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Gone are keyboards: Surface Computing

Attention:

Schools are eager to become 1:1 with laptop programs, but they are wrong with this kind of thinking.  Gone will be the days of mice and keyboards.  The 5:1 and 4:1 classrooms are those of the future for tech-heavy, well-endowed and ‘lucky’ schools. What do these programs consist of? Let’s look:

  1. Projector / with Mimio, Smartboard, or Promethian – no keyboards
  2. Wacom Tablets and All-in-one Multitouch Computers – no keyboards
  3. Surface Computers, like Windows / Samsung Surface Computers – no keyboards
  4. Tablets, like iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Asus Eee Pad, Motorolla Xoom (My choice) – no keyboards
  5. Smart phones using Swype technology– no keyboards

And maybe a notebook here and there with a keyboard for my grandma.  But let’s be done with the rows and rows of computer desktop classrooms.

Proof:

I am hoping that provocative questions like these are proof enough:

Strategy:

What does this mean for schools and educators?  This means:

  • Different ideas for the budget.
  • Continued training for teachers about how to use these devices.
  • Technology Integration Specialists, instead of classroom technology teachers
  • Allowing students to bring their devices to school
  • Supporting student devices, both physically, through networking and academically, with authentic connections to lessons
  • Everyone needs New ways of thinking.
 
 

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I wonder when they will start making this?

The three coolest things I have seen lately are the Fujitzu 4 in 1 Bento Box, the Sixth Sense by Pranav Mistry and this concept phone, which is pretty slick.

All three devices are moving away from the touch keyboard the way we know it.  As I mentioned in the Bento Box article, I like the tactile feel of a nice keyboard, but I was sitting in an ISTEC meeting the other day taking notes on my iPad with the touchscreen keyboard, and I felt this was something I could get used to.  This would especially be true if it was not something that I was brought up with.

I was talking with a PYP computer teacher the other day and she was saying that little kids seem to have a much faster learning curve on an iPad versus computers with a traditional mouse and keyboard.  This idea led me to thinking about a question posed at the ISTEC meeting, “What are fundamental skills that all students should have by the time they graduate from high-school?” and a group member thought one part of the answer was “touch typing skills”

I wonder if this will actually be a skill set in the future.  I guess we will have to just wait and see.  In the meantime, I can’t wait to add more new gadgets that make my jaws drop when I see them to this list.  Enjoy the earlier jumps and the following video.

https://ted.com/talks/view/id/685

 
 

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