Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) graciously invited LocoMotive Labs to speak at their annual convention so Teacher Jessica and I hit the road. It’s always nice to meet with educators, hear their classroom stories, the challenges they face navigating big school systems or providing equitable learning opportunities when living in remote areas. They never cease to amaze me at how creative they are in adopting technology for the classroom, how well they prepare their teachers to effectively use technology and their natural enthusiasm and curiosity to test things out!especially apps!
We showed a preview of our next update to Todo Math Practice and the reception was great! It was great to get honest feedback from a few early adopters and get a better understanding of how they approach teaching math to early elementary school children.
Here are some of the highlights of our time at TCEA!
Here’s Jessica working her magic on the crowd as she presents “Apps for Differentiated Learning in Elementary Classrooms.” You can also check out our presentation and other resources (activities/lessons) that we shared at the conference.
Here’s Anna finally meeting the BridgingApps crew at the Assistive Tech Playground. When TCEA says “All Means All” they really mean it. It’s unusual for general edtech conferences to have a dedicated space for attendees to explore assistive tech devices and solutions. We were also really impressed by the amount of sessions dedicated to the discussion of “inclusion, differentiation, and special needs.” The sessions were really well attended as well!
Here are some devices that were showcased at the Assistive Tech Playground. Cool switches in playful colors too!
Here’s Anna demoing a preview of our next update to Todo Math Practice at their annual Tech Slam! The room was HUGE packed with a ton of educators. Yee haw!
Our new Todo Math stickers were a big hit! Aren’t they a lovely shade of green? You know you can’t wait for the update to come out in March. Oooooo, Ahhhhh!
Here is a sketch of a design thinking challenge to map out what a learner experiences using a touchscreen device and two legos as visual prompts. Anna got to work with an awesome teacher trainer where they discussed ways to cultivate “wonder and curiosity” in learning environments.
The session concluded with a call to action in regards to the learning design process from Christian Long. “We need to double down on empathy,” he said. Word! Two thumbs up for this session hosted by the #digitalsquare and facilitated by @christianlong and @djakes.
Our stay concluded with a session entitled “Apps for Creativity” where Kindergarten teacher Matt Gomez showed Kid in Story Book Maker as well as a host of other creative apps. It was amazing and encouraging to see a packed room full of educators who are inundated with challenges from their districts and communities to improve test scores. With so much pressure to “perform” I sometimes wonder when teachers can facilitate creativity in their classrooms. Fortunately Matt Gomez shared oodles of ideas as well as his process to encourage his students to be “brave!” “The camera is one of the most under utilized features of the iPad,” he said. His class takes thousands of pictures each year and it’s not unusual for them to document the lessons and learning as it happens in the classroom. There are ample opportunities to reflect with the pictures the children take, an often forgotten part of the learning process.
Thank you Austin, TCEA, Matt Gomez, BridgingApps, The Third Teacher, @iPadSammy and everyone at #digitalsquare. What a great trip and we hope to see everyone next year!