The FETC was an energizing 3-day experience with immersion into education technology. Everyone was buzzing about iPod’s and iPads, educational apps, cell phones, and what the future may hold for these devices in the classroom. Sessions with “i” in the name filled up quickly with many attendees creating their own seats on the floor.
One of the great additions to the conference was the integrated use of Edmodo. Edmodo is a free social networking site for teachers and students. Presenters used this website by creating groups to post their materials, including their presentations, websites, and other useful links. Their presentation pages were also used as a conduit for the users in the session to ask questions or add more information in real-time as the presenter was speaking. Attendees can join their sessions (called groups) through a group code. Also, attendees who were unable to attend the session could then still receive the materials and the feedback from the session over the web (including those who didn’t even attend the conference).
Check out group codes FC0321, FC0492, and FC0269 to review and receive great resources and information. Over the next few weeks I plan to see what other ways that this website can be integrated in both building my PLN and if it could be useful for my classroom and students.
Resources for Younger & Special Needs Students
This year, there also seemed to be more sessions geared to educating younger students pre-k-2 and special needs students.
One of the websites that I learned about that would be great to use with both sets of students is Kerpoof Studio. Kerpoof is a free website created by Disney where students can create movies, drawings, and online story books. They have a lesson plans page with ways that you can incorporate their online programs into the classroom through standards-based activities and extensions. For younger students they can play the spell a picture game. As they spell words correctly, it is added to their digital drawing. The objects can then be moved around the page to build a scene and can then be printed to share in the classroom. There are so many possibilities of ways to use this website in the classroom. (Edmodo join code: FC0491)
A great session I attended for special needs students included apps that address social skills, schedules, and mathematics. The presenter, Shannon Sullivan, works with special education students in the greater DC area and maintains her website about apps via www.ipads4kids.com. On this site you can find a wide list of apps sorted by subjects and needs for the students. There is also an area for other educators to share their favorite apps that they are using with their students. Check this site often as it is frequently updated.
There was another session on the use of iPod’s and iPad’s in the special education classroom that has many resources posted on Edmodo (Edmodo join code: FC0501). One key point that they make about the iPad as a tool for the special education classroom is that it is portable, adaptable, and even socially acceptable. It also has built in accessibility along with the power of the apps. You should definitely check out their presentation on Edmodo and the associated website Mobile Learning 4 Special Needs.
Please check back for more resources that I’ve learned from FETC over the coming weeks.
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By NCVO