Originally we planned to put more screen shots of the app up this weekend, but I thought we’d enjoy these a little more first!
Francisco and I just got back from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2012 conference in San Diego, Ca so I’d rather blog about our learnings, networkings, and partyings there…but don’t worry Robin, more screen shots of the app will be up soon enough!
Francisco and I have been collaborating in the educational technology front for close to 3 years now.
We met when I landed at Tyrrell Elementary for one of my long-term sub stints in Hayward Unified. Since then I’ve been teaching 4th grade at Cox Academy (Education for Change) in Oakland while he stayed in Hayward, but the force has a way of keeping Leah and Luke with the Rebellion, fighting against the Evil Empire. (I know that since we’re with a Charter Management Organization that might sound dubious to some of you, but I am all for breaking down assumptions that lead to stereotypes.)
Turns out Francisco is migrating to Education for Change as the new Technology Instructor for Ascend.
Since I’m also in the middle of a transformation as the new Technology Instructor at Lazear that means we’ll not only be collaborating on ReadWithMeApp, but we’ll also be developing student curriculum and professional developments in educational technology for our organization.
So that means we got to go San Diego, his home town, and geek out for 5 whole days on everything eduTechy at the ISTE Conference 2012!
Here are our top 2 favorites from each corner of the ISTE ’12 world.
1. 3D Printers – Any 3D printer made STEM really come to life for me. I can only imagine how these machines are going to make my students’ engineering, design, science, and math ideas come to life. These printers range from $695 to $15000 plus: the more expensive ones make working parts!
2. 4-H Youth Development Program – A University of California Youth Development Program where youth develop citizenship, leadership, and life skills by building relationships with caring adults. Established through the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the program has many facets, one being the Technology Leadership Team. I had the pleasure of meeting some of these extraordinary youth in action.
The Exhibition Hall
I honestly thought I’d witness the second coming in this temple of eduTech doom: sales pitches, presentations, free give-aways, raffles, brochures, prizes, QR codes, scanners, etc. Francisco spent much more time than I could in the asiles, exploring and searching for everything from hardware and software to online curriculum and class management tools.
1. SK Science Kit & Boreal Laboratories – Under the hip tag of TeacherGeek this company has a slew of goodies for the teacher who would like to begin to introduce some hands-on activities for their students. This is also good for the teacher that is not a part of a formal STEM curriculum yet and wants to help their students bring science to life.
2. NEO - Common Core Standards are broad and give teachers more freedom, but they also infuse technology in the skills that students will need to master. Well the Neo2 is a keyboard that’s connected to the teacher’s smart board to engage students in a more interactive way, the teacher can take a poll during a lesson, administer a spelling test, print reports and send them home all in the same day. Students learn keyboarding and can turn in their essays for the teacher to grade without having to carry all of that work home.
The menu was scrumptious! For a rookie like me it became overwhelming very fast, but I figured out workshop hopping in a flash (no pun intended)!
1. Free STEM Resources for Mobile and Desktop Devices from the Concord Consortium Collection - The coolest thing about this workshop is that the Concord Consortium is creating free applications that mix the virtual world with the real world. They have a temperature application, for example, that reacts to ice cubes or a hair dryer.
2. Engage, Retain, and Thrive – Getting Girls into Tech - Workshop hopping wasn’t ideal, but I was able to get more bang for my buck because some of the really cool sessions I wanted to attend were recorded or the presenters have everything online! Flipping my classroom was a relief! Check out the link for these presenters wiki.
Francisco covered the networking front for ReadWithMeApp as I covered the day job frontier. He did an amazing job at recruiting some teachers who’ve signed up to be a part of our BETA this coming 2012-2013 school year. You can also sign up here now!
1. Demo Lesson - We had the pleasure to meet Mandela Schumacher-Hodge co-founder of Demo Lesson, a start-up that lets teachers put up demonstration lessons when they’re looking for a gig and administrators search for teachers to fill the job.
2. The Disruption Department - Need I say more? The Disruption Department will create a sustainable model of change by putting teachers in control of their own professional development, as well as innovation in their own classroom. What I love the most about these guys is their progressive, grass-roots approach of infusing technology in inner-city schools.
Great networking is about building new relationships. Mandela from DemoLesson resides close to us which means we’ll continue learning from her insightful experience on start-ups, but thank goodness for Twitter et al that will allow us to remain tight with our new friends from The Disruption Department as well.
1. Google event – Of course Google sponsored the after party! It was a great night of screaming over loud music, wailing lyrics, and Soul Train dancing lines.
2. EdTech Karaoke @ ISTE 2012 event – Even though the conference attendees weren’t blessed with our performances for the night, it was THE ISTE 2012 event, so we made sure to get in some photo-ops.