AETC Recap - One Month Later

It's been a month since I attended the Alabama Technology Conference with my better half at work, tech contact-computer lab assistant extraordinaire.  What AETC lacks in the size of the big, international conferences, it makes up for in personal touches and manageable schedules.  

Praise for AETC 
  • The app was awesome!  I loved being able to take notes, add pictures, and rate the session all in the same place.  It also had some other great features, like sharing my notes via email or social media. The app was built with Crowd Compass and I'll definitely be checking them out in the future.
  • Vendors - there was a good variety of vendors that weren't pushy, but super helpful.  
  • Food - Southern hospitality was on display with the free refreshments throughout the day.
  • A variety of sessions meant no down time 
Tips, Tools, and Strategies to Use
  • - type in any problem and it will provide the answer. If you create an account (it's free), you can see step-by-step explanations for the solution. There's also a math worksheet generator and glossary. There are graphs and math notations available and arranged by math discipline make this a very robust tool to use.

  • Khan Academy now has a game based learning program that uses missions and points to keep learners engaged.  It starts with kindergarten, so it's not just for advanced math students any more. Students work at their own pace as they advance through "missions" all the while earning points and badges to mark their progress.  If your students get stuck, there are hints and videos to help them understand how to solve the problem. There isn't a game component to the actual math work.  The gaming atmosphere is introduced via the running high score and levels as you progress through math understanding. It's perfect for differentiation, too.  Students are given tasks based on their math readiness, but the points they are eligible to earn are the same.  So, all learners can compete against each other which keeps everyone motivated.

    I'm also super excited about their computer programming section, including introduction to JavaScript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and a Meet the Professionals section to introduce students to the types of careers available in this area.  Khan Academy, why have I ignored you for so long?
  • Post a map of the world with the URL country code to identify the countries. It's part of understanding Web sites, global collaborations, and widening your perspective.  I like the visual representation in this one for sale ($35) by Bytelevel, but I want something that ties it more concretely to the countries for my students.  I'm thinking of doing a Read Around the World  bulletin board this year, maybe that's the space for it.
  • Give students opportunities to ask questions and be curious. Favorite suggestion - set up a computer with Google Chrome loaded and a sign that says, "Ask me anything."  It is how we all seek answers daily, but I am probably not going to be able to do this in my library for many reasons. Still, I'm thinking of how to encourage curiosity in other ways.
  • Be intentional about how we teach students to understand the information world, including how the search algorithms work, citation ranking, how to read a search page, and how to read images and video. These are embedded in my digital citizenship lessons each year, but need to be emphasized throughout the year.
  • - an online assessment tool reminiscent of Infuse Learning with the capacity for illustrated responses from students.  I love the dashboard and response features. I won't be able to use this with my students since email accounts are required, but I may use it for group responses and create generic email accounts they can use to sign in.

  • Arloon - Augumented Reality makes learning fun!  This one takes a lot of the work out of some of the other AR apps I've seen.  It's not free, and I haven't purchased it, yet.  The creativity is very appealing though.


  • CCC Streaming Media - Convincing me to try this product wasn't a hard sell. Using quick videos to illustrate a point is a proven engagement model for learners of all ages. I found the resources deep and the search features robust. Browsing by grade level and standard is another plus.  The ability to download videos is critical for those of us who don't have bandwidth for streaming, so it was great to see this option. I'm not sure about the cost, but this would be a great resource to have, if we could afford it.
  • Ipevo was on the vendor hall floor and they were awesome giving support to me on the Ipevo IS-01 Interactive Whiteboard System that I won from Digital Wish at the end of the school year.  After talking to their reps, I am much more confident about how to put the IPEVO to use. The flexibility is going to transform my learning space this year!
I attended several sessions on Makerspaces. The sessions provided good information about the big ideas and some of the popular tools. I have to say, I didn't get any new ideas for the most part, but I still found it very encouraging to see so many working on these same ideas in Alabama.


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