Friday, March 15, 2013

Computer Using Educators Conference - day one report

Even after dealing with 95 degree temps and surprisingly spotty wireless connectivity, just concluded a very exciting first day at the Computer Using Educators conference in Palm Springs, Ca.

Here's a quick recap to whet your appetites.

IXL - Common Core standards based PK-8th grade web-based math learning.  Looks to have many of the elements of a modern web based learning tool. A major plus: detailed students result tracking so teachers can easily drill in to see what their students are having trouble with, what's being mastered. etc.

ImagineLearning - Similar to IXL, in that it's common core standards based for Kinder - 6th grade, in this case for Language Arts. The focus is teaching students (their original concentration was on ESL students) to reading, comprehension and writing skills. Looks like lots of breadth and depth, and there is a 'prescriptive' element I believe. Again, plenty of reporting to understand what students are actually doing when using the tool.

For both IXL and ImagineLearning, and I'm sure many more, we'll get demos and report back.

Had a chance to sit in on a talk on improving student writing skills by Nancye Blair, and it was excellent! The approach, skills, techniques, rubrics and tools she detailed were spot on - and will certainly grow our students' 21st century writing skills. Most impressive, and kudos to Ms. Blair. Here's a link to much of what was presented - you don't want to miss her site.

Another interesting session highlighted iPad applications that satisfy Common Core objectives in both math and ELA. For instance, SplashMath, Scribblenauts (spelling practice), educreations. Check out Katherine Burdick's website for more details.

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