by Mickey McFetridge – FETC Insider & Technology Integration Specialist for Springdale School District. Follow him on Twitter @MickMack629 and catch his blog Class Tech Integrate
With FETC in full swing, one of the busiest places is the Expo Hall. The amount of booths with hardware, maker spaces, apps, websites, and touch screen displays can be overwhelming. There is a span from start-ups to heavy hitters in the expo hall, all well worth your time.
This list just focuses on 4 booths. These booths may not seem to have a lot of big bells and whistles, but have a lot of potential to change instruction with technology in the classroom. Of course this is a small list, feel free to add any other booths you feel are worth mentioning in the comments below.
Full transparency: I was not asked, paid, given free products or persuaded in any way to discuss these booths. These are just a handful of ones that I enjoyed learning from.
In alphabetical order:
Cloud Labs by e-Tech Simulation: Cloud Labs gives schools a virtual science lab experience. Not to overshadow the importance of live science labs, but to allow for extra practice of those labs for students who may be absent, or need extended time to fully understand their lab experience. Booth 2413
FCIT (Florida Center for Instructional Technology): FCIT focuses on the real impact of EdTech in the classroom. Their Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) is a framework for teachers and administrators to understand the how and why tech is being used to improve student learning. No matter where you are in the tech integration process, they have several support plans to help you transform student learning. Booth 1753
FlipGrid: Is self described as a “social learning” tool. It allows teachers to record a video prompt for their students. The students reply with a video prompt themselves. I can see many benefits for English Language Learning students, as well as other communication standards this can apply to your students. Booth 1553
NWA 3D: Ok, full disclosure, NWA3D comes out of Northwest Arkansas, just as I do. I was pleasantly surprised to see them here! I probably am biased with this choice.
There are many booths at the EXPO that sell 3D printers. One thing that NWA3D does offer is FREE PD for their customers. If you are at FETC and in the market for 3D printers, make sure your vendor offers free PD as Drew from NWA3D does. Booth 160