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ODU Summer Institute Tech Explorations

Getting to explore new technologies is one of my favorite things! Below are 9 new tech tools that I am super excited to try out in the next couple of days.

Ozobots: I love this tool! It’s a great intro to coding, as the kids can practice and learn coding skills and then use them to move the Ozobots around. I particularly like that the paths for the robots can be drawn out with regular markers! This would be really cool to include in a maker space in a elementary or middle school library.

Spheros: This is so much fun- sphero is a light up sphere that users can manipulate and move through an app on a phone or tablet. While this might be more of a distraction than a teaching tool in high school, it could be really fun in an elementary school maker space to let kids get an introduction to technology.

Makey-makey kit: This is such a cool introduction to making circuits- I could see this being a fun tool in both a library makerspace to teach coding skills and in a science class. Kids could bring in their own objects to create games.

Little Bits kit: This is another really cool circuitry program. I loved that it’s color coded and easy to access for students, and can be used across grade and skill levels.

Google Expeditions: Virtual reality options have gotten so incredible! My school just ordered several sets of VR glasses for the library, and I can’t wait to use them with my geography classes to experience localities that we can’t travel to!

Paper circuits: Paper circuits are a great way to reinforce science and math concepts while allowing students to incorporate the arts into their work. Library makerspaces can be such a fun way to have STEAM programs in school.

Aurasma: speaking of bringing art into the classroom, Aurasma is a really neat way to integrate photos, videos, art, music, and text into one presentation. I will definitely have my kids use it for presentations this year, and have them add their own voiceovers! I think that this is a great platform for all grades.

Green screen: While I haven’t used green screen in the classroom in a few years (and the tech has improved so much since then!) it has always been a hit with my high school students. Our school uses it for morning announcements as well!

Creating memes with Aviary app: I love creating the dorkiest, punniest memes possible, and I imagine that will only get better (or worse!) in the library. I currently have a set of historical memes on the wall in my classroom and they crack me up. My favorite is of Martin Luther, and it says “We found God in a Popeless place”– SO nerdy but hilarious!

Here are three tools that I would like to learn more about.
Aurasma
1. How many images can you link to in one presentation?
2. Can you create multiple videos for a single object?
3. Does this function as well on a tablet (with a larger screen) as it does on a phone? Is there a way to make it computer-friendly as well as mobile?

Makey-makey kit:
1. Can two people play the game together remotely- if they are in separate rooms, could they be in the same game still?
2. How many different objects can be linked up to the game at once?
3. Can users code their own keys for the game to create more options?

Spheros:
1. How much coding is needed to control the sphero?
2. How does it charge? How long does a charge last?
3. Can multiple devices be linked up to the same sphero? Can the same device connect to multiple spheros?

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