Russell Prue, demonstrated his proposal for use of a smartboard at the South West regional ICT Conference in July. Suggesting we take it from the wall, lay it flat on a desk using a short throw projector to enable students to work together on tasks and activities around it. How about this, SmartTech, have added multitouch functionality to what looks like a horizontal back projected board and produced this. Perhaps an overlerly symplified view, but perhaps what is inside the grey box is less important in this instance than the possibilities afforded by the tool, to develop and support emergent social and collaborative learning in the spaces around it.
"Small hands in a big space," in this case more than one, and direct physical engagement with the interface, opens up a host of opportunities for our younger students to engage directly and perhaps more naturally with the interface. Rather than the mouse as intermediary, that relies on hand to eye coordination, fine motor control and the ability to translate horizontal to vertical movement. everything in this context will be in the same plane, and at the end of the student's finger. The technology is very cool, but what is most interesting in this short clip, is how the small group context, shifted my view and how the tool became secondary to the interactions and engagements between the students, mediating the action rather than driving it. My MSc project drew into perspective and focus the mediating role of ICTs in social learning situations and the potential here to look at learning beyond the interface is a really exciting possibility for this tool and one that I feel should really excite colleagues.
I want one one of these! What are the chances? The possibilities are endless.