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FETC 2020 Review: On With The Show

FETC 2020
(Image credit: Monica Burns)

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I attended the FETC 2020 Conference in Miami. This trip was my fifth time at this event and third as a featured speaker. In between leading workshops and sessions, I was able to get down to the Expo Hall and learn about some new edtech tools. A few of these companies were totally new to me, and several were part of the Startup Pavilion. If there is a new edtech tool that has you excited, share with me on social and tag @classtechtips.

The first on the list is Matatalab, a coding kit for kids that I had the chance to see in action. It provides a hands-on opportunity for students to explore coding principles. The coding set gives students access to a mat and pieces to move into a pattern.I tried out Matatalab’s coding kit and was very impressed. They also have a musical component that you might want to explore, too. 

Little Genius Starter Kit

I’m a big fan of Osmo and have seen their apps and tools in action in classrooms across the country. I spent some time on the show floor exploring their “new to me” Little Genius Starter Kit, which includes four different options, including skill-building practice with storytelling and letter recognition. 

If you’re looking for a new way for students to prepare for the ACT or SAT exams, you’ll want to check out Prepmedians. This website is full of engaging, sketch comedy-inspired videos to help students get ready to take these exams. Full disclosure—I’ve met their enthusiastic founder before and went to high school with his brother, but didn’t know about this awesome endeavor until I came across it on the list of startups at this year’s pavilion. 

Interactive Reading Library

Kidint is all about storytelling. It gives users access to hundreds of books and encourages reading together as a family. It works on a variety of devices and lets new users try it out for free for a full month. I like how families can set up profiles for their children and how it awards badges, too. This tool grabbed my attention because I’m always looking for apps and websites that promote joint media engagement.

If you listen to my Easy EdTech Podcast, you know that I love videos and even have an episode all about creating video playlists in the classroom. Well, Vubble is an edtech tool designed to create video feeds for students with high-quality content. They’ve partnered with a bunch of notable folks already, including Pearson and the Canadian Film Centre. This grabbed my attention because video is a powerful way to communicate information, and the more we can make sure this happens in a high-quality way, the better.

Boddle is an interactive math game for students in elementary school. It’s an adaptive learning platform and provides content tailored to the needs of individual students in your class. With standards connections and assessments for a variety of math skills, Boddle is worth checking out. This grabbed my attention because of the combination of differentiated resources and gamified learning for math.

Glose is a reading platform that gives students and teachers access to hundreds of books — for free. Students can customize the reading interface, and teachers can monitor student progress. It creates a social network so students can talk about what they’re reading and connect with others. This edtech tool grabbed my attention because… Glose has both a free and paid version meaning you can jump into this ebook library right away.

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, speaker, and curriculum & edtech consultant. She is the author of Tasks Before Apps (ASCD) and #FormativeTech (Corwin). Visit Monica's site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.