Monday, April 4, 2016

Some Videos of Our Favorite Things From #ASCD16

If I've said it once, I've said it 1000 times.

The ASCD Annual Conference is the must attend conference for any educator each year. The quality of the sessions is not something you find at too many conferences. The shear amount of educational leaders and growers that are so accessible is not something you find at many conferences.

I would save all my pennies each year to come to this conference.

This year I decided to do something a little fun. Rather than wrap up sessions or conversations I thought it would be great to find some emerging technologies on the show floor that are worth telling the world about.

Now this is daunting. The show floor is huge and if you've been to any conference similar to this, there are very few flowers in a sea of weeds. Many of the "tools," books, and other resources aren't worth very much time to talk about. But there are those hidden gems. Those new and exciting tools and resources that could have a great impact on the classroom and on learning.

So with the help of Nick Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) and Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby) we hit the show floor to find our favorite things. We broadcasted them live via Periscope and then archived them with to be able to embed here.

We started with Littlebits. Nick and I are both huge fans of these snap together circuits. I'll let Nick tell you more.

We are excited about what Littlebits can do for any classroom. You can learn more by visiting their website or checking them out on Twitter.

Next we visited something I was excited about and that was a virtual reality system where students could get inside a heart, take apart an engine or follow the metamorphosis and transition of butterflies.

You can learn more about what ViziTech can do for your classroom by visiting their website and checking them out on Facebook.

From ViziTech we visited another place all 3 of us were excited about. Robotics in the classroom has been traditionally out of reach. That landscape is changing with EZ-Robot.

Imagine being able to 3D Print your own replacement parts. Or just the fact the pieces snap together. And then with the technology behind coding the robots these could be in any classroom! Check out EZ-Robot at their website and on Twitter.

And lastly something for the little folks. We don't often see high-quality edtech tools for kids 3-8 years old. That is changing with Tiggly. These are manipulatives to use with the iPad that help reinforce concepts related to shapes, colors, numbers, and letters.

As a father with young girls, Tiggly is definitely coming to my house. I love how the apps are all different to help keep kids engaged. And they aren't just drill and practice. There is practical use with the digital storytelling and sharing. Visit Tiggly on the web to learn more and check them out on Twitter.

So there you have it! Our favorite things from #ASCD16. Be sure to check them all out!
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