01 April, 2009

Adaptations that I would like to see in my classroom

Trawling through an archive of my e-learning masters course I found my thoughts about hopeful improvements within the next 10 years. Here’s what I said in 2006:

Adaptations which I would like to see in my classroom and may be financially and technically possible in the next 10 years (briefly, as I think most are aware of my ideas):

  • Thin client, cheap laptop, robust technology.
  • Increasing use of VLE, especially the forum feature – encouraging students to learn from each other.
  • Project based learning – less discrete subject and more ‘joined up’ (is that word making a come back, please) teaching and learning.
  • Use of variety of software, away from monolithic Microsoft towards other commercial and open sourced provision.
  • Get the kit to become more of an assistant than a hindrance:
  • currently we:
  • need to type, I want to see voice recognition;
  • we need to look at small screens, I want to see wearable displays giving a complete field of view;
  • we rely too much on text, I want to see multimedia used to it’s proper conclusion;
  • we have to say “Wait whilst my computer boots up”, I want to have a
    turned on instantly available source of information, as accessible as a piece of paper in my pocket.

… how far do you think we’ve come?

I think the above brings to mind that

  1. There has been some movement in thin client, but perhaps not as much as I’d like;
  2. The VLE forum is being challenged by the “small parts” model (utilising other web based social tools, as well as phone technologies); and
  3. Open source is becoming more mainstream (look at cheap netbooks operating systems).
  4. It also highlights that we have far to go with the human-machine interface (to lower that barrier), more use of multimedia and a machine that switches on when you ask it to, not 5 minutes later when it feels like it.

On the latter point, consider the OLPC, (this from their discussion of power usage page):

"Resume on our system is extremely fast: even without any serious attempt to optimize resume, we can resume from RAM in 160 milliseconds (mid-April, 2007). We are still determining the minimum resume time, as a 63ms delay we thought was required has a workaround in the Geode. B3 and later systems are probably similar to the GX. We will work in the future to further speed resume. Note that for most uses, 100ms is considered at the edge of human perception (e.g. typing).”

So, if OLPC can do it …

Thanks for reading – thoughts and comments sought.

David (image by mangee)

No comments: