ISTE Day 2
Day 2 is in the books. As with yesterday, much of the day was spent on the Expo floor. There are so many things to take in and process in this single space. Wow!
Gale was interesting – sort of like a Google for teachers in the classroom. But their database could take you to material that supports your state standards or Common Core Standards, whichever one your school uses. How does it work? You can search by topic or drill down by a standard. Then, choose the links that meet the lesson you want to support. Utilizing Gale is not a situation that replaces the teacher, it helps the teacher, giving them resources to share with the students. Think Woderopolis on steroids.
There was also this amazing hologram hardware and software – along the lines of “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” In this case, we were looking at a crab that is displayed on an iPad.
The Little Bits booth was awesome! There are so many things that you can do with some of these simple coding pieces. They had rigged up a guitar: push the button, move the slider. Music. One idea for Little Bits – think about a process that your students need to follow. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3. Or think about language and the different parts of speech. These things need to go in a specific order. Little Bits can help your students learn this order AND learn coding at the same time.
And I got to have another #EduCrush moment today – taking a #selfie with the founder of Swivl. If you haven’t seen Swivl, take a look. They have also launched another creative space, similar to FlipGrid, but different. It’s on my ever-growing list of things to check out; you can to at RecaP. RecaP allows teachers to post a video, with students posting responses. The biggest difference between the two platforms is that you can then send a video to a particular student – helping that student in the areas that they are struggling to understand.
Digital Story Telling
There was an attention getting website called Binumi, a which focused on digital story telling. Students (and teachers) can make awesome videos in just minutes, and student can show off what they have learned. Creating the video is as simple as choosing a particular color or key word. Clips are displayed, and the student makes some choices. Add in some audio from the student, some background music, and boom! Students have a story to share what they have learned.
This site has promise, and according to the person we were talking too, students could figure everything out on their own. Teachers, on the other hand, needed some PD first, which is interesting. What does that say about the difference between students and teachers and how the learning occurs?
I had the opportunity to have another #EduCrush meeting, this time with the software company TechSmith. They are the developers of SnagIt and Camtasia. Two of the most indispensable pieces of software that I use for any teaching that I do. All of my podcasts are recorded in Camtasia, and almost every single screen grab I have ever done has been edited in SnagIt.
I saw a fantastic trick while visiting with the staff – using SnagIt to create a short gif of some process that needs to take place. Think along the lines of “click here” or “click there” or “save as this.” Great ideas!
One last thing I came across was the tag line for the Kyte folks. “Professional development has been the same since 4000 B.C.” I think I may use this the next time I talk with teachers. Time to take back our PD, make it personal, and make a difference in our classrooms!
Odds and Ends
I need to do some further investigation on a few things. I have used Haiku Deck in the past – they have moved to pay for using model. It was great free – but it is something to consider paying for. It is different. And fun.
Legends of Learning has my attention. They had capes all over the conference – and people running around yelling. It was crazy, fun, and awkward all at the same time. This web site and the associated antics are intriguing.
I have a NearPod account but have not used it much. Time to dust off the username and password and re-investigate.
I also have a Pear Deck account, which also needs to be reviewed.
Both of these items will be on my plate to get back into for what I am trying to do with my staff. They are easy to use tools, that can allow all students to connect to a lesson with any internet capable device.