Welcome to the Student Innovator Blog

Welcome to the Student Innovator Blog

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The Student Innovators is a group of students passionate about using technology to help learning. They will be trying out apps and web tools alongside their studies and give feedback on the Student Innovator blog. They work together as a team to share their experiences so you know before you download which app is best. You are welcome to read their reviews and leave comments.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

ExamTime The App, Review - By Mustafa Mahmoud

ExamTime The App - now called Go Conqr

A step in the right direction

By Mustafa Mahmoud

A few months ago, I came across a website called ExamTime. I gave it a generally positive review, with my main issue being the lack of a dedicated app. The creators of ExamTime have now brought out said dedicated app. The question is, “how well does the app work with its given functions?”

The app itself appears to be well polished and is nicely designed, with everything being clear and clean. All four forms of revision are ported over nicely, with no layout issues when trying to view them. For those who haven’t read my previous review, the four different forms of revision available are:
  • Mind Map
  • Quiz
  • Flashcards
  •  Notes
Signing into the app, I was able to retrieve my old notes, bearing no compatibility errors, which is nice to see. The app is a nice addition to the platform, allowing for an easier viewing of the notes on the go. The only issue now is the fact that you can’t create or edit any notes on the app. While this is understandable as it would be quite hard to do, it detracts from the overall experience. This means that if you simply want to add a few sentences or some extra questions, you’ll have to go find a computer. In a day and age where mobile phones have such dominance, this is slightly disappointing. However the existence of an app shows their dedication to the platform, hopefully meaning we may see the ability come to fruition in an update. The only other issue is the abundance of loading screens, with no clever tricks attempting to mask them, although that’s mainly me nit-picking (it shouldn't be an issue to most people).

Overall the app works well, it offers a good way to revise on the go, and best of all, it looks nice. It may be missing some features, but it’s a step in the right direction.

To read my original review, which goes into more details about the functions, click here.

ExamTime is available for android and iOS and can be downloaded from here:

To view the website, click here

By Mustafa Mahmoud

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Poetry App by Connie

Name of App:  The Poetry App

Cost: Free

Device/s used: iPod

What was good about this tool?
This app has a collection of poems, some of which may be useful for AS Literature. It covers Goblin Market and Sister Maude by Christina Rossetti also The Patriot, My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover By Robert Browning. Its useful to always have them to hand for revision for example Goblin Market is so long it takes 20 minutes to read making it more portable. Also by having it on an Apple device it is very easy to get word definitions. Part of the app is actors giving narrations of the poems, this would be very good as you can get a greater understanding of the poems meaning. However I have tried to download and play this feature yet it still does not work.

What was bad about this tool?
The ability to download more poets and their poems would be useful as at the moment you are very restricted to the ones that are already pre-programmed.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Google Keep Review - By Mustafa Mahmoud

Google keep review

The best note taking app?

By: Mustafa Mahmoud

There are hundreds of note taking apps out there. Many in fact have already been reviewed by my fellow innovators. However in amongst the abundance of apps, there lies Google Keep. So what exactly does it do differently that makes it my, and hopefully your, favourite note taking app?

Keep (or Google Keep) is a Google product, and is therefore weaved quite well into the android ecosystem. There is no iOS app unfortunately, but this means that Google was able to focus on android specific features, such as creating widgets, working with android wear, and syncing with Google Now. It has 4 core features however: taking notes, making lists, voice notes, and picture notes. With all of those, you can set a reminder if you wish, to ensure you don’t forget it.

To use keep, you must have a Google account, and although some may not like that, it allows Keep to sync across multiple devices. This means that if you write a shopping list on your tablet, you can go to Asda and tick off the items from your phone. There’s a Chrome app as well as a website, meaning that you’ll be able to reach for your notes on most devices. The app itself has a simple layout (single or multi-column), with each note being able to be customised in terms of colour. The notes themselves can be rearranged, allowing you to put your more important notes near the top. Notes can also be archived, for those notes that you no longer need. The simple UI makes it easy to use, and nice on the eyes.

There may be many alternate apps that do way more than Keep (such as Evernote), but for what it does do, Keep is the best. So if you’re looking for a simple, reliable and good looking notes app, Google Keep is the app for you.

You can check out the website here, and you can download it from here:

By Mustafa Mahmoud

Grammarly by Hayley

Name of App: Grammarly
Cost: Free
Device/s used: PC 
What was good about this tool?
This web page is a very simple grammar checking tool. The main selling point of this web page is that you're able to copy and paste paragraphs of text into this tool and it will check all grammar in those paragraphs for you within seconds and change the mistakes that you make. I found Grammarly very effective when writing my assignments as before submitting them for deadline I could check my paragraphs through Grammarly to remove any mistakes that I had made. Grammarly is also very easy to use.
What was bad about this tool?
You can only access Grammarly on a computer with internet access therefore, if your computer doesn't have internet connection you're unable to use this tool.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Send Anywhere by Liam

Name of App:  Send Anywhere

Cost: Free

Device/s used: iPhone/ Android/ Macbook

What was good about this tool?
You can send any file from any device to any other device. You can send a photo, video, text or a file through this app. The way that it works is that when you want to send something you go on the app or the website, then you select what you want to send. This then gives you a unique code that lasts for 10 mins. After you have typed it on the other device it automatically sends it.

I found this much quicker than email and can easily share and access files, images etc on all my devices.

What was bad about this tool?

I don't think there are any faults with this app, I think it is great! I would recommend everyone to download!

Dragon Dictation by Liam

Name of App:  Dragon Dictation

Cost: Free

Device/s used: iPhone

What was good about this tool?
You can speak in to this app and it will convert it into text. It has a great setting which can 'detect end-of-speech', this detects when I finish talking and then processes my speech into text. It also links with my contacts and recognise names. If they input the wrong word I can go back and change it using their suggestions or keyboard. 

I can send the text through SMS, email or copy to clipboard, in addition I can share via Facebook or Twitter.

It helps people who struggle with spellings and can help with writing assignments.

What was bad about this tool?

Some words with similar pronunciations the app may not convert the word you have asked for e.g. 'same' and 'sane'.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Free Graphing Calculator by Louis

Name of App:  Free Graphing Calculator

Cost: Free

Device/s used: SAMSUNG (Android)

What was good about this tool?
I like this app as it has lots of different equations and graph types I can use. In addition, it has a scientific calculator and normal calculator functions. The app also has a unit converter which can be used for subjects such as Physics, as it converts acceleration, angle, energy, force, mass and more! It also has a triangle solver where you can work out angles and length. It forms the triangle to the measurements given on my homework  questions. 

I also like the inbuilt maths dictionary which can explain the definitions on a wide variety of mathematical terms. 

What was bad about this tool?
 No tutorial on how to use the app, therefore you need to know which type of graph you require. If it had a tutorial it would be a great app but without it can be a little confusing.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Letterspace by Connie

Name of App:  Letterspace

Cost: Free

Device/s used: iPod

What was good about this tool?
This is a simple note taking tool/app. Its main selling point is that you can use hashtags to group different notes together and search your notes using these hashtags. There are many different fonts to choose from and it is easy to change the size too. This is better for note taking in comparison to Inkflow which was better for diagrams and labels. I think this app is best for taking down quick notes and maybe idea developments as the hashtags can link them together. Letterspace can be downloaded to all Apple products with up to date software and so it can be synced across devices.

What was bad about this tool?
You do not get seperate 'Notebooks' and so all notes go into one list. This can be difficult if you want to use this app for multiple subjects. Also the font only comes in black unless you want to pay £1.49 per colour!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Qrafter Pro by Liam

Name of App:  Qrafter Pro

Cost: £1.49

Device/s used: iPhone

What was good about this tool?

I use this app to create QR codes for images, URLS, emails and to text, I do this all on my phone. I can also scan already made QR codes from this app. Once created I can send my QR code to my camera roll, send by email or share on Facebook or Twitter. I can also change the colour of the QR, which can help to make each one unique. I can keep the QR code secure by creating a password encryption. I can also scan already made QR codes straight from my camera and can adjust accordingly by setting it to single scan or batch scan. 

I have found it useful using QR codes to direct people to websites or text. It also keeps a history of the past QR codes I have scanned.

The app also has an inbuilt help feature and can let you know which type of QR codes your phone can scan.

What was bad about this tool?

I have not found anything bad about this app yet, I think it is great!

Natural Reader by Liam

Name of App:  Natural Reader

Cost: Free

Device/s used: iPhone

What was good about this tool?

Natural Reader is a useful app for those who struggle to read from the internet. I have use it to to copy text from the internet and emails, I then paste this into the app and it reads it out to me. I can also type straight into the app. I can choose the voice or download more, also I can change the speed of the voice to make it faster or slower. 

This app helps me when reading articles online from my phone, I can click 'listen now' it convert it to a readable format and I can pick the paragraph I would like it to read. 

What was bad about this tool?

The only thing bad about this app is that you can only edit the text once when I input my own material.