Another dot in the blogosphere?

Posts Tagged ‘surface

What would I learn without RSS? Very little! RSS is one of my personal PD (professional development) tools and with it I learn or get something reinforced every day!

One blog I follow is Chris Dawson’s. He recently asked how important is 1:1 to literacy? He doesn’t have all the answers (no one does), but he asks some pretty good questions. He has a follow-up today on getting your teachers started with 1:1.

On his blog today was a feature on virtual autopsies via surface computing. Another of my favourites! Surface computing, that is, not autopsies! Alas, I have practically abandoned my efforts in surface computing due to a lack of support.


Video source

I think that surface computing is not only more intuitive, it also promotes other literacies because you must be able to manage, manipulate and create with digital media. These might include the interpretation of various types of images or the creation of videos or screencasts to illustrate ideas and processes.

One of the things that we are working on at the MxL is multitouch technologies. This means that users simply use their fingers to create and manipulate objects directly on the computer screen. There is no need for a mouse and keyboard. This is evident in the Apple iPhone and Microsoft’s Surface (video of the latter above).

Sadly, Microsoft did not highlight any educational uses of Surface. I think that such technologies can transform education in positive ways. This was why I was excited to read today that a UK university is developing multitouch desks for students.

Image source: http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/09/17/touchscreen_school_tech/

Both articles highlighted this:

Dr Liz Burd, Director of Active Learning in Computing at Durham University, said: “Our vision is that every desk in school in 10 years time will be interactive”.

My take? I think that it is unfortunate that the shorter article decided to show a photo of just one child using it and using it for what looks like drill and practice. This technology has the ability to facilitate true and real-time collaboration and to enable tasks that are more complex and worthwhile.

I wonder if we can beat the UK folks to it? We already have our own prototype in the MxL (see image above)! Technologically, we might if I can find the right collaborators from local universities and polytechnics. Pedagogically, I am certain we can if I can find enlightened and energetic teachers and school leaders.


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