Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Second NCSHLA Spring Convention

For my regular readers, I do apologize for not posting on Monday like usual. The end of April and beginning of May is a crazy time this year. I have three weeks worth of kindergarten screenings (because we go to one school each week for either 1-2 days), EC meetings, IEPs (almost done with all of them!), and the state conference. I may look like a train wreck on May 12th, but my life will calm down considerably as the End of Grade testing fever picks up for everyone else.

The 2015 NCSHLA Spring Convention was another really good professional development experience. I love that it offers a good variety of topics without the overwhelming feeling that the national conferences can create. This year, I felt like the conference was much more geared towards the medical side to make up for last year being more school-centric.  

So I'm going to focus more on a few of the neat things I happened to see in the exhibit hall. (Please note that I am not being paid or otherwise compensated to talk about any of these things. I just thought they were cool.)

1) The Dolores One: Medical Speech-Language Pathologists will want to pay attention to this one. It's basically a machine that helps amplify a client's voice by being placed on the patient's neck near the vocal folds. This means that it doesn't interfere with respiratory care equipment. Yet, it still allows you to hear what the patient is saying. The demonstration with CPAP mask was really incredible. I love to see how technology and ingenuity can come together to solve very distressing problems.

2) Discovery Toys interactive books: Ahoy, Pirate Pete and Once Upon a Time

According to the vendor, these books have recently returned to print after a several year hiatus. I absolutely love the idea of letting students pick the direction of the story. It can be as silly or as normal as they want. Plus, the graphics just pop.
The only thing I didn't love about these books were the price tag. $19 was a little steep for something that I can see being damaged in overzealous argument between two or three competitive students. These are going on my "watch" list. 

3) Super Duper's Pirates and Pals Preposition card deck: I have the biggest weakness for pirate stuff. I have no idea why. I ran up to the display copy of these cards the minute I saw them. They would be really motivating for young pirate fans. 

4) Literacy Speaks!: I think I must have been living under a rock or in graduate school when this program came out. My favorite part of the kits are the little books that you can print out from the CD. However, it is one of the more pricey items I saw. I know that the cost of materials continues to grow problematic as more districts are having to cut funds. This one is probably just going into the "dream" files as I cannot imagine my district buying this over our testing materials.

And my secret to not ending up broke after visiting the booths at convention: 
Only bring enough money for food!

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