Thursday, October 23, 2008

Every surface can be a computer - Wii Whiteboard

Warning: this post has a high drool content.

I was put to shame at the P&C meeting. The subject turned to helping the school keep up with the better funded cluster of primary schools across the road in the new digital learning environment.

What the teachers wanted were smartboards or interactive whiteboards. The skeptics wondered if they were worth the money. The heads turned to me.. yours truly geek girl.. and my opinion on how useful they were.

I've never used one. We don't have them in the community sector. I haven't paid much attention and I haven't seen it coming in the tech zone. I asked my tech gurus.. what's the buzz? they didn't know, cause they didn't use them. Was there a flaw?

The flaw is that this technology has done an end run, marketing wise, around the corporate technology sector and the bleeding edge adopters have tended to have their own tablets and iphones and other similar personal devices. Interactive whiteboards are seen as redundant or competitive with remote access and group collaboration software and systems.

Whoever markets whiteboards has done an Apple and infiltrated the education sector. Is it really the ipod, apple technology and advertising that is driving the increase in apple computer sales to 40% market share? Or is the figure similar to their school share.

Whiteboards are, in the learning environment, turning surfaces into computers. As Bill Gates forecasts, in the future, every surface, every object, will be a computer.

Well, it should be no surprise that Johnny Chung Lee, from Carnegie Mellon, has already turned a Wii remote into the way to do it.

I searched high and low and couldn't find non-educational information about whiteboards. Cnet and techcrunch had NOTHING that I could find! Thanks ZDnet for that great video.

Ella Morton, please add whiteboards (and wiis) to the cnet consumer electronics portfolio! Geeks and nerds.. stay posted. This is my new DIY project.

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