It's the evening of the third day of Texas Instruments' T3 2013 International Conference, and I'm already back in New York post-conference, looking forward to celebrating a birthday with my Cemetech administrators Shaun and Thomas. While all of the great seminars and sessions (and special events) from T3 are still fresh in my head, I want to give you, our loyal reader, a high-level summary of Day 2 and Day 3 of the conference. Everything in this news item is extracted from our extensive T3 2013 Liveblogging thread, where we incrementally relayed everything we were seeing, learning, and experiencing (that we were able to repeat) throughout the event. Our second and third days focused on the meat of using TI's TI-Nspire family, including the handhelds and the new Apps for iPad. Starting on Saturday:
We visited a lesson on the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad taught by Tom Reardon and Mayim Bialik. Together they demonstrated activities, and on his own Mr. Reardon showed off more of the graphing calculator-like features.
We worked hands-on with the CBL/CBR and the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, learning about three engaging science experiments involving the handhelds.
I gave my own talk, "Teaching Beginner Programming Concepts with the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator", to a smaller audience than I anticipated. I told the attendees why they should teach programming, why students should use graphing calculators for programming, and how they could introduce graphing calculator programming to their students.
Shaun, Adrien, and I attended a Q&A panel on the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad with Mayim Bialik and two teachers, Ms. Stephanie Ogden and Ms. Sheri Abel. Many of the real-world usage questions that had occurred to me while learning about the Apps were answered. We posted a special news article about this.
we went to an excellent hands-on chemistry session, "Simulating and Building a Stem Instrument for the Science Classroom." We used TI-Nspire CX calculators with lab cradles and voltage probes, together with a simple RGB-LED-and-CdS-cell circuit, to create a colorimeter. We calibrated and tested the colorimeters.
I attended a 1.5-hour session entitled "Dynamic Programming with the TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Graphing Calculators" with Christopher Langhorn. I am always happy to see teachers advocating the merits of calculator programming, especially to other teachers.
Shaun, Adrien, and myself attended a two-hour private cocktail party slash reception with Mayim Bialik and various TI VIPs. I was honored to get a chance to talk further to Margo Markus, John Powers, and Dale Philbrick. I met Melendy Lovett and Peter Balyta, and was happy to hear that Mr. Balyta was very aware of Cemetech and some of our recent projects and news items. We also had an opportunity to speak to Pat Milheron, which was a great treat. Ms. Bialik commented on our furious blogging during the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad panel, although I know at least Shaun and myself were surprised to think of ourselves as bloggers rather than enthusiasts (or even hackers, in the positive sense of the word).
The evening ended with a frank discussion with our contact Marianne Hancock from Golin-Harris, whom I must especially thank for her tireless work throughout the weekend to make the conference smooth, pleasant, and extremely informative.
Our Sunday T3 experiencces were short but enjoyable. We attended the closing session, complete with a photo montage of all the photos tweeted with #NspiredAtT3, a video of functions graphed on a TI-Nspire overlaid on photos of participants from sessions miming those functions, and a closing address from Mayim Bialik. She was introduced by Nick Lombardo, the student from Connecticut who won the "Bring Mayim Back to School" contest. Ms. Bialik spoke of her interest in promoting equal access to great education, and especially an inspiration to pursue STEM fields. She also fielded assorted questions about herself, her relationship with TI and her attitude towards STEM education, and her role on The Big Bang Theory. The conference thus ended on a high note, and after various good-byes, we wended our way to lunch and then back to New York.
Once again, many thanks to everyone at Texas Instruments who made T3 possible, and especially to our personal contacts who made the experience so pleasant, educational, and fruitful for us. We hope to join the 26th annual T3 conference next year in Las Vegas, and will be bringing you more of your regularly-scheduled programming news in the coming week.