7 ed tech tools to note from ISTE 2016

7 ed tech tools to note from ISTE 2016

Posted in Blog on 7 July 2016

This year’s International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference certainly felt bigger and better than ever, leaving the task of taking in everything on the showfloor at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center a daunting task to say the least.

To highlight a few products you may have missed at this year’s show, and for those unable to attend, we’ve compiled the following list of what jumped out at us. From programmable STEM robots to powerful adaptive, personalization and analytics platforms, these are 7 tools you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Sphero

You might recognize Sphero as the robotic masterminds behind last year’s hot “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” BB-8 toy, but the company also has its hands in the education space. The company’s new SPRK+ robot, powered by the Lightning Lab app, aims to teach students to code, complete hands-on activities and share their work globally while encouraging curiosity, creativity and invention.

The spherical robot features a scratch-resistant polycarbonate exterior, tap-to-connect Bluetooth, inductive charging, an accelerometer and gyroscope, shock resistance, programmable sensors and LED lights — and it’s waterproof, too. The SPRK Lightning Lab app also works via smart devices and desktops, and it comes packed with more than 150 hands-on learning activities and an improved programming interface.

Wonder Workshop

Sphero isn’t alone in using robots to teach students to code. Wonder Workshop offers a robotic duo, Dash and Dot.

Dash is mobile, while his counterpart Dot is stationary. They respond to voice and touch, and Dash can also navigate objects. With Wonder Workshop’s Wonder, Go, Blockly, Path and Xylo apps, students can program the robots to perform a number of activities and behaviors, including playing a xylophone.

zSpace

Since zSpace first popped up on our radar at ISTE 2014 in Atlanta, we’ve been impressed with the company’s virtual reality interface for STEM. Using a special console, stylus and glasses, students can interact with and manipulate a variety of intricate 3D models, physics demonstrations, and more.

This year’s show brought the news that not only is the company working with Google in its Expeditions Pioneer Program, integrating the tech giant’s Expeditions VR learning experience into its own, but it also unveiled Human Anatomy Atlas content as part of a partnership with Visible Body. The demonstration of the latter became particularly interesting when Education Dive navigated a virtual skull, populating in the eyes for a decidedly creepy and scientifically cool visual that looked very “Mars Attacks.”

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