There are many levels to SXSW, including the education vertical, which runs the first 4 days. EDU has a lot of tech for students, and a lot of cool ideas. The SXSW EDU Expo was going on today, and I got to check out the companies that participated. Some I already knew. For example, Beatbox, which I interviewed at NAMM, and Catch Box who I talked with last year. Here are some of the companies I looked at during the EDU expo.
Stem Education Works
There was a variety of companies showing off robotic projects. One group at Stem Education Works had a cool assembly line robot system that would drop off and pick up blocks. Sensors would see the block when it approached, and the robotic arm went into action to put it in it’s assigned cup.
The system was designed to see the color of the block, and put it in it’s correct container. This could be the start of a child’s career in assembly line robotics.
Robots that can react, including moving, and flying drones, are what this company is about. They had a soccer field, with two robots kicking a ball around. Another – a kitten/panda hybrid – was working within the barriers of a square box.
The league of comic writers work hard on a comic that is more in line with any graphic novel out there. The focus is to teach young adults, but not talk down to them.
These comic books can be read online, and teens can join in on the social aspect. They can introduce new topics, too. And when the issue is released, the characters in the comic match any book out there. Great storytelling whilst learning about issues they may have.
Badgr works with some big name companies already, such as Cisco, Microsoft, Mozilla, and more. The idea is to bring an internal accomplishment system into the company. If you work on a project, for example, you could get a badge of accomplishment.
Badgr helps give small rewards for employees, influencers, and others. So instead of saying that you have 5 years of experience, you can show it with a Badgr.
These little guys are cute – plain and simple. They roam around, interacting with you when they see you in their camera eye.
LOVOT reacts to your moods, and helps you feel comfortable and loved.
Of course, I didn’t have this issue when I was a teen, but we all want to simply bury our faces into our phones nowadays. Pocket Points helps put the phone down, with an award system for staying off your phone.
Teachers can set up rewards for students. When they don’t check their phones in class (for example), they could be rewarded with pizza, movies, or more.
This also can help curb other issues, such as text and driving. Making the student focus on school work.
I found out something today. Some children might not be able to hear what is being discussed, therefore tuning it out. QBall is a throwable microphone that focuses in the classroom.
When someone has a question, the ball is thrown to them so they can ask it, and other can hear it. This makes participation more active, and allows everyone to hear what kids have to say.
The wireless 2.4 GHz microphone can be taken out of the ball, and used as a presentation microphone. When it’s time for Q&A, insert it back in, and pass it around.