May 15, 2009

iPod Touch Apps, WiiMote Whiteboards, 3D multi-user environments in education, and a teacher's video of the SMARTTable in action.

I thought I'd share the last two posts from my TechPsych blog here, since they focus on newer technologies that involve multi-touch or multi-user interaction.

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."


Educational iPod Touch Apps for Students and Teachers: Eric Sailers' blog
Eric Sailers is a speech and language pathologist and assisted technology specialist who explores new technologies that he's found useful in the schools. Below is Eric's demonstration of applications such as "I Write Words", Wikipanion, Preschool Adventure, Twitterific, Google Mobile, and the calendar.

To demonstrate the iPod Touch,Eric uses the Elmo document camera that projects onto a screen. Note that as Eric demonstrates the Twitterific application, , he navigates to a link to a blog of one of his colleagues, which highlights the way one school is using the Wii as an augmentive communication tool and also an assessment tool for occupational therapy.



Take some time to explore Eric's Speech-Language Pathology Sharing blog. It is full of great information!

Update: Here are two video clips Eric created to prepare for an interview as a finalist for the Cox Communication Innovation in Special Education award. In one of the videos, Eric discusses the EduSim application, a 3D multi-user virtual world platform and authoring toolkit intended for classroom interactive whiteboards.

Interactive Applications for Special Education: Wiimote Whiteboards and iPod Touch in Special Education, Part I


Wiimote Whiteboards and iPod Touch in Special Education, Part II

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