Thing 19: Apps #2 – Supporting learning

Learn about apps which you can use to support your learning.

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Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Digital – Thing 19: Apps #2 Supporting Learning

Counts towards: SSSC 23 Things Digital – Digital Learner


With so much information available to the digital learner, it can become difficult to organise thoughts, reflections and resources, and this can affect your learning.

Thankfully, there are lots of free resources available to help you manage this.


a) Note-taking apps.

Note-taking apps such as OneNote, Evernote and SimpleNote provide a great way to help you organise your thoughts, learning, reflections and keep track of projects.

They offer the ability to:

  • create notes using typed text or handwriting using a touchscreen device with a stylus
  • import photos and pictures from your device and its camera
  • put notes on existing documents such as Word or PDF files
  • search through all your notes for particular words (even notes taken in your handwriting)
  • synchronise across multiple devices, for example tablet, desktop, laptop, smartphone so your notes are always to hand
  • easily share notes with others.

Check to see if you already have one of these applications on your tablet, smartphone or laptop and if not, download one to explore some of the functions. Try using it for something simple at first, such as a shopping list and then see if you can access it using a different device.

Try importing some other types of content, such as links to websites, images and video.

b) Coggle.

Mind-mapping is a way of visually representing and structuring your thoughts. Many people, particularly visual learners, find mind maps useful and Coggle is a free service provided by Google that allows you to quickly develop maps to help you organise your thoughts. As your maps are stored in the cloud you’ll be able to access them from any device, at any time.

Visit and create a basic mind map on any topic you like. Below is an example of the type of map which someone might create when starting to think about their learning and the 23 Things.

A sample mind-map created used Coggle which maps out a person's thoughts about their digital capabilities, indicating their strengths and areas for development.
A sample mind-map created using Coggle.

NB It is possible to use Coggle on a smartphone but we recommend you use a desktop/laptop/tablet first as the bigger screen makes it easier to create your maps.

c) Blog.

Write a blog entry of at least 100 words reflecting on the above activities. You should include a link to, or embed, a picture of your Coggle mind map.

Image credit: Holding a Surface Pro 3 with stylus by Intel Free Press licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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