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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Announcing: Microsoft Surface



If you have luddites who aren't comfortable with the computer in your school, hold on.

Computers are coming to your tables, walls, filing cabinets, doors, and oh my goodness, perhaps even that flat surface on the student desk.

At the everything D conference that I blogged about yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will announce Microsoft Surface. The article says:

" [Surface is] the first in the company’s new category of surface-computing products that it has touted as “breaking down traditional barriers between people and technology.” Surface has a 30-inch display in a table-like format that can recognize physical objects. It allows, according to Microsoft, “hands-on, direct control of content such as photos, music and maps. … through natural gestures, touch and physical objects.”

Surface can also recognize objects embedded with identification tags similar to bar codes....Surface, as Microsoft sums it up, brings an “opportunity to create technology that would bridge the physical and virtual worlds.”



Devices will roll out the end of this year!

The applications here for education are incredible! How about a word wall that changes depending on the class that is in your room. Think about the manipulatives potentials -- use them but NO clean up -- just a little Windex and wipe off the fingerprints!

This is only the beginning. The revolution is here.

I've often told my students that they will look back and laugh about taking a "computer" class one day because they will become a commodity and a part of EVERYTHING. Man and machine continue to blur and bring with them a whole plethora of ethical and though provoking issues (I'm a little survivalist in nature.)

Make them share pencils!?

This doesn't mean that technology isn't important, it means that it is more important than ever. Limiting access to computers is almost like making kids share pencils -- we wouldn't dream of it.

It is not about being comfortable it is about doing the right thing. I'm sure those men who landed on the moon were not comfortable in their space suits either. This is not a place of comfort but a wonderful place where even a person in smalltown Georgia can contribute to the discussion!

OK, here is your question -- HOW CAN SUCH A SURFACE PROGRAM BE USED IN SCHOOLS? Leave a comment here!

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