The Florida Educational Technology Convention (FETC) started today. For those interested in technology in the classroom, FETC provides seminars that will benefit classroom teachers, technology specialists, IT directors, and administrators. The day stared out with three events that interested me. A pre-keynote technology shootout, the keynote address, and the opening of the exhibit hall.

The Technology Shoutout featured three presenters that took turns highlighting different new tech tools for education. I’m going to pass some of the best on to you.

  • RockMelt – A Google Chrome based browser with sidebars for Facebook and Twitter. It currently requires an invitation to download.  http://www.rockmelt.com/
  • Paper.li – Turn your Facebook or Twitter into a newspaper daily that you can read. http://paper.li/
  • Jamendo – Free and legal music for use in video or podcasts.  http://www.jamendo.com/en/
  • Screencast-o-matic – create free screencasts of instructions of demonstrations.  No software required. http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/
  • Camstudio – Another free screencast program. http://camstudio.org/
  • StrataLogica – Google Earth based maps and globes for education.  Not free, but a great product.  Throw away the pull down charts! http://www.stratalogica.com/
  • LogMeIn Ignition –  An iPad/Android app that will allow you to remote control you home or work computer. $10  https://secure.logmein.com/US/products/ignition/default.aspx
  • PhotoStory – A free Microsoft tool that allows students to do digital storytelling. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/photostory/default.mspx
  • Weebly – Create a web site for free with this easy tool.  No geek-speak required.  http://www.weebly.com/
  • Eye-fi – Take Pictures with your camera and this special memory card and have the pictures sent directly to your camera or the web. GPS optional for auto geotagging of photos.  http://www.eye.fi/ Also available from Amazon.com
  • Spoon.net – Run desktop apps on the web.  Want some fun with this one?  Search “Oregon Trail” and play it on an Apple IIe!  http://www.spoon.net/
  • Desktop Connect iPad App – Turn your iPad into a slate in your classroom.  iTunes App Store
  • Word Lens – You’ve got to see it!  Point your iPhone at a sign in Spanish and it will show on your screen in English.  Coming soon for Android and other platforms! http://questvisual.com/
  • Microscopes – Turn your smart phone into a microscope for under $10.  Gizmodo Demo
  • Phone to YouTube.  Have students create videos on their phones and post them to your class YouTube Account.  Create an account and then go to Account Settings and Mobile Setup.  YouTube will give you an e-mail address that you can give students.  They can take a video and send it to that address and it will post to video.  You can change the address as necessary.
  • SlideRocket – Create a PowerPoint presentation that is in the “cloud” and doesn’t need special software to view or present.  http://www.sliderocket.com/

The Keynote Address was delivered by Reed Timmer of the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers program.  Reed shared the science and experiences behind chasing and intercepting tornado across the Great Plains of the United States and Canada. http://www.tornadovideos.net/ More information here.

Exhibit Hall – Lots of good stuff here too.  Some highlights.

  • MathXL for School – A service from Pearson for no more than $20/student.  Covers middle and high school math.  Free demo’s available for teachers.  http://www.mathxlforschool.com
  • Epson Bright Link Solo – Turn an existing projector/white board into a smart board for under $500
  • Epson Bright Link 450wi – Need a projector too?  Turn an existing whiteboard into a smart board.  Under $1900 – including short throw projector.
  • Schoology – Secure social networking and course web system.  Free with community support. http://www.schoology.com
  • AdaptiveCurriculum – from Arizona State University is another company with a great product providing interactive demonstrations and assessment to enhance your curriculum.  http://www.adaptivecurriculum.com