Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A BRAND new tech toy! Oh boy!

Every year our uber generous PTO gifts each teacher with $100 to spend in their classroom.  I have the "usuals" that I have purchased previous, often repeating the year before - new books, class t-shirts, off-set field trip costs, etc.  This year, though, I wanted something different.  With my tech-hungry class, and my ever evolving tech-savvy skills, I wanted something new and uniquely engaging.

The "periscope" attachment for Osmo
After a week-long search, and lots of requests via twitter (thanks Tweeps!) I narrowed it down to four options, all of which were "good" but not exactly right.  Until I stumbled (literally) upon Osmo in a Twitter chat.

Oh.  Em.  Gee.  
That's all I can say.

The Tangram activity on Osmo
I don't exactly know how to explain Osmo.  It was invented by young parents out of Stanford and Google. Engineers at heart, the founders are personally committed to innovating new technologies that nurture positive play experiences for kids.  It's got a gadget that reminds me of a periscope that hooks on to the camera, reflecting it down on the surface in front of the iPad.  There, three different apps interact with the special tangrams, letter tiles, and newest of the trio, bouncing balls of sorts?  Still unclear on that, other than WAY cool with so many options for math and science!  According to the developers, Osmo is a unique gaming accessory for the iPad that comes with games that will change the way your child plays.

Osmo Google search page one as of 5/27.
Considering Sunday's chat was the first I heard of it, and none of the techie-teachers I connect with I need tech-support had heard of it either, I went to do some research before I made a decision. What I found was both surprising and exciting!  Osmo was JUST released to the public for pre-order THIS week!  It's still shiny and new!  How cool is that?!

So, decision made.  Osmo pre-ordered, with delivery slated for early fall, hopefully in time for school!  Oh, and if you order by June 22nd, Osmo is $49 each.  Beyond June 22nd, it bumps up to the retail price of $99 each.  I hope to use Osmo as a math tool during math workshop, as well as an option during word work time.  As far as the third game? The possibilities are limitless!

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