Facebook Heads arrives for iPhone and iPad

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After the long wait, iOS users can now enjoy the new Facebook chat option where you can see a picture of your contacts in a bubble-shaped icon whenever they message you. Although the Facebook Chat Heads is one of the primary features of the Facebook Home for Android, Apple device users will now receive this feature with the recent mobile updates.

At the All Things D mobile event held this week, Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer and Mobile Engineering vice president Cory Ondrejka made an official announcement that the quirky messaging experience on the Facebook Home will now be available to iPhone and iPad.

In the article published by Mashable.com, Facebook said that “iPhone users who download the update will start to see Chat Heads pop up over the next couple of weeks.”

Creating a more playful and dynamic messaging interface, the Chat Heads were designed to show the profile picture of your contacts that signifies a new message thread. The pictures appear in a floating bubble-like heads on your screen. Users will need to click on the picture in order to open the message thread.

So, what’s the difference between the Chat Heads for Android and iOS? Without the interface, the Facebook Heads will only work inside the application, unlike in Android, where users can interact with their Facebook directly on their Home page, as explained by the Facebook executives.

The new Facebook app will soon be available on the Apple’s App Store, although the Chat Heads might take a few weeks to reach other users. The new version will have bigger and bolder News Feed design and will introduce digital stickers to the messaging system.

The integration of Chat Heads to the iOS app does not indicate that the Facebook Home will be available for Apple devices. Facebook is sill focused on targeting the larger market of Android users. Recently, the new Facebook-centric UI become available in the United States, giving Android Smartphone users more access to their favorite social site. The new UI is now available for the Samsung Galaxy SIII, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the HTC One X, and the HTX One X+. We will also expect the upcoming Samsung Galaxy SIV and HTC One to have the Facebook Home interface, but for now, HTC First, which will be out on the international market later this year, will be the first device to carry the full interface.

Facebook HEadsIf you enjoy accessing your Facebook profile and connecting with your friends to this social page, then the Facebook Home will be your best option, as long as you have an Android device. Since the Facebook Home for Android might take a few more months to be released, it seems you’ll find the upcoming HTC First with pre-installed Facebook Home, a great Smartphone to buy, although you might find its specs disappointing.

Although talks about the Facebook Home continue to spread, early reviews showed a bad start for the UI considering it only has an overall average of 2.4 Stars on Google Play since its debut. However, we cannot purely judge the interface just yet; Facebook Home still has a lot more to run with the release of its first mobile, HTC First.

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App Review: TeacherPal

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TeacherpalAs long as you’re equipped with the right productivity tools, the iPad can be as useful as you want it to be in the classroom. The most effective productivity app for educators is the TeacherPal from ITWorx. As an educator, having this great solution spares you the burden of keeping a gradebook, taking attendance, and other aspects of classroom management. The app helps in the iPad’s main goal as a productivity tool, which is streamlining data from formative assessments.

Aside from this, how can the app help in securing classroom management and interaction? 

Easy to use and navigate

TeacherPal has an easy to navigate interface, allowing you to freely touch, scroll, and swipe through the iPad. This is the same technique mastered by the CaringHands app, which is one of the 10 winners of Verizon’s Innovative App Challenge. In just a few movements of your fingers, you will be able to condense the volume of work, giving students a neat package of information. Plus, these pieces of information can be transferred in the iCloud, where students can access them on the go. With the app, you don’t have to worry about bringing cumbersome binders full of documents all the time. 

Individual classes

The application is perfect for educators who have more than two classes. The tool has the ability to keep all the separated information from each class, avoiding the problem of switching student details and the dedicated learning modules for each group. You can create as many classes as you need which can be deleted or edited based on your preference. A big plus is that the website hosts a virtual conference where users and the developer convene.

Lesson Plans

Unlike most lesson plan apps, ITWorx doesn’t allow you to make your class modules. Instead, it helps you track the progress of your lesson plans through a calendar. From the calendar option, you can indicate the date, period, title, and necessary notes. Moreover, you can tap the checkbox if you intend to utilize a lesson plan more than once, just denote the exact day and time of use. This feature works as a real classroom; if there is no lesson plan entered for the day, the Attendance feature won’t function.

Attendance Feature

Whether for Math, Science, or other subjects; the Attendance option is always accessible for real-time updating. This is an easy way of helping educators check student involvement. For easier navigation, you can include a picture for each student. There is also a dedicated button at the top, which you can toggle if all learners are present.

Access to student profile

The tool is a great alternative to the physical seat plans, where you have to congest all student notes in a small box. When you tap a student’s photo, you will be given four tabs: attendance record, personal information, grades, and behavior.

 

3·         Attendance record

This gives a detailed tally of the student’s absences, complete with the dates and notes.

·         Personal Information

This tab houses the student’s email address, as well as the parents’ number, email, and phone number.

·         Grades

This feature won’t give you access to edit or to change a student’s grade. Instead, it will give you a tabular view of all the assignments and the grades that the student obtained.

·         Behavior

In this panel, you can keep all of the student’s positive and negative remarks. You can create a special note for every incident, allowing you to indicate event details, date, and time.

If I had an iPad in class I’d…

1.   During Music class, you can link your students to some of the newest sheet music and instrumental modules.

2.   In group or individual activities, you can disseminate a Google form for each learner, containing a checklist of all the skills being evaluated in that particular experiment.

3.   In just a tap, you can record the student’s progress which will be put into a Microsoft Excel sheet. During parent-teacher meetings, you can show this to their parents for reliable feedback.

The best thing about this app is that you can get the most of classroom management without spending a single penny. What do you think of this app?