The Texas Computer Education Association Annual Conference

San Antonio, Texas – February 2019

Thank you to the Central New York Resources Council for providing the professional development grant that allowed myself and my colleagues to visit San Antonio, Texas to attend the TCEA conference.

I have been with the Liverpool Central School district for 12 years and providing this grant allowed myself to learn many new techniques and tech ideas to bring back to the district and provide my district with some new and great ideas.

As a split library media specialist, going between two buildings, it can be difficult to participate in all the PD that is offered in the buildings. Having the chance to go away and receive some great professional development opportunites is something, I believe, everyone should get as there is a ton of knowledge out there that everyone can benefit from.

From the moment we arrived we were learning.  Heading right over to the conference and getting checked in was exciting and we couldn’t wait to see what the week was going to bring us.

We spent the week going from workshop to workshop taking it all in.  We tweeted out every chance we got to allow those that couldn’t join us to be able to see what we were doing as we learned from each workshop. We are hoping that you had a chance to see some our tweets as we included you in most every tweet we sent out.

Our week started with us splitting up and we each took a different workshop.  We thought this would be a great way to take in more information.  The first workshop I attended talked about how to make the library and our community more successful.  They offered some great ideas, some of which I am currently implementing into the library.  They talked about centers and having spaces for students to go when they needed a break.  One thing they mentioned was using water boards, so when I got back I talked with my principal and she has ordered me two Buddah boards for the library. Students will be able to come in and work at the station when they need a break or just to try it out.  After they are done creating it slowly fades away so another student can come up and use the board.  It was such a great idea and I couldn’t wait to share it with my schools.

Another great idea was having a coding center. Coding has become very popular and I wanted to carry it out further then, Hour of Code Month in December.  They had mentioned the code-a-pillar and how all students would love using it.  I thought it was also a great idea and my principal again agreed to purchase one for the library. So excited to be receiving these new items into the library.

Some great tools that we heard and learned about were:

Digital Storytelling Tools:

  •    Biteable
  •    Kizoa (instead of animoto) (not limited like Animoto)
  •    Animoto/Blabberize
  •    Photos (new Moviemaker – RIP)
  •    Adobe Spark Video
  •    Book Creator
  •    Stop Motion Pro
  •    Toontastic
  •    Storyjumper
  •    Powtoons
  •    iMovie

 Formative Assessment Options:

  •    ~Quizlet & Quizlet Live – audio option
  •    Quizizz – (can read question – find in settings – )
  •    Kahoot
  •    Quizalize
  •    Study Blue
  •    Gimkit vs Quizizz
  •    GoFormative
  •    Socrative
  •    Google Forms
  •    Flipgrid
  •    Pear Deck Flashcard Factory (import Quizlet deck, play game, export new set)
  • (sheets add-on)
  •    Insert Learning
  •    Educreations

Interactive Learning Tools:

  •    Padlet
  •    Mentimeter
  •    Wordle
  • Word Cloud
  •    Answer Garden
  •    Poll Everywhere (Try the Google Slides Add-on!)
  • as a Twitter cloud (rather than
  •    PlayPosIt (RIP Office Mix)
  •    EdPuzzle
  •    Slido
  •    Pear Deck
  •    Iorad Tutorial Builder Extension

Images, Music, & Videos…Oh My

  •    Napster (old school)  THINK ABOUT COPYRIGHT!! No Spotify or Pandora
  •    Photos for Class
  •    Unsplash  
  •    Pixabay (has a Safe Search mode)
  •    Pexels
  •    Purple Planet
  •    Youtube Free Audio Library
  •    Screencastify/ScreenOMatic
  •    Loom

Presentation Tools

  •    PowerPoint & Google Slides (Slides Carnival)
  •    Infographics – Piktochart
  •    Mindomo – mind mapping
  •    Adobe Spark Pages
  •    Nearpod
  •    Peardeck (has an add-on in google slides!)
  •    Screencastify
  •    WeVideo
  •    Adobe Spark Video
  •    Canvasamar
  •    Prezi
  •    Emaze
  •    Postermywall

Some of the other great workshops I took were:

  • Get Googley with Google Extensions
  • 5 Minutes of Creativity
  • Tips and Tricks with Nearpod
  • K-12 Stemtastic
  • What’s New, Hot and Cool
  • 25 Best Websites for 2018
  • If you like this, then try this…
  • Breaking for Digital Citizenship

I would again like the thank you for the wonderful experience that I encountered in San Antonio, Texas.  I learned an enormous amount of information and can’t wait to start utilizing it all and understanding it more.  It will take some time to wade through all the wonderful ideas I picked up as the week went along and I am very appreciative for the experience and opportunity I was given.

Laura Esposito

K-6 Library Media Specialist, Liverpool Elementary/Chestnut Hill Elementary

Are you interested in being our next Professional Development Award recipient? Check out the award page for the rules & requirements!