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App:an application, typically a small, specialized program downloaded onto mobile devices.
Mobile device: Smartphone, iPad or tablet
Apps were designed to make it easier for you to accomplish certain tasks on a portable device - check your bank balance, look at the weather forecast or see if the library has a certain book you want. As handy as apps can be, they normally don't have the full functionality of the website version.
An App is like an almanac - good for quick information where the Desktop version is like an encyclopedia - more detailed and thorough information.
This week, we've been exploring Destiny on iPads in some of our 3rd grade classes. Students have learned how to navigate the Destiny app and how to pull needed information from catalog records to locate the books they want in the Media Center. Most third graders know how to access Destiny on the desktop computers.. The App interface is very different. As we move toward the Learning Commons model, you will see a big shift to wireless technology. Another challenge is transferring the book's call number from the computer screen to actually finding the book on the shelf. This is very difficult for many third graders to master. Another library colleague uses iPads in her media center instead of having students write down the call number on a piece of paper. She said it makes it easier for students to be independent users of the library. We'll see.
As we observed in class, the Destiny App has a clean, easy-to-read interface and makes it easy for students to check to see (1) what books the library has and (2) the status of an item. Students can also see the current top 10 check-outs and new books recently added to the collection.
One of the questions that came up in our classroom discussion was how to level books in Destiny - or more specifically, can students level books using the Destiny app?
Unfortunately, the current answer is, "No." You have to use the full website in order to access this feature. However, I have submitted a request to Follett for this to be included in future Destiny App updates.
A workaround is to access the desktop version of Destiny using the web browser. This approach might work okay on a tablet...but navigating the site on a Smartphone might be a wee bit challenging.
This is an excellent real-life example of where you need to be able to choose the correct tool in order to accomplish your task.
Students, if you want to see if the library has the latest copy of the Diary of Wimpy Kid - The Long Haul, you can use either interface. If you want to see if that title is on your reading level, then you'll have to access the web version.
Begin with the end in mind and choose the appropriate tool based on what you want to accomplish.