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ISTE Exhibit Hall

June 25, 2012

Is the Exhibit Hall totally awesome or what? The place is huge, and there are hundreds of amazing displays! I’m going to keep updating this page over the next couple of days with some of the great things that I learn visiting with vendors in the exhibit hall.

Layout
Comments about the layout. It’s interesting! No huge long straight aisles that run the length of the hall, there are some straight aisles that run the width. Everything is broken up so there are no long horrible sitelines. The most booths I saw in a row, without an aisle in between was three. So it’s like there are all these little islands of booths, no more than six booths large. But, there are many vendors who have massive real estate – I would hate to even venture to guess the size in terms of booths. One vendor has a boler trailer, another has a huge RV, many others have soo much stuff setup, it really gives you a good idea and feeling about their products, and their people are exceedingly knowledgeable and friendly. Tonnes of good information. But layout is very nice. Good thick carpet in all of the aisles. Well done. Great variety of companies. It’s well done. Quick note about food. There are some small food places, and the lines look really long – but they go really fast, and it’s not bad for your $$$. I had a turkey sandwich and, I almost couldn’t finish it. Regardless, I was full for the rest of the day easily. Of course you could go offsite, but you certainly didn’t have to.

Cardmunch
Okay, so this Linked In related iPhone App is not in the exhibit hall, but it is saving my life! If you haven’t used Cardmunch, it’s awesome. It’s a simple app that you can install, and then take pictures of business cards you receive. The scanned cards are uploaded to Linked In, and they do some form of OCR, and then send you the full contact right back to your iPhone. Don’t have to worry about mistyping any information, or losing the business card. Once you’ve got it scanned in and received, you’re good to go!

bigWebApps
They make a HelpDesk piece of software, and they think their advanced search on assets may help us. Will have to check it out. License is done by number of students, can have unlimited number of tech or teacher accounts.
Contact: Sherri Durfree
sheri@bigwebapps.com
866-996-1200 ext. 704
Atlanta, GA

Arcademic Skill Builders
Talked briefly to these fine gentlemen. They make online educational games that are FREE. Yep, FREE. Did I mention FREE? They have a premium version coming out shortly that includes all kinds of reports, etc. that you can use to see where your kids are at. Looks like it’s worth a try!
http://www.arcademics.com

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Epsilen
Epsilen makes a hosted piece of software that creates a social environment for teachers to run classes, and students to collaborate together. They also do ePortfolio’s and Assessment Portals. They don’t actually provide the instruction, but simply a place where teachers can do instruction for kids.
http://epsilen.com
And they were very gracious – I won a Kindle Fire at the Affiliate AGM, which was donated by the good folks at Epsilen! Thanks!

CablesToGo
One word. Wow! Maybe awesome! Stopped by their booth and they make some awesome products to connect everything via one cable to your projector, and keep it simple. Really liked their media gateway, had HDMI, VGA, everything, and it automatically selected it. I even took my iphone and plugged it in and started playing a movie – and it worked! Right on the TV, sound and everything. Very simple. They also make really nice in-wall control systems for teachers. Very nice, very easy. AND, they can manage it all over your network. Very slick. Gotta get some of these.
www.cablestogo.com

OverDrive
They are pretty much the defacto standard if you want to do eBooks in your library. It’s a hosted service that you purchase, and then you add titles into it. Then your patrons can sign out eBooks onto their own device. Check out is automatic. Check in is automatic. No physical moving of books. I’ve tried this with my own public library, and it’s awesome. Pricing seems great too! They are just announcing a product called OverDrive Read, which gives you access to the OverDrive service without any specific apps – can get it right through the web browser. I did ask the OverDrive person, what happens if we terminated a relationship with OverDrive, would we still own the titles we had acquired. They said “no, the titles would revert to OverDrive”. Hmmm.
www.overdrive.com/seebook

Eye On Education
This publisher was at ISTE and they have a number of whitepapers as well as books, intended to help be PD resources for educators. I got a copy of their price list, which includes 20% discount for being at ISTE.
www.eyeoneducation.com

iBallz
I think this company has just about the best booth, it’s a Boler trailer! And a cool product. I’ve got some pictures below. Basically it’s a set of balls with tension wires between them that you put on the corners of your iPad, and then it’s virtually indestructable. You can drop it, and it’s good. I watched, I even took a video. Way, way, way cool. Gotta see it to believe it. I’m going to order a set or two, and play around. I couldn’t believe it, they would drop a running iPad, and it would be fine. Sheesh! What won’t they think of!
www.iBallz.info

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Go to Exhibit Hall Part 2

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