Jul 16, 2007

More touch screen "surface" display musings...

I had my first chance to use an interactive touch-screen SmartBoard, by Smart Technologies in 2002-03. Since I work mostly with kids and teens, I wondered why large-display touch screen technology wasn't more widespread, since there are so many free, interactive websites that provide pretty engaging activities for users.

One of the things I learned was that large-display touch-screen technology is in the preschool stage. There are problems with screen responsiveness, screen resolution, durability, and input.

In recent years, the idea of a touch screen has evolved to table-tops and drafting boards, embedded within wireless systems that allow for interoperability with mobile devices and remote applications.

Great technology exists, but no-one has pulled all the components together in a way that can easily scale for the people who would benefit from this sort of technology the most - people who spend most of day time teaching, learning, or both. I had a great experience using a NextWindow Human Touch large-screen display for some of my projects last semester. It was difficult for me to track one down, but once I got my hands on it, I liked it, even though it did not have multi-touch capabilities.

One laptop for each child? That was a good idea for the late 1990's and early 2000's. One high-quality, affordable, large touch-screen display or table for each classroom would be more effective.

One touch-screen display/table for every 4-6 students would be better.
Is there anyone out there who is up for the challenge?

Next Post: Updated links to interactive multimedia websites appropriate for large touch screen surfaces.

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