Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Favorite Finds from TCEA

This was my second year to attend TCEA. The conference has quite a turnout, and I found it energizing to be in the midst of so many educators. It was also great to be able to follow the conference on Twitter (#TCEA15) so that my learning wasn't just limited to the sessions I could physically attend.

Here are my top 3 favorite finds:
  1. Getting organized digitally: Greg Garner’s presentation provided a multitude of digital organization tools. With so much of our lives online, to say things can get overwhelming is an understatement. Greg’s main idea was that we need to “devise a plan and get organized.” If you are organized, you can be more productive. No brainer, right? There are a variety of organizational tools or plans such as GTD, 43 Folders, and IFTTT, but the trick is to find what works for you. Once you find it…be intentional about using it! You can find Greg's presentation with more resources here
  2. Smarter Chrome: I have been using Chrome as my browser of choice for a while now, and I love the way it makes my life easier. Amy Mayer's session Smarter Chrome (session link) shared general Chrome tips along with extensions and apps that just made me love Chrome even more.  A few examples: 
    • The omnibox is pure awesomeness: Want to set a timer? Just type in “timer 10 minutes” (or whatever amount of time you need) and BAM!, Chrome gets a timer going. Need a calculator? Just type in what you need...34*99 and BAM!, Chrome answers it for you. Click here for more omnibox tips and tricks. 
    • Extensions are where it's at: We've talked a little bit about extensions on this blog before, and I have a growing list that I regularly use. Amy talked about a few extensions that were new for me, so I had to install them and give 'em a go. TabCloud saves the tabs you have open to reopen later or even on a different computer. Webpage Screenshot lets you take a screenshot, add annotations, or even edit the look of the webpage itself. Extensions can be found in the Chrome Webstore. Click here for some extensions to get you started. 
  3. Touchcast: This is a wonderful little app for flipping your classroom or creating interesting video content. Touchcast allows you to pull in video, websites, images, polls, and more creating an interactive and engaging experience. See Touchcast in action below:
(link to video)

TCEA was a great learning experience, and I highly recommend it as a "must attend" for any educator. 

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