Friday, May 15, 2009

A teacher explores the multi-touch, multi-user SMARTtable in his classroom

From what I can see, multi-touch, multi-user applications are ideal for students to learn collaborative, cooperative social skills at the same time they learn academic skills. Smart Technologies, well-known in the education world for interactive whiteboards, has unleashed a few tables, known as SMARTTables, in classrooms. One teacher, Tom Barret, is sharing his journey with technology, including the SMARTtable, on-line via his blog, SPACE FOR ME TO EXPLORE

The following is a video of young children doing math on a multi-touch SMARTTable. In order to solve the finger- arithmetic problems, the students must work cooperatively

Addition App - Set to multi-touch finger counts from Tom Barrett on Vimeo.

(In the video, you will see some shapes that Tom mistakenly added, so disregard them as you view the video.)

Here is a quote from Tom's blog about his experience with the addition application:

"I was most pleased with the level of engagement from the children and although on the surface this seems to be a simple application, it definitely requires a level of teamwork that you often do not get.

It is intriguing watching the children’s first attempts and how they realise they need to work together. As the challenge is small scale, once they have been successful they begin to refine their approach, communicate better and so get to later answers quicker."

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