What’s next in edtech? What older tools have you overlooked that are worth a second look? The verdict is in. From VR devices to programming, and from creation apps to creativity tools, expect to see an evolution of the tools you already love and new technologies that will surely engage your students in this compilation of resources.
The best of show from the CES2017 Conference, the largest global gathering technology trade show, has been curated by tech publications like Wired, Engadget, and PC. We purged through the winners and compiled a list of educational tools and gadgets for you to look for in 2017.
1. LEGO Boost Kit
Take your LEGO® play to the next level with the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox. At about half the price of Mindstorms Kits, you can build and code interactive, motorized robots, models and creations with distance, color and tilt sensor technologies with this new kit. Even better, you can program it with your mobile devices.
2. DataTraveler Ultimate GT
At less than three inches long, the world’s biggest thumb drive is coming to your pockets soon. This tiny drive can pack in two terabytes of data.
3. Samsung Chromebook Plus
This Chrome OS device is perhaps the coolest laptop-tablet crossover. Thin and lightweight, built in pen, millions of apps on the Google Play Store, 360 degree rotating screen, this 2.38 lbs. device is fit to be a productivity and creativity laptop.
Rollout starts soon with most resellers allowing you to reserve one before it hits the shelves. Retail price $449.
4. ZenFone AR
The world’s first smartphone with Tango and Daydream by Google, ZenFone AR by Asus is built for the augmented reality (AR) ultimate experience. With software like Tango, a new AR technology that changes the way you interact with the world via its ability to understand space and motion like humans do, you can expect your experience to feel futuristic.
In addition to Tango, with Daydream, you can experience high-quality, immersive virtual reality (VR) on this device as well. Can we expect the best of both worlds in this one device? This has yet to be seen, but the potential sounds way cool.
5. Neonode AirBar
Tap, pinch, swipe, and zoom, all the features we love about touch devices now for MACs?
Get touch screen capabilities on your MacBook Air 13 inch with this plug-and-touch device for a fraction of the price of a new device. Touch using any object including your finger, or with gloves, paint brush, stylus, and even with a banana (according to the reviews).
As a designer using Adobe products, this device leaves me wanting one for for my MacBook Air 11 inch. No mention of this being available for other devices yet, but here’s to hoping.
6. Ozobot Evo
Meet Evo: the golfball-sized bot that moves around the floor or table, responding to commands programmed using OzoBlockly. While Ozobot is not new to the “easy programmable robot” scene, this little guy brings new features we hadn’t seen in the Ozobot family.
Look out for LED lights, new sounds and movements, and new technology (Infrared Proximity Sensing) to avoid obstacles. Stay connected with the world via the Evo app OzoChat (worldwide messaging, Ozojis and other emotions that Evo acts out).
7. MultiSync Travel Keyboard
The Mini Multi-Sync Bluetooth Keyboard can be paired with any Bluetooth 3.0 enabled device. It is wireless so you can use it with your Mac or PC. The size makes it desireable as it easily fits in a backpack, purse or travel bag.
8. Fisher-Price Smart Cycle
The stationary bike’s combination of activity tracking and STEM-based edutainment (via apps on a mobile device) means that kids can exercise their bodies and their brains. This pedal-to-play bike is compatible with Android, iOS and Amazon Fire devices. Sorry fellow colleagues, this one’s for kids ages 3 to 6.
9. Polaroid Pop Instant Digital Camera
Portable, tiny and fun makes this printer mention worthy. Shoot, edit, and print full color photos in the iconic 3×4” format with the Polaroid Classic Border Logo. Features include: 3.97-inch touchscreen LCD, 20-megapixel CMOS sensor and dual LED flash, image stabilization, and 1080p full HD video recording capability. All content is stored on a micro SD card (up to 128 GB). Want to print photos from your phone? This device turns into a printer for your mobile phone via the mobile app.
10. Tenka Labs’ Circuit Cubes
These little cubes with built-in circuits pack in a nice punch for educators targeting STEM and 21st century skills. Users will be able to build multifunctional structures in three dimensions while learning the basics of designing electronics. These tiny cubes come with magnets, batteries, sensors and other components. They also connect to LEGO bricks, so your designs can become more complex and fun.
A simple Google search for CES2017 will result in more technologies that made the list, but hopefully this compilation is a good starting point for the best of what to expect in 2017.
Oldies but Goodies: Google Mobile Apps
When curating this list of tools for 2017, it was hard to leave out some of the older favorites. So here’s a listing of Google apps for iOS and Android you’ll want to explore.
1. YouTube Capture for iOS
Movies on the go! Start recording in a snap, then edit and share videos of any length right from your phone. The app comes with creative commons licensed music you can use to enhance your videos. To share: upload your videos to YouTube.
2. Google Photos
Automatically organized and searchable, you can find photos fast and bring them to life. It’s the photo gallery that thinks like you do.
3. Art & Culture
Explore over 1000 museums, exhibits, world wonders and more from your mobile device. Jump into the museum with StreetView capabilities and Cardboard. Current events and special events added periodically from partner content providers.
4. YT Kids (YouTube Kids)
This YouTube app allows kids to discover videos, channels and playlists they love. Parental controls include a timer to limit the amount of time a child can use the app, what they can search and what videos appear within the app.
Use the Google Street View Camera to create your own 360 degree photos. Upload to the web for sharing with your class or the world. Cardboard option (within the app) allows you to experience your photos in 360.
Turn your pictures into photographs. This photo app allows you to retouch, adjust perspective, re-edit, or crop your photos.
Monica Isabel Martinez is the Regional Director in Latin America (Central and South America) and Southern US for EdTechTeam. In this position, Monica develops and facilitates professional development on the most current technology trends for the purpose of improving teaching and learning through innovative processes. She has developed many technology programs some of which have been adopted by districts, universities, and others that have been rolled out country-wide. Monica has experience teaching students and professionals at all levels including elementary, secondary, and higher education while working in the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Monica has a master’s degree in Educational Technology and is also a Google Certified Innovator, Google Education Trainer, and a global Coach for the Google Innovator Academy program.
EdTechTeam, a California Benefit Corporation, is a global network of educational technologists dedicated to inspiring and empowering other educators. With 34 employees and over 250 contractors around the globe (most current or former educators), EdTechTeam has subsidiaries in Canada, Australia, Mexico, and the UK. The team operates in 48 US states, 9 Canadian provinces (and territories), 8 Australian states (and territories), 28 other countries, and on all 7 continents. EdTechTeam produced professional development experiences in 10 languages for over 88,000 educators in 2016.
Monica I. Martinez
Administrator & Trainer
Latin America & Southern US