memory training, Memrise’s clever technology adapts to your personal learning style. Create your own courses with rich multimedia flash cards. Free (Android, iOS).

Based on data from agencies such as NASA and the World Bank, Spotzi shows you maps of the world in unique detail, enriched with video and online articles. Browse for themes such as animals, temperatures, and tectonic plates. Free (Android, iOS, Windows).

Listen to news websites, online magazines, RSS feeds, and blogs—all read aloud. Web2go lets you select articles and updates from more than 1,000 websites to create custom article playlists you can listen to on the go. Free (Android, Windows).

Battery Extrovert

Tired of backup batteries that are too big to carry everywhere? Stay charged and connected with the bKey cable-free emergency external smartphone battery. bKey has a built-in USB tip and a micro-USB or iPhone tip to charge your iOS or Android phone on the go. bKey is no bigger than a car key but delivers a 350 milliampere-hour lithium-ion battery good for up to 45 minutes of battery life. Attach it to your key ring for use whenever you need it. US$29.99.


Tech in the Classroom

Teachers from 26 countries shed light on the global impact of classroom technology, and more than 90 percent agree that technology now plays a significant role in the classroom. Many use it for teaching and for communicating with parents. Insufficient access to computers and tablets is seen worldwide as being the biggest barrier to using tech for education. Responses came from 1,000 teachers in the US and more than 3,000 globally.


Source: TES Global
Smart Padlock

Eliminate the hassle of keys and combinations with Noke from FU-Z Designs. Use Noke with your iOS or Android smartphone for easy access to your possessions, and share them safely and securely. Choose permanent, one-time, or custom settings. Use Noke wherever you would normally use an ordinary padlock. Also available in a U-lock configuration. US$69.99.


Do you speak tech? Quiz yourself!

1. STEAM stands for _________.
a. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
b. Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics
c. Science, technology, the environment, architecture, and mathematics
d. Skills, tools, education, ability, and measurability

2. The short form for an open-access online course is _________.
c. LMS
d. PBL

3. A teaching method that adjusts to each student’s pace is called _________.
a. Adaptive learning
b. Assistive technology
c. Blended learning
d. Augmentative and alternative communication


1. (b) STEAM is a reaction to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) that includes arts as a priority as well. 2. (b) MOOC, or massive online open course. Supporters see today’s online learning options as a disruptive innovation. 3. (a) Adaptive learning describes software that changes content based on previous actions by a learner.

Photography bySérgio Rola,Unsplash