Wednesday, March 30, 2011
That table sure is Smart!
Touchscreen technology has been around for quite some time, with IBM creating some of the first touchscreen devices in the late 60's. Restaurant employees have been using touchscreens for years to communicate with the back of the house and create that bill we all enjoy paying after a great meal. If you ask a student today about touchscreens, they will pull out their iPod or iPad and show us what a multi-touch device is capable of, kind of makes those card games that were placed in bars years ago look a little silly. A few years ago I came across a video on Microsoft's multi-touch table, this video is a little newer than the one I watched, but you will get the idea. About a year after seeing the multi-touch video I ran across the Smart Table at a conference. I quickly thought of the Microsoft table, however Smart (think Smart board) had primary age content loaded on the table. Fast forward a couple years and our district has purchased (with grant funds) 4 Smart Tables, that will be delivered tomorrow to Kindergarten classrooms at each elementary school. The Kindergarten teachers have received professional development on the basics of the tables and have future training scheduled on using the software provided with the tables to create their own content that is transferred to the tables using a usb flash drive. The tables are going to be a great addition to the classroom, and they are a very student centered device, which is where the technology should be, in the hands of the students.