Melanie's TCEA Reflections

A few of my big take-aways from #TCEA14. What a great week!

Sessions for PK - 2 Teachers??

One of my biggest take aways from this year's TCEA was what I learned when I witnessed the MASSIVE crowd at my friend Tanya's "Tech for Tiny Fingers" session. Of course, I knew her session with Katie Lydon was going to be beyond amazing, but HOW did all of those other people know that? What popped into my mind immediately was the idea that TCEA attendees are craving more sessions geared towards our younger students. So my mind is already racing with ideas for K-2 presentations for next year. I have some super amazing ROCK STAR teachers at the lower elementary level who must attend with me next year so we can give the TCEA folks what they want:)

Here is a link to Tanya and Katie's presentation. I am so proud of them and honored to call them my friends:)

SMORE as a presentation tool

I had heard of SMORE before (the tool that is allowing me to create this webpage/news article), but I had never thought to use it as a presentation tool. While at TCEA, I went to a few sessions and the presenters were using this tool. Definitely something I will consider in the future!

Discovery Education/Mentimeter/TapIt

Discovery Ed is certainly not new to me, but it is such a rich, valuable resource it is ALWAYS worth using. One of my goals for the near future is to use Discovery Education and the board builder with my 5th graders while they learn about the Civil War.


I also learned about a web tool called MentiMeter, which is a polling website that allows students to send answers to the teacher's computer. The teacher can quiz the students on important facts, events and people.

Chatter Box app

Chatter Box is like the Facetalk app. The Facetalk app is like the Blabberize web tool. Chatter Box seems very simple to use and would be perfect to use with Kinder and 1st graders. I can't wait to try it out with some kiddos next week:)

Make Digital Predictable Books

Another FAB idea I saw was at Matt Gomez's presentation. He uses iPads ALL THE TIME with his kindergarten class. He has them make predictable books (I like cake, I like ice cream, etc.) using Educreations. As the students record and read their books, they touch the word and a red dot appears as they read! What a great idea! This shows the teacher that the student is using 1:1 as they read, they recognize each word and allows the viewer to follow along and practice recognizing those words as well. I just thought that was a VERY clever idea and I will definitely be trying this out with my Kindergarteners and 1st graders.

Google, Google, Google

I haven't even been using Chrome lately. But after attending TCEA and attending a Google A-Z presentation with Monica Martinez, I am officially switching to CHROME! There are so many possibilities and I want to try them all. One of the coolest tools I saw was the Gone Google Story Builder. It would be so awesome to try this with some young writers. They would LOVE this! Click on this link to watch a video and see how it works:)

That's all for now;)

As I dig further into my notes, and find time to play around with more of the tools I learned about, I will definitely share them out. Whatever your biggest TCEA take-aways are, I would LOVE for you to share them with me:)

@MelanieBurford3