Ohio Educational Technology Conference Day One

While I did not make it to all the sessions I was hoping to today, I would still say it was a success.  The major theme I took from the special presentation speakers (Jaime Casap – Google Education Evangelist and Hadi Partovi – Code.org and Hour of Code Founder), was that 60% of today’s kindergarten students will have careers in jobs that do not exist yet.  How do we prepare our students for these positions that have not even become thoughts in someone’s mind yet? We need to grow skillsets in our students and understand that they live in the age of information.  The classic regurgitation of facts has never been a sign of true learning, and it is even less relevant today.

In the vendor area, I was able to run into some great folks that have fantastic products.

The first person I ran into was Shawn Hendrickson from ITSaavy.  I have worked with Shawn on a few different products, and he has also been very generous when it has come to sponsorship of events I have put on.  Shawn and I got into a good discussion on the Amazon Echo and it’s uses in the home.  If you are at OETC, be sure to stop by and see all of the awesome products they have available.

I ran into was Alex Yang from IPEVO.  This company has great products from multi-iPad chargers, document cameras, interactive whiteboards and more.  The best part of IPEVO is that they keep their margins low to keep products affordable.  They realize that schools are working on slim budgets and some teachers buy items out of their own product.  Alex hooked me up with some goodies to give away at our presentation tomorrow morning.

While wondering the hallways, I noticed a gentleman carrying around a foam dodgeball and the logo on his shirt looked very familiar.  Shane Cox is the CEO/Salesman/Spokesperson and many other titles with his invention, the Qball.  I was able to speak with Shane for a good amount of time and he even allowed me to do a Live Periscope with him (view here). The Qball is a game changer for the classroom. It is a simple to install microphone set up inside of a foam ball.  The wireless receiver is plugged into your classroom speakers and question/answer sessions immediately come to life.  Not only will the students be able to hear the teacher better using a microphone, but they will be able to hear each others answers clearly.  Students will also be engaged by the introduction of a brightly colored ball that produces sound.  Shane is letting us use the Qball for our presentation on “So You Want To Start An EdCamp? Lessons From EdCamp Ohio” tomorrow morning. Our session is scheduled for 8am in room C223-225.

Zeal Exit Tickets To Be Discontinued

Received an e-mail from Zeal yesterday with sad news. I won’t post the whole message, but here is the first paragraph.

“We are sad to say that Zeal will be discontinuing our free product, Zeal Exit Tickets, at the end of this school year to focus on Zeal Tutoring. We know that many of you have come to love and depend on Zeal Exit Tickets and we are deeply sorry that we are not able to support this free product past the end of this school year. To continue to access your free account you can log in at et.zeal.com starting today. Starting Thursday, February 4, going to www.zeal.com will direct you to Zeal Tutoring.”

The teachers I have worked directly with loved these Exit Tickets, and students enjoyed using them. If there were a way to keep this product going, I’d love to see someone take it over.

Project XQ: Calling For A Change To High School


WHO: Teachers, Students, Community Members with an idea to change the way High School is structured to help the next generation be better prepared for the future. Description from XQ:

XQ: The Super School Project

The Super School Project is an open call to reimagine and design the next American high school. In towns and cities far and wide, teams will unite and take on this important work of our time: Rethinking and building schools that deeply prepare our students for the rigorous challenges of college, jobs, and life.

This is a challenge to empower all of America to change high school. Together, we can transform communities and build schools that inspire new possibilities.

Over the next few months, we will accept your proposals. Then we’ll partner with the winning teams and provide them expert support and a fund of $50 million to support at least five schools over the next five years to turn their ideas into real Super Schools.

HOW: Register at http://xqsuperschool.org/, submit your ideas, meet others in your area to share with.


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Code Combat: Learn Coding While Playing A Game


WHO: Teachers looking for a way to engage students in learning how to write code.

HOW: Students can sign up and start playing on their own, or a teacher can set up a class with student accounts and track progress. Code Combat teaches students to actually type code, the next step after the drag-and-drop blocks you see on most websites to teach code. Code Combat teaches students can choose from the following languages:

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WHEN: This is a great activity to kick off the Hour of Code December 7-13, an enrichment course, or a full computer science course.

Class Compete – Game Based Assessment


WHO: Teachers looking to help ease students who suffer from test anxiety.

HOW: Teachers create an account, create a class, and have students sign up via class code.  Teachers then assign challenges to their classes.  Students take these challenges and compete against each other.  Questions are put into a game, correct answers give students a boost.

WHEN: This is a great tool for test prep, extended lessons, and extra practice.

Some students need a game based environment in order to be engaged in the content.  Class Compete also captures students attention by allowing them to customize their characters.


Here is an introduction to the teacher’s dashboard:

And here is a demonstration of the student view:

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Printable Paper: Many Different Types of Paper .PDFs To Print On Your Own

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WHO: Anyone looking for specific types of paper.  Budget templates, graph paper, teacher resources, games, and much more!

HOW: Could not be any easier! Simply go to http://www.printablepaper.net/, search for what you are looking for, download the .pdf, and share (or print if you’d like).

WHEN: The resources at Printable Paper can be used for any part of a lesson.

PeeQ – QBall – Throwable Microphone – IndieGoGo Campaign Ends October 16, 2015

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PeeQ launched an INDIEGOGO Campaign to raise funds for their product the QBall.  This campaign ends on October 16, 2015.

This product seems like a great idea for the classroom.  Students get excited to answer questions, and the class benefits from voices being amplified.

To take part in the campaign visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/qball-microphone-you-can-throw-drop-or-roll#/