Sunday, March 29, 2009

20090326 Visit to the Classroom of the Future

It's the second time visiting the COTF. Well, hoping to see something new... hm... was more like hoping for surprises, compared to my previous visit together with Timothy and San Chye 3 years ago.

Well, one difference is - the "smart card" that we had in the last visit has been upgraded to an UMPC... hm... more interactive :D By and large, the concept is still quite similar (though there are some new enhancements)!

The sequence we entered the room was reversed. We visited the cafe first. Ah! Placing order of the favourite cappuccino via an interactive table-top! Wah! So seamlessly! Well, well... recall seeing something like this is Sakae Sushi (if remember correctly), but it's placing order via the little computer (think it's UMPC) mounted at the side of each table.

One thing brought up was, the technology is still single user-touch... it would be more interactive if it could move beyond one user!

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Next, it's where "business" comes in play... hm... it's like having a tablet PC (with a touch screen, just what my Fujitsu offers now) lying on the table. Well, I guess the advantage is, it has a large screen... and therefore allows participation for a slightly larger group of about 6 students.

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The cluster search engine presents a new way that search engine can "appear" - seems more customised... of course, this comes with special attention to organising the resources and information!

In terms of practical use... hm... it's a good to have, I guess...

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Going into the MRT, electronic billboards with sensors allowing commuters to download information such as previews to musicals, snippets of clips and even discount vouchers! Ha! That's very convenient... and Ah! what an innovative and enterprising way to reach out to a wider audience!

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I think, the most impressive amongst all would be the immersive classroom - where we were all excited over the 'huge' 4-screen size projection. Of course, also saw the value of using it for learning.

Well, the first thing we experience is... being immersed in an ocean... as if we were surrounded by the sea creatures! Well, we also notice the remaining walls were covered with mirrors... to create that effect of depth and over-encompassing

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Technical aspect: It's made up of a computer that is configured (with some software applications) such that it could capture 4 screens. Each screen is projected out by a back-projector. With a wireless keyboard and mouse, the facilitator could manipulate the screens to be projected out.

This is quite similar to what Glenn shared the other day, when, in an US school, students' screens are projected out - displaying their findings on the topic that the teacher is teaching.

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An example of classroom use is the study of landscape and design of city-building, probably in Geography lessons... Perhaps also virtual field trip.

One may argue why do we need such a huge screen (investment!) for this while a computer screen would be enough to display. Well, I think, it's really the 'user experience' that's different... when it's huge and you are surrounded by it... it's simply put one in a subreal environment, having the urge to touch what's displayed!

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The Photo Album:

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