Day One #TCEA13 - Off to a GREAT start!

Yesterday I volunteered at the Assistive Technologies Playground and I was excited to have learned some cool things even while volunteering!  I was able to enjoy two sessions, one on Assistive Apps for iDevices and one on Lego Robotics.

The first session focused on using an iPad as an augmentative or assistive device.  The presenter, Elizabeth Furler with Bridging Apps, shared several apps that I had heard of but never knew what they were or what they did.  Bridging Apps also has a wonderful tool that lets you search for apps and even browse and create apps lists.  Elizabeth's presentation handout can be found here.

The next session was presented by a very dynamic guy named Darren Wilson.  He walked us through using Lego products for robotics instruction.  I was shocked to realize that I have some of these kits but never knew how they worked!  And his progression was very logical - start the kids off easy and work up to more complicated products.  Here were the three products he shared:

The Life of George is a low-cost, simple kit that allows the user to build Lego models, scan them with the iDevice app and even share custom-built models online!

For older students, Darren recommended Lego We Do Construction Set.  This set, when combined with the software (sold separately), creates a perfect second step in Lego Robotics.

And when your students have mastered the above two, they can move onto Lego Mindstorms!