So it’s been a while, I know. I About 3 weeks to be precise. To say we’ve been busy at school would be an understatement. With snow days, sick days, and a staff presentation on gaming, my blog got lost in the shuffle. HOWEVER, due to my awesome super detailed convention notes, I’m able to finish up my FETC review now that things have calmed down a bit.
To keep this simple, I’m going to review a few sessions at a time. The first session was so full of information and resources however, that it get a full post of its own. Yay!!
Session #1: TechShare Live 2016
Lead by: Adam Bellow, Hall Davidson, Leslie Fisher, & Kathy Schrock
This session was a quick “what’s new and cool in technology” hour. It was fast paced and sometimes difficult to keep up with. It also incorporated a game element where we had to find various clues during the session to spell out a secret code word. The first one to tweet the answer one a BreakOutEdu box for their classroom. (It wasn’t me. I was too slow!) Here is a list of SOME of the cool and interesting new things I discovered.
BreakOut EDU: Along the same lines as the ever popular Breakout and Escape rooms available across the nation, BreakOut Edu is specifically designed for a classroom or learning environment. That isn’t to say that it’s just for students, it’s also great for teachers, administrators, and basic team building activities. Having not played this myself, I think their website is a much better reference for this activity. Please visit them at http://www.breakoutedu.com/how-it-works/
WEMO: I know a lot of people already know about this line of home automation devices, but it was cool none the less! The idea that you can control your lights, air conditioning, coffee makers, crockpots, camera, and so much more with just your phone and from miles away, is amazing to me. Hellloooo Smart Home! They also work with the new Amazon Echo speaker which since I won one, is a big bonus for my like of these products. Check them out here http://www.belkin.com/us/Products/home-automation/c/wemo-home-automation/
EmberLight: This device screws into lightbulbs that you already have. Basically, non-smart bulbs. You know, the kind you get for cheap(ish) from Wal Mart or the grocery store. The Ember Light turns those ordinary bulbs into smart bulbs that can be operated and monitored with a Smart Phone. It’s cheaper than Smart bulbs (at $49 a device), BUT it’s still in preorder stage, with estimated arrivals in March of this year. Their homepage can tell you more, http://www.emberlight.co/, and you can see preorder on their Indigogo site here, https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/emberlight-turn-any-bulb-into-a-smart-light#/
Sen.se: These little(ish) attachable cookies can monitor and track anything you can stick them on. Did you take your pills on time? Are the kids ACTUALLY brushing their teeth? Did your teen get home all right? Was your house entered while you were away? What exactly is the temperature in your house throughout the day? All these details and data are picked up by the little “cookies” and sent to the “mother” device which looks like a simplistic Russian stacking doll. You can monitor all this data from any mobile device at any time. Basically you can Big Brother your home and disguise it as Smartifying, but hey! It’s still cool if used right. I actually would use these in certain situations. You can find out more at their site here. https://sen.se/mother/
Electric Objects: These are digital art displays that you change with an app. It is literally
exactly what it sounds like. And expensive. Is it cool? Totally. But it isn’t huge and it isn’t completely wireless. (Must be plugged in for power.) So I’d vote to see where it goes in the future first but hey, very cool concept! https://www.electricobjects.com/
Seesaw: Seesaw is a digital portfolio tool specifically designed for students. It’s created by students in any variety of media or product and available on any device. It’s also a great way to share what is going on in classrooms. I’m not sure it’s the best or only option out there, but it was nifty and new so I took note. http://web.seesaw.me/
Formative: This is actually very cool and noteworthy! It’s not just a student response site, but it gives live results at the same time. It also gives teachers the ability to comment and respond live as the results show up. Live results and comments AS they test or progress through the assignment and all private? PRICELESS! It can be used on any device and doesn’t restrict itself to multiple choice answers, as students can draw or write in their answers on the device.I personally love this site and if I had a class or subject of my own, I would use it all the time! https://goformative.com/
Bloomz: Bloomz is an app that teachers can use a communication tool between themselves and the class, and the parents. You can share photos and updates, schedule conferences, organize volunteers, and it saves it all in a nice little timeline you can view later. It can be used individually as students or a whole school. https://www.bloomz.net/
Hyperduino: This was by far the coolest educational technology they showed. It basically turns a students reports into an Interactive Maker presentation. To describe it wouldn’t do it justice so I would suggest you visit their website here to see a few examples and just how advanced this technology could make student presentations in the future. http://hyperduino.com/