In the past few years, most of the library meetings I’ve attended discuss mobilization and how mobile technology will be a game changer for libraries. These meetings usually focus on the big picture, and that is certainly appropriate.
But, for better or worse, the Jolly Librarian tends to be a small picture sort of person. So I get excited when an app solves a specific problem a student might have. And one did just that this week.
I am taking a web course this semester, and one of my assignments required making a short voice recording and sending it to my instructor. Not the toughest of assignments except I don’t have a microphone on my computer and the link the instructor provided didn’t work on my computer. What to do?
But then it occurred to me: there has to be an app for that! And sure enough, the app store provided me with many voice recording options, some of them free (my favorite type). I downloaded two to try out.
Luckily, the first one worked just fine. Voice Record Pro by Dayana Networks Ltd. was simple to use, telling me exactly when to start recording, and it gave me several options, including saving my recording to DropBox or Google Drive or simply attaching it to an email. The sound quality was fine, and after submitting it in my course, I double-checked that it worked. It did. So I was a happy student.
Students without computers at home often stop by the circulation desk to borrow a microphone to make recordings. But these apps mean that they can do this from their smart phones in the privacy of their own homes. And even those without Smartphones can borrow an iPad from the circulation desk and go to a study room to make their tape instead of having to talk into a microphone in public.
One warning, though. I decided to try out the other app I downloaded before writing this entry only to find that it’s not truly free. (The free version is a 30-day trial period.) This is not necessarily a bad thing; most apps are reasonably priced. But do make sure that the app will do what you need it to do without having to pay extra money.
The Jolly Librarian is always looking for inexpensive apps that will make students’ lives easier. So please share your finds with me!