Friday, December 6, 2013

Technology (and food!) Overload!!!

O.  M.  G.  My head is spinning.  My mind is BLOWN.

I spent 2 days this week at the LACUE technology conference in New Orleans
(That stands for Lousiana Association for Computer Using Educators by the way)
My principal sent myself and a group of teachers here and I am freaking out over how much I learned!

But before we get down to techy talk- let's talk about the food, shall we? 

Here is some of our little group here having dinner at celebrity chef Josh Besh's LUKE restaurant...

HAVE MERCY that was yummy!! I'm already planning what I want to order on my next visit! 
My friend Allison and I stayed at the fabulous Harrah's (casino) Hotel which and look-ie what we saw in the hotel lobby...

The sweetest (literally!) gingerbread replica of Cafe Du Monde with a train chugging around it.  It just filled the lobby with the homey scent of gingerbreada & sugar.  sigh.   Love. 

If you've ever been to New Orleans, you know what a beloved building this is.  If you haven't, you must come to visit and have beignets and cafe au lait here someday! 

Now before I get down to the nitty gritty of technology, I must show you my scrumptiousdiliumptious lunch from Dragos- another classic New Orleans restuarant.  


Charbroiled oysters smothered in cheese and garlic butter.  Mmmmmm. 
Put.  them.  on.  your.  bucket list.  
For real. 

Ok now that the food talk (my favorite thing) is out of the way, let's get down to technology talk.  

Warning:  your head may explode from excitement. 

Have any of you ever seen a presentation by Leslie Fisher?  She is a nationally known tech guru and a truly dynamic presenter.  I could not tear myself away from her fascinating workshops!

Here are just a few of my new favorite things that made my jaw drop:

1) IPEVO  
IPEVO makes 2 things I fell in love with! 
First up- a very affordable and compact document camera (that can even be wireless with an attachment)


and an equally affordable device that turns ANY SURFACE into an interactive white board (you must have a projector).  Did you hear me, people?  Any wall, dry erase board, chalk board.  ANY. WHAT!? I bet those of you SLPs still doing therapy in the closet never dreamed you could have an interactive whiteboard.  Your dreams are more in reach now!


You can check them both out at www.ipevo.com! 

2) Leap motion

Leap motion allows you to control any computer or device with hand gestures only! Currently there are 147 compatible apps that work with LEAPMOTION but I am sure this is only the beginning. This means that our students who struggle with poor fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, or motor precision can have access to more technology.  I think this is going to be groundbreaking for disabled children, and in particular for us, students who need alternate means of communication  - ESPECIALLY since it is so affordable! 


You can see more at leapmotion.com or check out the video below of it being used with disabled children in an Australian classroom. 


3) Colar Mix app

 Colar Mix allows you to download coloring pages and copy as them as many times as you like. There are a handful of free sheets and you can buy more sheets (10-12) for 2.99 when you're tired of the free ones. I downloaded the free coloring pages on my computer at colarapp.com and printed them in a snap. Easy as pie. 

But wait.  There's more! (hehe)

Now I'm sure you're asking....Mia, why in the world are you so darn excited about coloring sheets? 
Well, after your kids are done coloring them (with crayons or colored pencils only and NOT covering the black lines) they come alive. That isn't just an expression.  They come to life- they MOVE and become animateD!!!  WTH!!?? Right?  

Download the free CoLAR Mix app.  Go on.  Do it.  You will want to hug me.   


After your students are done coloring the page,  just open up your Colar app and point your camera's device at the coloring page. Be sure to fill the screen with the entire page.  Then watch it come to life.  
Ridiculous! 
Your students can even put their hands under the iPad and see their hand interacting with the virtual object that THEY created! You can view all angles of the moving objects simply by moving the iPad or iPhone.  It's all kinds of cool I can't even comprehend. 

Coloring has never been so much fun! 

Can you imagine all the things we could use this for?  I plan to have my students use EETchy to describe their creations and write about it.  

Watch the video for a demostration then try it with your kids! 
You can thank you me later ;)
By the way, I WILL be posting more about how I used this (including videos!) 



4) TAB app

Ok here we are back to talking about food.  Since we were a large group of people eating out in New Orleans, I decided to try the TAB app that a presenter mentioned at the conference.  
OMG so neat!!
It's perfect for when you're dining out with friends- I'm usually the expensive "orderer" and I hate splitting the bill evenly because I don't want anyone else having to pay for my foodie indulgences.  




This is how it works: 

-You take a picture of the bill.  
-Then you type in everyone's first name.  -Simply touch a name and touch everything that person ate/drank.  
-If 2 people shared something, simply touch it for each person- it will split the cost.  
-Each person gets their exact amount!

We tried it. 
We loved it.  
It's my new BFF.

5) GLYMPSE app

Ok so I never promised this post would be all speechie related.  
This app is related to another one of my favorite things..... traveling! 

Whether you're traveling a few miles to pick up a friend for a night out or across the country, this app keeps your friends and family in the know. 

It shares your location and "trail" in real time so anyone you invite to view it can see where you are, how long you've been traveling, etc, etc.  

Instead of telling your friend how many minutes you'll be until you reach her house, just send her a glympse. She can watch your progress on her smart phone. 

 I wish I'd known about it during my recent drive to Disney World because I would have sent my mom a glympse so she could practice using her iPad (hi mom!) 

 I know next time my 23 year old rambling man son goes on a roadtrip, I will be tracking him on glympse for peace of mind.  

Not to mention, if you're the paranoid type or on the wrong side of the tracks you could always send a glympse to a friend and tell her to call 911 if you don't reach your destination! (sorry I went to the dark side for a moment there)

You can find Glympse at the app store :)








Well, that's all for now!  You can be sure I'll be posting more about my new technology toys and apps as I put them to use in my speech room!! 

Happy Weekend, y'all! 
-Mia

1 comment:

  1. I just started following your blog. This technology post is awesome! Thanks for all the great information! I'm new to blogging, I really like reading other people's blogs- partly so I can learn what people want to read about!

    Ashley

    ReplyDelete

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