The Computer Just Got Bigger

I spoke, yesterday, at the TechForum conference in Chicago. You probably know that already, since I blogged the keynote by Hall Davidson. As an additional note, it is evidence of blogging’s conversational quality, that Ewan Mcintosh posted a comment, with links to a web site where people can explore using The SIMS as a foreign language strategy, a concept that I mentioned in that blog entry. Too cool!

Now this is interestingDuring one of the breaks, I was visiting the exhibitors and I ran across one that I would normally glance over. They sold projectors and presentation carts, and since I don’t have, nor support a classroom, I have little interest. But there was no one there at the moment, and to be polite, I asked the young man what was “Big”. He pointed me to a computer with a piece of software running….

Now I work a good deal in distance learning rooms where they have these little touch sensitive displays that allow you to control various audio/visual devices, the projectors and what’s projecting through them, volume, etc. They are usually pretty clunky and they’re all different, so I have to figure out each one — and I usually don’t! 😉

The software that this company representative was showing me was the same sort of thing, only it ran on a teacher’s computer, and it controlled all of the audio visuals of the classroom. Now this is assuming that the classroom as a DVD, VCR, ceiling-mounted projector, wall-mounted speakers, you name it — and folks, THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF CLASSROOM OUR CHILDREN DESERVE TO BE LEARNING IN. Isn’t it?

But the image that came to me as I was considering the implimentation of such a tool was the the computer just got a lot bigger, not smaller. The classroom just became a computer. I sit, now, at my laptop and have access to video, audio, text, a global digital library, tools to process and add value to the content that I have. I have an information/learning engine under my finger tips. Shouldn’t we be thinking of our classrooms in exactly the same way, as information/learning engines where students are learning the new information/literacy skills from the new information environment.

My apologies for forgetting the name of the company, but I’ve written to Judy Salpeter, and when she tells me who the vendor was, I’ll add it here.

Way bigger than 2¢!!!

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.