Saturday, February 4, 2017

#FETC & My Top 5 Finds (x 3)

Sometimes you just need a break from it all: the daily grind, the political noise, your home, & your day job. Being in Orlando at the Future of Education Technology Conference (or #FETC) was just the answer last week!

It wasn't just being in Orlando (rather than Maryland) at the end of January. (Yes, that was a delightful dose of Vitamin D and warmth mid-winter.)

It also wasn't just about reuniting with a former teaching colleague and soulmate. (That perhaps was even warmer than the sun!)

It was about being immersed in the latest and greatest current educational trends and being surrounded by educators as far as Canada and Alaska (and everywhere in between).

Makerspaces, coding, 3D printers, oh my!

It was the perfect venue for teachers who want to continue to hone their craft, stay current with the ever-changing field of technology, and learn of new and innovative ways to activate learning.

Between workshops & sessions, and a plethora of vendors and projects in the Expo Hall, my wheels were in overdrive. I've got new apps I want to try, new digital tools &websites to investigate, and a lot of notes to reread, absorb, & reflect on.

It's amazing what you can pack into 3 days! Given that, here's the short list of my
Top 5 Favorite Finds from #FETC:

1. Powtoons--a video tool that will help you make fun, animated videos. Perfect for storytelling. (I created he above video with Powtoons.)

2. Buncee--an online creation tool where you can add visual elements and animations to inspire student voice and make learning fun.

3. PicMonkey--a photo editing tool with tons of free features. This could be helpful in teaching visual literacy and tone or moods in addition with using to create dynamic visual designs.

4. PhotoFunia--another fun photo tool with a lot of elements that could be used to integrate with literature, character analysis, thematic studies, and more

5. Aurasma--an augmented reality iPad app that create 3D images when viewed through the app, making stationary pictures come to life.

But wait! There's more! 

Also being at #FETC reminded me of 5 At-Home Favorites that I already knew about, but can't wait to go back and reuse in greater depth:

1. Kahoot--an interactive iPad quizzing game that could make for great reviews.

2. Seesaw--a digital portfolio platform that is kid-friendly and parent-adored, making it easy to bring the parents into seeing all the magic that happens in the classroom.

3. Chatterpix--a super way to animate student drawings by giving their pictures their own voice...straight from the the image's own mouth!

4. Tellegami--a place to make an talking avatar and an animated video!

5. Do Ink-- a green screen app that could literally help transport your students in their videos "out of this world!"

But wait! There's still more! 

Here are my Top 5 "Hands On, Minds on" Tools that teachers are using in their schools to make learning and computer programming come to life: (Click the green "hot spot" links on the Thing Link to learn more)
  1. Little Bits                                 (We have these at my school.)
  2. BeeBots & BlueBots                   (We have these at my school.)
  3. Sphero
  4. Bloxel
  5. Osmo

But of course, a visit with Moby (of BrainPop fame), made my whole #FETC experience even richer and more memorable!

Powtoon video from; STEAM Buncee from

Thinglink picture ( created in PicMonkey with images from

All other photos from my camera from my 2017 #FETC experience!

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