Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Reflections from Edsurge DC

I really liked @123Dcircuits: it's website where you can virtually build circuits with breadboards and electronics, and it's free. When I was in college I was a mechanical engineer and I was always jealous of the electrical engineers because they could build awesome stuff with their breadboards and all I could do was solve stupid differential equations. If this site simplifies learning electronics, it could be awesome,

@Curriculet seemed super cool. I've really struggled with annotating electronic texts. I'm not the only one who has taken a public domain book and pasted it into a Google Docs and annotated it. Obviously you can't do this with copyrighted work. Curriculet has a solution that works with some big publishers; we'll see if the selection is good enough and if the price is right.

I really liked @GoFormative. It's free and kind of like Socrative and Nearpod. I love that the founder was a Google Forms guy who maxed out the technology and then built the tool he wanted. Almost every vendor in the room had a story like that.

@News_o_matic seemed good; it's a subscription service that rewrites the news every day at three Lexile levels, and in Spanish.

The first people I saw were @techy_margaret and @timstahmer. My twitter joke was "Tim Stahmer is retiring, who will I talk to at conferences now?" I saw a friend of many years @MrFichter, @Sarahdateechur of course, @Kharima4 from Texas, and I met Dan @Whalen for the first time. That's the awesomest part of conferences: when you walk down the hall and see a stranger but you actually know them from Twitter and you are like "Are you Dan Whalen" and he's like "Yeah" -- that is awesome.

The other awesome story is Kharima found out about the conference from my tweet. So a Teacher from Texas who went to ISTE in Philly and was staying with family in Maryland and saw a tweet from me in Virginia then went to a conference in DC. Finally, I met @MJMadda who was super funny and @MJWints who was cool and running all over the place -- together they make the Edsurge podcast which is currently #1 on @MrFichter's podcast list.

The Conference:
I liked how Edsurge kept the vendors in check. They could only have three people, one poster, and no swag. Sure they were trying to sell to us, but I also felt like they were listening.

I also like the story of Edsurge. I'm told that a journalist from the Bay Area could not find enough edtech news, since there was no outlet that reported exclusively on edtech. So she made one.

Watch the Video:
You should srsly check out my first ever Periscope which I took at the beginning of Edsurge; you won't learn anything, but it's pretty funny:

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