Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Educational Apps and Customer Service

As a technology teacher in charge of apps on a shared rolling cart...I've adopted and unadopted several apps along the way. In theory, some apps look great until you start using it with 60+ kids in a grade level and you learn there are quirks or stability issues. You learn as you use but sadly sometimes it can really cause issues with time restraints regarding projects. My long term goal is to have a folder full of potential "presentation" type apps and let the students choose what app most appeals to them and grade all projects using a rubric...BUT, I first have an obligation to teach all those apps. Therefore, for now, we are using certain apps for certain projects.

Occasionally after a day of teaching 3 classes, I see recurring issues with an app...such was the case today. Quite honestly, it is often my own errors or lack of understanding that leads to these problems but it has made me realize what a tremendous support is out there for teachers using educational apps. So today, I want to share what I mean:

I have been blown away by the almost immediate response and support I have had regarding some of the apps we have been using. While I don't always get "the answer" I'm hoping for, I am getting answers in a timely manner that allows me to adjust, bob, and weave to make the problems either go away or become less of an issue.

Today I had two questions for haiku deck and I received suggestions within minutes of my emails and the harder questions within hours. That's remarkable! I then was able to pass along the information to other teachers as well. 

A few weeks ago I was having some issues with Toontastic and was able to spend some time explaining the issues to the creators and was given some very helpful suggestions.

Tellagami also has been helpful via twitter comments directed to them to help me understand limitations I might face regarding shared devices. 

All this being said, more often than not-when I ask, I am being answered (and quickly)! Twittering and emailing these app companies has helped me in the midst of lessons. So don't be afraid to reach out and ask questions if you are might get an immediate answer that will help the lesson time move right along!