Day 1 at TIES

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

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

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.


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