As I am attending TIES, one of my favorite things to do is to visit the vendor area. As I attend this education technology conference every year, I am able to see trends product growth.
Many of the vendors here are representing back-end technology that may influence my life, but I will never deal with. Others are representing products that I will not use professionally, or have lost interest in.
In 2013, more than any of the other past years (back to 2010), it is clear that the iPad is a major trend in just about every vendor booth. Interestingly, Chromebooks are a major topic of discussion but they are not really featured at all in the vendor area. It may take vendors a while to catch up with the Chromebook.
What vendors are catching my eye at TIES?
One vendor is Digital Doc, a company that provides repair services for iOS devices. Since my bad experience with another Minnesota iOS device repair company, I have been looking for a company that could provide repair services. Digital Doc may be that company. The prices are fair ($139 for an iPad 4), and the company is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. You can find them at http://www.digitaldocrepair.com/com
Another vendor sells EVA foam iPad cases in multiple colors. They are basically kid proof, and protects the iPad from a 6 foot drop. I'm thinking about these as gifts for my brother in-law whose little kids play with their iPads all the time. I also think they might be a viable solution instead of the Griffin Survivor cases that we use on our achool's iPads. You can find these at http://bumparmor.com
I need to add that I have received no services in place of these mentions; these are just items that intrigued me.
I have attended several sessions today, including a presentation on technology in elementary music by Katie Krueger (I arrived a bit late), a session about 1:1 iPads in Middle School (Farmington, MN), and the Keynote address by Marc Prensky, who coined the term “digital native.” I was not able to attend the session on creating iOS apps…it was packed out.
I also presented a poster session on Numbers for iOS; a few people stopped by, but I don't think Numbers is a very “hot button” issue for many educators. I do try to present a session every year at this conference that is more broad than my normal topics about technology in music education.
There are a few more sessions of interest that I will be attending today and tomorrow, and I will also be presenting a session entitled, “Don't Forget the Electives!” at 8am tomorrow morning.