Weekly Click: April 24, 2012


Feature Article

ExoPC And Panama Team Up To Bring 'Tablet Desks' To Students ExoPC, a French-Canadian startup, has signed a deal with the Panama government to build a grade school physics classroom equipped with 20 touch screen desks, or “EXOdesks.” At the front, the teacher will be set up with an interactive multi-touch drawing board. Each of these interactive pieces of furniture will have stored memory for all books, textbooks, notebooks, and other supplies, accessible from home at any time by connecting to the cloud.

Fully equipped with an Intel i5 processor and an HTML5 interface, these desks can connect to Wi-Fi as well so that the teacher can share his/her work with the students and allow seamless collaboration. Content will be available to the students via the front blackboard, as well as on their individual EXOdesks. They can access books, course materials, their own notebooks, and even a digital writing tool for virtual handwritten notes. Even cooler, the teacher not only has the ability to see what the students are viewing on their own desks, but he or she can control it as well- so when the teacher tells the students to open their textbooks to a certain page, he or she can literally do it for them with just a few clicks and swipes.

Although the classrooms are fully outfitted with Internet access and digital collaborative technology, ExoPC understands that not all students in Panama have home Internet access. Therefore, students will have physical copies of their textbooks to use at home. The CEO of ExoPC, Jean-Baptise Martinoli, explains that the goal of this program is to explore just how far they can push digital education, to understand the effectiveness of the presence of this technology in the classroom. The pilot program is running in Panama for now, but talk is growing louder of bringing the technology to the United States. Who knows, maybe the future leaders of America will be swiping their fingers across digital screens larger than a tablet someday soon, collaborating and learning and ways we have just begun to explore.

The Future of Learning The LEGO Learning Institute has just released a new white paper on the future of learning, pulling from the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and pedagogy. The report states that all of our experiences and interactions become the foundation and the building blocks for future learning. It delves into detail about our memory for learned concepts, the role of supportive social contexts for learning, and how our sense of self-efficacy can all affect our ability to learn.

Top Girl: The Game for Everyone! Former child actress Mara Wilson writes about a new app called Top Girl that seems to confirm every existing female stereotype, from obsessive primping, to gold digger, to boy crazy. After playing the game, she determines that it has something for everyone…to hate. Feminists, parents, economists, grammar enthusiasts, and others would all be horrified to see the product of this game. The question is- how much can video games influence pre-teen social understanding and behavior?

MotionPhone App Lets You Communicate Without Talking A new app from Scott Snibbe Studio called MotionPhone has opened the door to a new form of communication: graphic animation. A little bit more unconventional than talking or texting, this app allows users to use their fingers to animate a series of shapes set to music, communicating with others on a more pure and primitive level. We think this is a really cool way to reach your inner creative genius and send a message through an abstract world!

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