I first heard about 30/30 from Candace Marcotte, who tweeted her endorsement. Billed as a task manager, my first experiements with 30/30 were to help me organize my time better. The app offers a very intuitive and swipe-heavy user experience, allowing for color coded and icon specific tasks. This couples with a timer, allowing for the user to set time specific taks, and efficiently move throughout the day.
After a couple hours, I found the app was useful, but simply my day was not open enough for me to warrant a time managing app. As all teachers know, the day is already broken into time specific segments (classes) with notification (the bell). Due to this, I stashed the app away in a folder, and assumed it would be used on those random days where I was left to my own devices.
Then I had a realization.
One of my biggest struggles this year has been using my time efficiently in the classroom.My unrelenting ADD leaves me susceptible to long tangents, answering 1,000 follow up questions, or generally getting caught in the moment during class. 30/30 immediately provides an opportunity to set my daily tasks for the class into a very neatly organized list, and reminds us of each transition. YES!
Even more helpful, this doubles as an agenda for my students. Instead of just seeing an arbitrary clock on the wall, or an arbitrary countdown, they are given the exact time remaining on the specific task, and a heads up on the upcoming tasks and their time allotment. I use my 30 pin-to-VGA dongle ($15), and I can project the app from either my iPhone or iPad (it is available for both) to the wall, which allows all students to see the agenda and time. Boom!
You can set the app to auto repeat the timed tasks, as well as creating different lists. This means that I can set the app for my 1st period, but alter is for 2nd and 3rd, all before class begins.
One of the most helpful thing about using 30/30 has been that I can move around the room and help students, not having to run back to my computer to reset the countdown after every task. This saves me time, and even if I need to jump into a list and edit it, it is very simple and fast.
Since it is the end of the year, I have only a small sample size of use, but I am excited by the potential for this app. I will be sure to check back in with my experience next fall.