I am currently at the premier technology education event certainly in Texas, and possibly in the world. This is my 5th such event in as many years and so I am not exactly a newbie to this environment. I have seen a great many changes, some good and some bad, but the one constant ingredient I find is the caring demonstrated by the educators here. While we may not all agree on what is best for our students, we can all agree that we want the very best for our students. I am proud to be surrounded by such professional and caring individuals
Having said that, the other draw to this incredible meeting is the amazing amount of technological innovation being displayed here. The leading technology players in the world gather here because they know that teachers are an excellent source of sales and we seem to be drawn to toys. Perhaps we like toys because we like kids. Who knows? All I know is that I am exhausted and off to bed. Hope to see you tomorrow in Austin.
Once again I am off to Austin, TX (not my favorite place to travel to but I seem to go there a lot) to present my way of teaching technology to the attendees of the Texas Computer Educator’s Association. I have done this for the past 5 years and it just keeps getting better each year. I am presenting on the topic of using incorporating the Arduino microprocessor and the Internet of Things into the curriculum of a technology classroom at the secondary level. I have been using Arduino for also about five years and find it to be an incredible tool for creating engagement with the students. Everyone likes to be in control and make things happen. Something about typing code into a screen and seeing a motor turn or watching an LED blink on and off in response to a sensor is satisfying beyond what it should be. Compared to Raspberry Pi (which I also use) or other small computers/processors, the Arduino is inexpensive and easy to incorporate into all sorts of projects. The basic theories of electronics (Ohm’s Law, Kirchhoff’s Law, etc) are easy to teach and building circuits that actually do something really helps focus the student’s attention on the task at hand. In short, it is an excellent way to spend some grant money if you happen to have it available.
So off I go. Wish me luck. I will do my best to blog while I am away but no promises. It is, after all, a very busy time. I hope to see you there and I REALLY hope that you can drop by at 8:00 am on Monday and sit in for my demonstration. I think you will find it interesting and useful – at least, that is my goal. Safe journey if you are traveling this week.