Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC) 2020 was held February 11-13 at the Columbus Convention Center. It is the annual state EdTech conference and is a good place to grow your network and get some ideas. There are tons of sessions to attend. There is a large vendor hall (though this year seemed smaller) to see a myriad of products. But you have to be careful. Most “vendors” are willing to sell you “the latest greatest thing to save education.”
Most people come for the sessions. Though you shouldn’t just attend sessions at conferences, you should also set aside time for networking and processing some of what you just learned. (and of course some time for the vendor hall). There were many overlapping sessions that I wanted to attend. Ideas and projects as well as people to network with. I didnt stay for any, one, complete session. I checked out some of what one school district has in their #MakerSpace ‘s, A “Tesla” air powered vehicle competition that a MakerSpace does, some STEMCoding examples, A Maker Mindset, Mobile App development, integrating Demos tools, 3D printing for people who are blind, mini-drones, PBL design, and a FAB Lab session.
There were also some Teacher Playgrounds , housed in the vendor hall. They were 2 hour slots where 6-9 teachers had a table to talk about and show off some of the things their students and they do. There was STEM and STEAM, Arts focus, VR creation, Maker ideas, tech like Raspberry Pi. Michael Feldman and I had one for “Unleashing Creativity in our students with low cost and low tech materials”. We had a bunch of materials and tools out for people to see and get their hands on : craft sticks, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, cardboard, micro:bit, makey makey, Cricut craft cutter, cutting mats, keva planks, strawbees, makedo…). I was hoping more people actually got their hands on them and made something, but most were happy to just discuss Maker ideas.