Last day of #ISTE2015, and what a ride it’s been! @EdTechKaraoke was nuts! Yet I managed to make it to the first session at 8:30 :º)
It was led primarily by Mark Surabian (@marksurabian), with assistance by John Calvert (@jcalvert4). Mark is an assistive technologist, and our paths have crossed before at the Everyone Reading conference in New York. Some tools that Mark shared that I’d previously never heard about included:
- Context, which lets you organize your extensions into bookmarks
- 2 tools for helping students with Attentional difficulties, as they both have you focus on a task for a while, then have you take a break (for a finite time): StayFocusd (sic) and Strict Workflow. Excited to try them out!
- the Don Johnston (@DonJohnstonINC) suite of apps – everything from word prediction to grammar checkers, there are lots of great tools there!
Mark and John are also working on a collaborative list of tools, which shares reviews of apps (by anyone, including YOU!) into a nice-looking website, using Awesome Tables, which makes everything searchable & filterable (that’s a word, right?). When I heard John speak at an @EdTechSummit in March, he had mentioned using a similar set-up for book reviews, so students could reach each other’s book reviews and filter by genre, grade, etc.
While reading Scott McLeod’s (@mcleod) #ISTE2015 take-aways, I also learned about @Speakpipe, which allows people to make voice comments on blog posts! I’m installing it to this ASAP, and hope to use it with students in teh future!
I made my way somewhat aimfully around the Exhibitor Hall (Pro Tip: if you go on the last day, people want to give you even more free stuff… though of course you also risk having exhibitors run out of some fun freebies). I learned more about @BrainPOP’s Game Up! feature, which is free for all users (so you do not need to be a subscriber). However, if you are a signed-in user, you get the added benefit of doing “Snapshots” during games – this is a tool that takes a picture of a frame in the game, then provides a text box below it for students to communicate their ideas and strategies for their teachers.
If you are a non-subscriber, a free work-around would be to use a screen shot tool (e.g. Command + Shift + 3 on any mac or a screenshot extension, such as Awesome Screenshot Minus (which @followmolly shared yesterday, and I forgot to share #meaculpa), which is a screen grabber with simple annotation tools, which also allows you to save via Google Drive for easy sharing to teachers. A simple tool, but one that I can see using as a quick assessment or Exit Card.
Then I attended a session by #YEN extraordinaires, Jennifer Schlie-Reid (@schliereed) and Corey Holmer (@EdTech_Channel). They discussed the benefits of #GAFE mashing, wherein you use two different Google Tools to create greater student products and learning. The session involved a lot of “breakout groups” for discussion and brainstorming with fellow attendees. We used Google Drawing with links (a la Thinglink (@ThingLink), which I had never used before) to make the somewhat-dinky-but-hey-at-least-we-all-learned-something image below:
Then we downloaded slides from Google Slides to play around with in Youtube (@Youtube) Video Editor. I’ve worked on slideshows before with sites like Photopeach and Animoto, plus added animations to Google Slides, but the relative simplicity of turning Slides into a video was mind-blowing. It made me reflect on my functional fixedness. I’ve made several books in Google Slides, but somehow never thought to put them together with transitions to make a movie (which is what moving books are!).
Lastly, I squeezed in a session on Apps for Service-Based Learning by Madeleine Dressner (@msdressner). It was a nice, heartwarming final session as she not only demonstrated her entire thought process about how she created the unit, but she shared a lot of the student work. It was authentic, the students were motivated, and they incorporated technology into their projects in meaningful ways. I also particularly liked her use of an acronym for project-based learning, as that builds independence and fits nicely with Self-Regulated Strategy Development.
I am grateful that I was able to attend, I learned a lot, and I’m excited to continue to reflect, play, share, and challenge myself in continuing to incorporate technology meaningfully into my work.
See you in Denver for #ISTE2016!