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Posts Tagged ‘whiteboard

Most technology companies that manufacture computers and phones typically focus on hardware and have little or no say on software development.

There are exceptions like Apple that create and control both, i.e., Macs and macOS, iPhones and iOS.

Google used to only be in the online software business. Then it partnered hardware companies to create Chromebooks, and Nexus (and now Pixel) phones.


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So I was not surprised to read about Google’s new TV-sized interactive whiteboard (IWB) called the Jamboard. This device is designed for blended and creative boardroom meetings. It takes advantage of G Suite and Google tools to connect, share, and store artefacts.

I was disappointed actually. Or rather, I am going to be disappointed because this might be another round of IWB snake oil vendors selling to schools and education institutions.

I hope that schools and other education institutions have learnt the painful lesson that IWB means Irrelevant White-Elephant Board because it is largely a teacher’s tool.

If tools like IWBs allow teachers to just teach the way they were taught, the teachers do not get pushed out of their comfort zones.

If the technology is not in the hands, minds, and hearts of the learners, it will do little to change teaching. When this happens, the technology ceases to be mere tools and become instruments instead. When this happens, the rhetoric of paradigm shifts, 21st century learning, and empowered students becomes real.

One of the things that we have experimented with at the MxL is Johnny Lee’s low-cost multitouch whiteboard using the Wiimote.

It’s a great cost-saving feature because smart boards or interactive whiteboards typically cost between S$3000-4000. A Wiimote costs around S$60-70 and has the potential to recognise multiple inputs (i.e. be used by more than one person at a time).

I envision it being used by groups of students and for collaboration instead of by teachers for plain vanilla instruction. However, the Wiimote whiteboard (Ww) does not come with slick software for collaboration.

But I just realised how the Ww could be used together with something like Dabbleboard for some some great technical affordances!

Granted that Dabbleboard is not multitouch-capable (yet!), but it might only be a matter of time!


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