Standing in the Galveston Convention Center during the 2017 Tots and Technology summer conference means being surrounded by the sights and sounds of elementary educators enthusiastically learning. The whir of robots being showcased. The excited laughter of a group successfully escaping a digital breakout. And the incredible conversations between educators sharing ideas from their own classrooms and libraries and schools: what’s worked for them, what didn’t, and their hopes for the new school year.
I already shared a little of the experience of Tots in Galveston on site at the conference. If you missed these posts, you might want to check them out to learn more about the fun that was had at the makerspace pre-conference and the amazing learning and sharing that took place at the Birds of a Feather session. But I also wanted to share a few highlights of the event as a whole for those who weren’t able to join us at the beach this summer.
What makes Tots and Technology such a fun conference is that educators get to experience the technology they will be bringing back to the classroom with them. They get hands-on practice so that they are not only familiar with the app, program, or gadget and how it can be used for cross-curricular learning, but also get to experience the technology for themselves. This way they’re aware of both the fun and engagement potential and the possible pitfalls and questions a student user might face.
Discovering the Latest in Ed Tech
Not all of the learning takes place in the session rooms. The exhibit hall at Tots was also a great place for educators to learn about some new products and ideas for technologies tailored specifically for the elementary classroom. They were able to talk one-on-one with exhibitors and try out new technologies in a laid back environment. They also started helpful discussions about what had worked in their classrooms and what product features they hoped to see.
Having a Ball
When in between sessions, our educators had a blast playing with the 12-foot inflatable beach ball we brought to the convention. They discovered some pretty creative ways to make great photo ops. Many demonstrated a huge amount of teamwork from hoisting the ball to making some quick saves to stop it from rolling down the hall. Elementary educators pack in the learning, but they know how to have a ball too! Our beach ball found a new home as a door prize for one lucky educator, but we’ll be sure to have new surprises in store for next year and for Tots Arlington coming up in just a few weeks.
The Tots Train Is Heading to Arlington!
Did you miss Tots in Galveston this year? If so, you’re in luck! We offer a second Tots and Technology summer conference in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It will be held at the Arlington Convention Center from July 16-18. And the best part is it’s not too late to register. You’ll get all the hands-on learning, networking opportunities, and fresh ideas that educators experienced at Tots in Galveston in a fun new city. Find out more information and register here.